Tales of a Munich Virgin

Five days soaking up the culture of Munich is a sobering experience. Five days on the piss, soaking up the beer of Munich isn’t. It’s rather knackering, actually. But mix the two and you can have yourself a great time. In fact, you can save yourself some time and energy by eliminating the former. After all, what self-respecting member of the bloggerati would waste valuable drinking time on culture?

The first thing you notice about Munich is that although it’s big, it’s perfectly navigable once you get your bearings. There are the S-Bahn and U-Bahn rail systems, but like many cities, the best way is to see it on foot. Alas, like many cities, they seem to have an aversion to signposting the streets, but a good map and/or sat nav to pinpoint your position should help with that.

Another, somewhat surprising, discovery was the relative difficulty in obtaining a late drink. We’re not talking about a very late drink, but just a nightcap. Tandleman (yes, Mr München was there) and I set quite a pattern in being the last patrons of several establishments.  Of course, there are places you can get a drink, but not necessarily the places you’d choose. As this is something it shares with London, perhaps it’s a quirk of places with more money than sense?

Apart from that gripe, it has to be said that the pubs were wonderfully busy with people eating and drinking. Consumption remains at a very healthy level here, despite the relatively high prices. How long that can last, with Munich veterans complaining of rising prices, and the daily delivery of Euros to Ireland, is anyone’s guess. But hold on, what about the smoking ban? Hasn’t that caused 99% of drinkers to stay at home in an onanistic orgy of petulance?  No.

Hofbräuhaus: Much beloved by Tandleman, not so much by Mr’s T, you can’t visit Munich without visiting here at least once. Thousands of litres are drunk each day in this massive, rambling beer hall. Great for people watching, but there is better beer to be had elsewhere, I feel.

Augustiner-Großgaststätten: A well run, impressive building in the heart of Munich’s pedestrian precinct. A great place to sample their Edelstoff straight from the barrel.
Two other excellent Augustiner places were the Bräustuben, right by the brewery and the Keller, which has a terrific beer garden.

Altes Hackerhaus: Good selection of Hacker-Pschorr beers in this cosy, welcoming upmarket place. There was also an interesting menu with a rare (for Munich) sighting of salmon. Also memorable for the excellent waitress who provided first rate service all evening.

Der Pschorr: Just off the Viktualiemarkt, this was a smart, pricy, modern pub that also had a memorable waitress. Sadly for all the wrong reasons. Having spent a good few Euros in here keeping her in work, she came over, and very unprofessionally, complained about the size of her tip.

There were many more, but two outside Munich stand out.

Herzogliches Bräustuberl: This former monastery on the shores of the Tergensee is in a very picturesque setting, and the beer, particularly the Spezial, was terrific.

Klostergasthof Andechs: The hour walk up to this resplendent monastery is well worth it and, thankfully, a lot easier on the way down.

Munich really does have something for everyone. Just watch out for the cyclists. And take your brolly.


Sue said…
Liked Altes Hackerhaus,Augustiner Keller,and Ayingerbrau Haus. Didn't rate Hofbrauhaus at all - too big, too busy, too touristy. If you didn't get to Airbrau, you missed what Perry Mason called 'the best German impression of an American microbrew pub I've ever seen!' And the beer, despite being at the airport, was the cheapest we had all weekend.
Dave said…
Cheapness isn't the same as quality.
Sue said…
Dave, maybe not, and the beer was slightly gassier than in other establishments, but I found the Jetstream very much to my taste.
F.Peters said…
I love the Hofbrauhaus. In fact I spent most of my time in Munich in there. It's got a great atmosphere and I love how you get chatting to all the locals.
Martin said…
Hofbrauhaus is tops for atmosphere but only so-so for beer. The amazing thing about Munich is the sheer number of beer gardens. They really go for alfresco big time.
Barry said…
I'm very surprised that the waitress demanded a larger tip. Was it a particularly large party or had she been doing something special?
teninchwheels said…
I'm also surprised by that waitress - if its the place i'm thinking of it's quite new. She'd never get away with that at more 'trad' places.
teninchwheels said…
Did you get to the odd little bar at Bratwurst Glockl Am Dom? One of the best places for an Augustiner. No frills - served from a hatch, straight from the barrel and fresh as a daisy. Cheap, too.
Tyson said…

Yes, I did get there and it was a great little pub. That area makes for one very interesting crawl. As for the waitress, she was flashing her charms all afternoon and obviously valued them highly.
Adrian said…
Great write up - makes me miss the old place big time.

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