A Week of Bavarian Beer
Hops, barley and water. That’s it. These are the only ingredients allowed in beer brewing according to the German purity law established 500 years ago in the very place I found myself during a sunny week in September: Bavaria.
Here are some of the highlights from said whirlwind week of Bavarian beer sampling from Munich to Bamberg. Prost!
Monday: Biergarten at Viktualienmarkt
This beloved gourmet market is a Munich staple, and home to a pint-sized biergarten. Sharing a table with the locals underneath the chestnut trees is an enjoyable first stop on this beertastic circuit.
Somewhere between the most authentic and most overrated of all Munich beer halls. Tourists mix with locals in lederhosen while dirndl-clad servers hoist freshly tapped steins of Hofbräu, accompanied by generous helpings of pretzels and pork knuckles; and live Blasmusik oompah oompah styles.
A family-run small-scale brewery in the quaint town of Regensburg on the Danube river. Kneitlinger has been producing their delicious beer on this very site since 1530, making this the one of the longest standing brewhouses in the city. The adjacent gastropub is a fine place to sample the wares along with some hearty Bavarian fare.
Thursday: Hausbrauerei Altstadthof
Skilled manufacturers of the Red Beer, a delightful Nuremberg favourite. A guided tour reveals maze-like underground vaults and corridors cut into the bright red sandstone beneath the city over centuries. Today these are used by the brewery to store specialty beers and schnapps.
So many things in one. Bayreuth’s major brewery turned Guiness Book-acclaimed museum turned hipsterized beer adventure world. This place is a welcome addition to Wagner’s somewhat sleepy chosen home.
Purveyors of Bamberg’s traditional smoked beer since 1405, if you can believe it. A slightly acquired taste, but delicious all the same.
Sunday: On the 7th day our livers rested.