This blog post was updated on October 26, 2018.
With Oktoberfest kicking off in Munich in a little over two weeks, you might have a few cravings for a tall stein of Bavaria’s liquid gold. To experience Munich and its culture, you can’t bypass its beer institutions. Most of these spaces date back over 200 years old, proving that beer has always been a part of Munich’s story. Even if you can’t make it to Munich for Oktoberfest, when you do land in this southern German city, be sure to sample a stein of the good stuff at some of its biggest and arguably best beer halls and gardens.
Hofbräuhaus: Right in the heart of Munich, you can’t come to the city and not sample a beer at Hofbräuhaus, the best-known beer hall in the city, Bavaria and perhaps the entire world. The Munich Hofbräuhaus began in 1589 when Duke Wilhelm V founded a brewery on the site of the Munich royal residence. Today, the beer consumption isn’t limited to just royals but loads of common travelers from all around the world. Hofbräuhaus can seat over 3,000 people. A number of events in Munich’s history are tied to the Hofbräuhaus. Some its famous visitors over time have included Mozart, Sissi, the Empress Elisabeth of Austria and Lenin. The historic beer hall sits on the first floor of the building. If you frequent the Hofbräuhaus enough, you might score privileges to one of the beer stein lockers on site, reserved for regulars.
Löwenbräukeller: Another one of Munich’s biggest and historic beer halls is Löwenbräukeller. Located in the center of Munich at Stiglmaierplatz, Lowenbräukeller’s foundations stem from 1883. However, even before it officially opened its doors to visitors, the brewery had the honor of being the first Oktoberfest beer tent in 1867. It could accommodate 50 people at the time. While the site has been renovated over the years due to war, fire and time, Löwenbräukeller still provides the traditional Bavaria beer hall feel. In its beginnings, it was known as the first beer halls in the city to bring a touch of elegance to beer drinking by adding tablecloths and napkins.
Augustiner Keller: Also one of the oldest beer gardens in the city, Augustiner Keller began in 1812, back when cattle were used to transport beer from the cellar to the surface. It has maintained its historic feel as the exterior of the building and the beer garden itself hasn’t changed since 1895. As one of Munich’s historic beer gardens, Augustiner Keller can hold up to 5,000 people. You can enjoy your stein under the shade of 100 chestnut trees.
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