Monday 7 October 2013

Munich Beer Gardens

Arriving in Munich from Vienna at 3 p.m. we quickly settled into our hotel room and headed straight to the Englischer Garten (English Gardens) to catch some beer drinking in the park before the sunset. I had first heard about beer gardens from Jean who had been during his first trip to Germany with high school. It seemed that people from my parent's generation all seemed to be familiar with the term, apparently they used to be popular in Montreal in the 70's. Though in Montreal today we have some good choices for enjoying a beer outdoors like the St-Ambroise Terrace situated behind their brewery along the picturesque Lachine Canal and the huge terrace behind St-Sulpice on St-Denis - just don't go there if you are expecting great beer.

There are a plethora of beer gardens to choose from in Munich, from the larger beer gardens of the big beer houses to smaller local ones, enough to keep you busy for days. Here is a link to a great website with info for every beer garden in and around Munich, I wish I would have found this prior to our trip but I did have my handy DK Top 10 book to guide us to the best gardens. (I love my city guide books) If you don't like to hang with the tourist crowd (it's pretty hard to avoid others like us during Oktoberfest) don't worry these gardens are not exclusively tourist attractions, beer gardens are also very popular with the locals, being a big part of many Muncheners summer routine.

If this is your first time in Munich and you are experiencing a beer garden for the first time you should make your way to the Chinesischer Turm located in the English Gardens. We walked through the university district to get to the park and then through a rustic forest road to find a huge Chinese pagoda amidst the trees. We had to pass through turn-styles to order our food, buffet style, and once we paid for our food we went straight for the beer. I had a half liter of Hofbrau Original while Jean had a beautiful amber colored beer, Hofbrau Maibock. The open air venue made the food and beer taste even better, if we were Muncheners this would most definitely be part of our daily routine.


Unfortunately due to our Oktoberfest plans and the weather we were only able to visit this one beer garden. Truth be told, this is more my type of afternoon compared to the rowdy beer tents, but it is always nice to mix things up from time to time. We will be back one day to try some more!


- Adri

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