Beer Cities: Munich

Munich city guide


In terms of its historical importance and continuing influence in the wider beer world, Munich is about about as big as it gets, right up there with London and Brussels. Even in generally lager-phobic craft circles, this epicentre of traditional German brewing has rightly become a place of worship, not only by brewers keen to hone their craft, but also by ordinary drinkers, as a new generation of breweries and bars have risen alongside the maß-swinging, pretzel-smashing beer hall experience.

For a start, it is worth saying that you really should make time and stomach space to experience Munich’s traditional breweries on their home turf; breweries like Augustiner, Hacker Pschorr, Hofbrau, Lowenbrau, Paulaner, and Spaten. Your inner craft snob may reel at the names and label designs, but do yourself a favour and stifle that little voice for a spell.

Once you’ve taken your medicine and are in the mood for something a little more contemporary, the good news is that you no longer need to hop on a train to Berlin to get your craft on.

Tap-House is a favourite among locals and tourists alike, and is consequently usually pretty busy. It’s self-consciously set out in the “American style” but boasts a good selection of local craft ales and lagers, simple, tasty food and a welcoming, unpretentious atmosphere. Nearby Red Hot offers a similarly simmered experience, with a good range of slightly more adventurous beers and quality pub grub. 

In the north of the city centre is probably our pick of the bunch though : Getränke Oase’s knowledgeable staff and large - but more importantly well-curated - craft list make it a place to hunker down with a couple of pals for a good old bottle share.

Brewery-wise, there are several interesting options we advise you seek out. Giesinger Brau has graduated from a basement to an urban brewery to a large new out-of-town facility, and serve up a mean craft pils. The evocatively named Harderner is a certified organic outfit using ingredients exclusively from Bavarian farms - it’s Märzen is a velvety, warming example of the style. Finally Tilsmans has earned quite a reputation for its technically bang-on brews, and arresting can designs - best enjoyed at owner Ludwig Tilman’s bar, Frisches Bier.

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