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Muenchner Hofbraeuhaus
Werner Boehm/München Tourismus

The 13 best places to drink beer in Munich

Delve into a world-famous brewing culture at our pick of the best places to drink beer in Munich. Don't forget to eat

Written by
Barbara Woolsey
&
Paul Wheatley
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First, get to one of the best restaurants in Munich and line that stomach because there is a lot of beer about to be drunk. The Bavarian beauty is world-famous for its beerhalls, and we’ve put in the hard yards and compiled the best of the best for your drinking pleasure. Hangover? Never heard of them.

The city’s golden nectar reputation is absolutely deserved, and the best places to drink beer in Munich are the cherry on top of a particularly delicious cake. Of course, by ‘cake’, we mean ‘foaming stein of magic’. There is more to beer in Munich than that classic experience though. Get ready to clink glasses over and over again; you are in for a treat.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best bars in Munich

PLUS: 9 amazing European beer destinations that aren’t Munich

Best places to drink beer in Munich

This charming tavern is home to Schneider Weisse, Germany’s most popular wheat beer brewery. Traditional trappings include wood-panelled walls and sepia photos, plus a maze of intimate parlour rooms. There’s a designated salon for Munich locals (Pope Benedict XVI once knocked back a glass here), another for regulars and student gatherings. Brews include Schneider Weisse, its most classic wheat beer, and Hefeweizen, a yeast wheat beer with a light, smooth taste. Or you can act like a local and order a Russ’n – a wheat beer topped with fizzy lemonade.

Though rebuilt in the early 20th century, the Hofbräuhaus dates back to the 16th, and today it’s probably the most famous beer cellar in the world. Spread across three floors, it’s packed with robust wooden tables, arched windows and resplendent high-ceilinged frescoes. Of course, there’s an oompah band, and waiters in Dirndls and Lederhosen balancing armfuls of Maß frothing with Hofbräu Original, a Munich Helles lager brewed according to Reinheitsgebot standards. Though it has its regulars, often with reserved tables, it’s invariably densely packed with tourists, especially when the summer beer garden is open, and on weekend nights you’ll need an eagle eye to spot empty seats. They’re all there for the beer, the traditional Bavarian delicacies, from pork knuckles to plump white sausages, and the ultimate beer cellar experience.

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Wirtshaus in der Au is a stalwart of the traditional Munich beer (and Bavarian food) scene. Replete with wood panelling, large tables and ceiling-spanning arches, Wirtshaus serves Munich Paulaner beer, plus a fine dark craft Weißbier named Karl Valentin (a big name in the city’s early 20th-century comedy scene and a frequent visitor). It’s also home to Munich’s most revered Knödel, the heavy Bavarian dumplings that kids around here used to grow up on (some still do). As per tradition, they’re made using a base of potato or bread, but at Wirtshaus, they also contain Paulaner beer and are served alongside gravy and the usual huge lumps of roast pork. Other varieties available contain wild garlic and spinach with cherry tomato sauce.

Between Munich’s two most iconic beer halls, Augustiner Keller and Hofbräuhaus, Augustiner is locals’ go-to for a less touristy vibe. Every year this enormous 5,000-seater beer garden flourishes into a scene out of ’A (Bavarian) Midsummer Night’s Dream’, with sunbursts across bright chestnut foliage by day and fairy light twinkles by night. Indoor seating includes a traditional beer hall and a red-brick subterranean cellar once used for refrigeration. There are several kegged selections, but the most popular is the Augustiner Lagerbier Hell, which has a mild refreshing spritz courtesy of a painstaking two-step fermentation process.

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Der Pschorr

Der Pschorr is the brewery house of Munich institution Hacker-Pschorr. Though located in Viktualienmarkt, it’s not to be confused with the market’s beer garden – Der Schorr has a big indoor restaurant and its own outdoor seating. Chill out under a red table parasol or slip downstairs into the wooden keg parlour, where you can drink overlooking handmade barrels stored behind glass in a cooling area. The wooden barrels sit for hours under ice blocks until they get tapped, ensuring every Maß is chilled and has a thick layer of foam. While the Edelhell is Hacker-Pschorr’s speciality, you can also choose from dark beer (Dunkel) and Weißbier variations.

Beer garden at Viktualienmarkt
L. Kaster/München Tourismus

6. Beer garden at Viktualienmarkt

The centrepiece of Viktualienmarkt, a legendary gourmet food market in Munich, is this beer garden comprising lines of wooden benches beneath the abundant leafy shade. Local breweries, from Augustiner and Löwenbräu to Hacker-Pschorr and Paulaner, take turns on tap here every few weeks, so you never know what’ll be served in your Maß. According to Bavarian beer garden tradition, guests can unpack and enjoy their own snacks, so most simply peruse the market’s artisan vendors. Obscure cheeses, hams, truffles, olives and jams are just a few of the decadent options available.

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Richelbräu

Richelbräu is a hobby brewery that doubles up as a cultural community space that puts on film screenings, brewery bicycle tours and other entertainment. It’s technically not even allowed to serve beer from its tiny production room but gets around this rule by offering donation-based tastings. Tucked between apartments in Munich’s quiet Neuhausen neighbourhood, the building is easy to spot thanks to an egg-yolk-yellow exterior. There’s always some new and quirky venture here, including a beekeeping initiative that aims to produce honey for the Richelbräu brews.

Tap-House

Draped in polished wood and wicker accents, this craft beer bar might take design cues from its American counterparts, but what’s in stock is purely European. Tap-House offers a colossal selection of 200 craft brews, including around 40 on tap, from brewers in Germany, Belgium, Italy and beyond. A long rustic bar gives off an Oktoberfest ambience, turning stool-side strangers into drinking buddies. You can also critique your sips via the Tap-House app, which features a list of all variations served, helpful hints and a section for note-taking, making a handy companion for beer geeks and craft beer rookies alike.

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Stehausschank

9. Stehausschank

This secret beer bar is a time warp to bygone Bavaria: it’s a tiny wooden parlour with no seating, little personal space and only the finest Augustiner tapped fresh from oak barrels. Stehausschank, or ‘standing bars’, like this were once ubiquitous, but alas, here is Munich’s final original. Duck in on a weekday night and expect to (literally) rub shoulders with office workers kicking back cold ones. The price is reasonable considering this place is on downtown touristy turf. Get cosy and dive straight into high-octane chatter.

Crew Republic

Crew Republic’s taproom looks more Berlin than Munich – the building sticks out in its quaint residential neighbourhood a half-hour drive from the city centre. Having started with a home-brew kit in 2011, the tattooed and bearded dudes behind the brewery have bucked Bavarian tradition with an anti-Reinheitsgebot assortment, such as the popular Drunken Sailor IPA or an imperial stout called Roundhouse Kick. Tours and tasting are available with reservations, and increasing numbers of restaurants and supermarkets stock Crew beers.

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Haderner is a relative newcomer but is already seen as a big plus for the Munich beer scene. As the name suggests, Haderner is brewed in the Munich suburb of Hadern, and because it’s still a small business and family affair, it has a much more independent feel than the more old-fashioned Munich beer stops. Everything brewed by Haderner is also bio, the word that tells you that what you’re drinking is organic. The brewery runs tours, courses and tasting sessions on Fridays between 3 pm and 6 pm. As well as the basics – top-notch Weißbier and Helles – Haderner regularly brings out new brews and now has its own IPA, alcohol-free and low-alcohol beers.

Giesinger Bräustüberl

This sleek, modern beer hall is the tasting headquarters for some of Munich’s most acclaimed craft brews. There’s a traditionally-minded assortment, including unfiltered, unpasteurised Märzen and Pils and experimental small batches. It opened a traditional Bavarian Stehausschank or ‘standing bar’ with €120,000 raised via crowdfunding. In this small annexe, guests can tilt back not just Giesinger brews but also regional and international craft beers while enjoying live music.

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StammBar

This hipster beer bar in trendy, central Maxvorstadt breaks the mould with a wall of self-service beer taps, functioning with loadable chips and a ‘pay for what you pour’ system. Simply put a few euros on the ‘i-Button’ and fill up from taps of Bavarian beers, including Augustiner, Andechs and Tegernseer, or imports. The ‘indoor beer garden’ concept means guests can bring their own vittles or even order in (chalkboards list the numbers of nearby restaurants offering takeaways). A wall of whiskies and another with board games makes this the perfect watering hole for a homey evening out. Closed on Sundays. 

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