My Munich expedition began as such things often do in Dublin Airport Terminal Two. Unlike Kris Kristof I don’t normally like beer for breakfast which is when most flights seem to depart. So I thought to myself, oh, nice lunch in the airport with a couple of Porter House beers. But, no, the taps are turned upside down and the bottles are nowhere to be seen. So I had a Hoegaarden, and you know what they’re like, right? Cold, wet, not terrible. First World problems! I consoled myself with the thought that they’d have loads of great beer in Munich!
I was staying right in the centre of Munich and it’s an interesting spot, with the old and the new nestled side by side. I had an idea that there would be beerhalls on every street corner. A small bit of a walk showed this not to be the case but I found the Augustiner Beerhall & Restaurant which I was more interested in than the more frequented Hofbrauhaus. These lads have been brewing since 1328 and it’s still independent.
You know the way the beer drinking rule of thumb is start with the light beers and work your way through to the darker ones? Well I did it backwards, or arseways if you prefer! I started with the dunkel which is a dark reddish brown. It has a lovely roasted smokey flavour and some nuttiness. I would definitely recommend it!
The final beer of the night was a litre of their Lager/Helles. It’s a good example of a well made lighter beer. It’s a little straw like in colour and has a slightly grassy taste. It would be fantastic if you were sitting in a beer garden on a Summer afternoon!
I was a little disappointed to see the digital taps which guarantee an exact metric amount is delivered every time. It jarred a little with the communal convivial atmosphere and the august look of the place. (Bad pun, apologies!) I remember a trip about five years ago to Salzburg where the Augustiner Brewery is on the go since 1621. The thrill of seeing the barrels being rolled out and tapped at a great pace has yet to be equalled (in a beerhall at least) for me!
The next day I went into another beerhall next to the central train station. It was a little down at heel to be honest but the schnitzel wasn’t bad. The choices were from Spaten/ Franziskaner, so I went with the dunkel again. It had some cloves to go with the bananas but didn’t have that same smokey flavour that I liked in the Augustiner.
The verdict on Munich? It’s a vibrant city but try and time your visit for the Summer or Oktoberfest. I have to say for variety of beer and pubs Bruges (pre blog trip) wins 2013 for me!