SUBLIME: Munich beer gardens are
the perfect retreat. This is
at the Chinesischer Turm.
Pic: P. Scarlandis / FVAmuc
Munich beer gardens usually each serve only one brand of beer from the city’s major breweries, be it Paulaner, Augustiner, Hofbräu, Löwenbräu, Hacker-Pschorr or Spaten. The standard measure is the one-litre Maß but half-litre portions are almost always available.
Try the Radler if you’re taking it easy. It’s a mix of Helles beer (lager) and sweet lemonade, invented especially for cyclists. If you’re off the booze altogether a cola/Fanta mix called Spezi is a popular choice.
Wanna get worldly?
Here you can drink German beer next to a Chinese tower in a so-called English garden. This is Munich's loudest and proudest beer garden and a must-do for most Munich visitors.
NIBBLES: A tradtional Brotzeitteller with smoked and cooked meats, bread and radishes. Pic:© Kloster Andechs
ON THE WAY: Me after a bit too much
already in one of the Munich beer gardens.
GREEN ENERGY: Shady chestnut trees are a fixture
of any good beer garden in Munich.
Munich beer gardens were born, just like the city itself, on the banks of the Isar
Since beer only brews when it’s cold, budding beer barons dug cellars along the banks of the icy Alpine stream.
Gravel was strewn and amply-foliaged chestnut trees were planted to keep the sun’s rays at bay and the beer nice and cool.
It wasn’t long until someone hit upon the idea of selling the brew on the spot. Long wooden benches were set up around the trees and the "traditional" beer garden we know and love today came to be.
This, of course, got on the goat of the existing Munich guesthouses, who found themselves facing a stiff new brand of competition. Sit inside a stuffy old pub on a hot summer’s day or head down to river to drink straight of the barrel? I know what I would have chosen.
King Ludwig I himself stepped in with a stroke of genius – the beer gardens would be allowed to sell beer, but not food.
And so the punters were allowed to take their own food along to the gardens.
It’s a custom that continues to this day, even though Ludwig’s decree was long since abolished and beergardens in Munich can serve food as well.
Here's a map showing the Munich beer gardens I've reviewed so far.
Still some work to do on this one but that doesn't worry me at all.
You'll have to zoom out a ways to see where Kloster Andechs is.
Enjoy the great outdoors.
Every once in a while a book comes along that changes your life.
Until it does, please consider buying Destination Munich and Bavaria, the grooviest, most informative guide on the market :-)
It'll give you full-colour maps, practical info and hundreds of tips on how to get the most out of your visit.
It's 227 pages of up-to-the-minute travel intelligence and it can be yours as an eBook for less than the price of an Oktoberfest beer. (read on)
• Learn the backstory behind Munich beer.
• Go from Day Trips from Munich to the main Munich Attractions page.
• Jump from Munich Beer Gardens back to Destination Munich Home