Munich and beer go hand-in-hand. In fact, it’s almost impossible to separate the two. The beer halls are iconic. The beer gardens are miniature pastoral escapes within the city. The beer flows endlessly as local denizens, beer lovers, and tourists gather, “prost!”, and revel.
With Oktoberfest only two weeks away, there’s a chance you’ll be hitting Munich very soon. Seven million people are going to descend upon the Bavarian capital to drink copious amounts of the sudsy stuff at the Theresienwiese. While that beer fest is the pinnacle of beer experiences, there’s still a long list of great beer spots all over the city. So, by all means, go to tents at Oktoberfest and have a hoot. Just don’t sleep on the other amazing beer stops while you’re in town.
Below are ten beer destinations that feel essential if you’re in Munich. They’re the epitome of great beer paired with super comforting Bavarian food — the kind of food that’s a necessary fortification for a day (and night) of heavy beer drinking.
The best tour of Munich should begin and end with an Augustiner Lagerbier Hell. The light lager has a straw hue along with the perfect balance of bready sweet malts and subtly sharp local hops. When it comes out of a wooden keg as fresh as can be, it’s transcendent. Then there’s the Edlestoff with its refined edges, soft texture, and higher alcoholic kick. Both beers are absolute delights and you won’t find them poured better anywhere else in the world than in Munich and at places like the Augustiner Keller.
This 5,000-seat beer garden is a Munich institution. We’d go so far to say that if you don’t hit this garden up at least once, you’ve failed at Munich. The beer garden has a small but very effective menu of Bavarian classics from local cellar cheese to crispy pork shanks to the must-try Steckerlfisch. That’s a marinated mackerel that’s put on a stick and roasted over a fire. Add a little fresh rye and a huge mug of Augustiner Hell and you’re set.