At the ripe old age of 36, having just celebrated my birthday in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, I finally landed in Munich, the heart of Bavaria. Yes, city 801 on my hitlist fell to Munich, Bavaria, Germany. What’s so special about Munich? Well apart from nudist parks in the city centre and the spooky beginnings of Hitler era Nazi Germany, this city is arguably world capital of beer. Some locals say an argument isn’t even needed, it’s far and away the capital of beer on planet earth. At least for one night, it was move over Belfast and Bournemouth and enter the Munchen.
Organising your tour with Size Matters Beer Tours
I teamed up with the best beer crawling tour company in Munich, Size Matters Beer Tours. You can book it online, over the phone, by calling into the hostel where the tour starts or even through your hotel or hostel. Full details at the bottom of the article. The owner of Size Matters, Timmy, got me booked on the tour and from my excellent base at the 4You Hostel, I headed to the Euro Youth Hostel bar, where the beer tour starts at 6.45 pm. Exciting times ahead!
The Size Matters Beer Tour includes:
Visiting up to 4 Beer Gardens / Halls (weather dependent)
3 Free Beers or Cocktails at the Euro Bar (where the tour starts and ends)
1 Jaegermeister Shot
A prize for the best beer drinker of the night (not the one that drinks the most)
* Traditional Bavarian Food is also available on tour at the first beer garden/hall, we encourage a little food to slow down the strong (5.6%) beer.
I did the ORIGINAL TOUR, but there are other options.
So firstly I met up with the clan and got introduced to some fellow beer drinkers, such as Michael (from Canada), Shehan (from Sri Lanka) and Aaron (from USA). The tour starts in earnest here at the Euro Youth Hostel Bar.
1.Euro Youth Hostel Bar
On arrival it is already happy hour in the Euro Youth Hostel Bar, so I grab a beer. I go for the Augustiner. We are then given three vouchers for either beer or cocktails. It starts off pretty slow on the tour, but it’s still daylight when we leave, around 7.30 pm for the first beer garden on the crawl.
2.Augustiner Keller Beer Garden
We walk to the famous Augustiner Keller Beer Garden as our first proper stop. This is one of the largest beer halls in the world and in true Bavarian style, we all go for huge 1litre jugs. Some of the group eat here too and our guide for the night Gary tells us a bit about the history of beer in Bavaria, and specifically Augustiner.
Personally, I didn’t like the Augustiner beer at all, I found it quite a bland and sickly lager. However, this brewery is famous for three main reasons:
1. Augustiner do not overtly advertise their products
2. Augustiner do not export outside of Bavaria (so unless your mate brought you some, you can only drink it here)
3. 51% of their profits go to charity
Lots of the others on my tour loved the beer, not one for me next time though, I know my taste buds well now and a litre was enough!
3.Lowenbrau Beer Garden
The next stop on the tour is yet another traditional and famous beer house. I first tried Lowenbrau in the late 1990s when I was a teenager in Northern Ireland. Again, oddly, I’m not a huge fan of their beer. So I went for a darker option this time, and liked it!
4.Hofbrau Park Cafe
The next stop is the trendy Park Cafe. There is a small park nearby and we head there to the Hofbrau House inside the park. This is a third different type of beer manufacturer. This is deliberate so that we can all sample each of the three main breweries in Munich. Of these, Hofbrau was my favourite.
5.Bar One – Euro Youth Hostel Bar
We finish back where we began and on arrival back at the Bar One – Euro Youth Hostel Bar we all get a free shot of Jagermeister and can use the rest of our tokens.
It’s a party celebration at the end, as I say farewell to the team and my drinking buddies for the night. It was a great tour and definitely one to give you a hangover the next day, so make sure to eat lots beforehand, drink some water and get a good night’s sleep!
Once again, here are the details for booking the tour with Timmy and the lads at Size Matters Beer Tour:
Here are some videos from the tour and my time in the pubs and bars of Munich, Bavaria: