You know a country takes its beer seriously when there’s a law to make sure it’s produced right! Germany’s purity law has been in place since the 1500s to keep native brewers honest, enforcing that beers are to be made with the four main ingredients of hops, yeast, malt, and water. And while brewing beer might be a serious game in Germany, that doesn’t mean the country doesn’t know how to have fun with beer. Germany has exploded with a diverse beer scene, dabbling in craft beers while still maintaining tradition. If you’re looking to experience Germany’s beer scene, you can’t miss hopping on a brewery tour at some of the country’s coolest breweries.
A brewery has occupied the site of the current Rechenberger Brewery since 1558. Luckily for travelers today, you can still experience traces of the old ways of brewing at this location. Set an hour south of Dresden, the brewery is one of the oldest in Saxony and uses water from its own wells. Tours are offered Tuesday through Sunday; for two hours, beer lovers are invited to experience the 1780 brewhouse, the underground vaulted cellars, and even have a little tasting post tour. There’s also a restaurant in case you get the munchies after a few too many beers.
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Located in the outskirts of Munich, Hofbraü is arguably the most well-known of Germany’s breweries and for good reason. When the beer served at the court of William V, Duke of Bavaria, simply wouldn’t do, the good duke started his own in 1589 — and the rest, as they way, is history! It remains just one of two Bavarian state-run breweries in Munich. You can roam the brewery on 60- to 90-minute tours held Monday through Thursday. You’ll get to see the brewhouse and fermentation cellar, and cap it all off with a fresh beer from the beer tank and a Bavarian snack or two in the onsite brewpub.
Set along the northern coast of Germany, roughly 2 hours from Hamburg, you’ll find the Rostocker Brewery. With foundations in 1878, Rostocker draws on the area’s 750-year-old tradition for brewing beer. You can join a tour April through October every Thursday. You’ll be guided through the brewery for around 90 minutes, all while learning the history of Rostocker and its art for brewing using only four natural ingredients.
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If you love history and beer, you can’t miss a stop at Weihenstephan Brewery outside of Freising, roughly 40 minutes from Munich. Weihenstephan claims the title of the oldest existing brewery in the world. It began as a monastic brewery nearly 1,000 years ago. Today you can tour all of its history on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Lasting around 120 minutes, you begin the tour with a history lesson at the onsite brewery museum and conclude with a tasting of various beers. You can even take home the mug from which you are imbibing as a souvenir!
Love beer and Germany? What’s your favorite brewery tour in the country? Share your pick with us in comments below.