Archive: Best Beerhalls
Our long-time favorite Munich beerhall (Mathauser's) has been torn down. My Munich friend showed me his favorite but swore me to secrecy. So we need your help! What are your favorite beerhalls and gardens? Where can you get beer and music without tour groups?
I was stationed in Neu Ulm, 1977-81. Drinking "Memminger Gold" in any
Bavarian Gasthaus could'nt be better. Gold Oshsen was pretty good too.
Columbia, SC, SC USA 10/12/01
I haven't been to Deutschland since 1978, but have found a wonderful
Gasthaus in OKCity, OK. Royal Bavaria is the name, located on south Sooner
Road. It looks like it was taken straight from Germany and set in the US,
the food is the best I have tasted anywhere and he brews his own Bier -
and it is awesome. I am planning a vacation to Germany early next year and
am looking so forward to it!
Oklahoma City, OK USA 09/03/01
The best place to hang out and have a bier in Regensburg was the Goldene
Ente, near the footbridge.
Louisville, KY USA 08/30/01
I had not been granted access to the secret map to Mathauser's; however,
I did enjoy the ambiance of the Augustiner Brauerei (which I think was not
too far from Englisher Garten). p.s. John's Bamberger Rauchbier (smoked
beer) is good, but very different.
I attended the University Of Maryland, Munich Campus from 86-89 and
was crushed to find out upon my return this summer that Mathauser's had
been turned into a cinema. We began & ended every semester with a many cold
beers there... A fantastic alternative to Mathauser's, if you hit it at
the right time, is the Paulaner Salvatorfest - the most under-rated beerfest
in the world! The fest the locals fest at!
Washington, DC USA 08/11/01
Any beer hall in Bamberg will do me just fine. The smokier the brew
San Antonio, TX USA 07/13/01
1) Hirschgarten 2) Weisses Brauhaus 3) Lowenbraukellar
Paul von Wupperfeld
Dallas, TX USA 11/14/00
Bad news to report. I was in Munich last week and discovered the Salvatorkeller
was burned down after a soccer game between FC Muenchen and 1886, with
the latter winning. Talk is the beerhall will be rebuilt ASAP.
Discovered a great beer hall that is well off the tourist track. Try
the Abtei-Brau in Mettlach, Germany. They brew on premise and the beer
is superb. They also have excellent food including "gefillte," stuffed
dumplings (a Saarland specialty). This modern beerhall is on the banks
of the Saar and very close to numerous Villeroy and Boch stores. The town
is well worth a visit if you are in the Kaiserslautern/Treir/Saarbrueken
Kaiserslautern, Germany 12/09/99
Frauenhoffer is my joint in the winter, English Garten in the summer.
And Andech's anytime of year. Mmmmm, I'm having a craving for ein Radler,
leberkase mit ei und bretz'n!
Funky Soul Flower
Boston, MA USA 12/06/99
Without a doubt, the Hirschgarten close to Nymphenberg Castle is one
of the best. Few to no tourists. Bring your German wordbook with you.
Also, Salvatorkeller on Nockerberg hill is great.
Colorado Springs, co USA 11/30/99
In addition to my Prague recommendation (see below) I'd like to add that the Hofbrauhuas is the most fun in Munich. Who cares about the touristy thing. It's fun, it's fun, and finally, it's fun. It also has good beer. So don't listen to the people who say you should skip the Hof...if you want to have fun on a Friday or Saturday night in Munich, go there!
I also want to second the comment on the Augustiener in Salzburg.
That beer hall was the most authentic and the beer was excellent!
Beaverton, OR USA 11/28/99
I took a quick look at your tips before departing for Garmisch, Germany.
We went on a quest to Augustinerbrau in Salzburg. It was great! Their
sausage sandwich is superb; the bread is perfect. The beer, of course,
is good also! The atmosphere at Augustinerbrau is the best for beer halls,
too. But we thought it was weird that they don't open until 3:00 p.m.
Arlington, TN USA 11/16/99
I have been travelling to Munich 4-5 times per year since 1985. Overall my advice is this: enjoy Germany in the many ways it is different than the US. Not just beerhalls and Nazi history (seven years out of a thousand years history of Germany). Attempt the language. Go to Germany in the off-season. Try Karneval instead of Oktoberfest. Tour churches that are in no books. Leave your college sweatshirts at home and try to blend in with the locals. Good manners are still appreciated and are the norm in Germany.
The worst restaurant or Bierhalle in Germany is better than anything
you've ever enjoyed in the US. Go to the Hofbraeu Keller in Munich near
Max-Weber Platz and enjoy typically great German food and drink with locals.
Take heart; perhaps Planet Hollywood will fold, along with the other tourist
junk am Platzl, and the Hofbraehaus will again reign supreme.
Michael M. Gorsky
Colorado Springs, CO USA 11/09/99
The best "typical" German beer hall is the Herzogliches Brauestueberl,
or Gaststaette im Schloss, in Tegernsee, about 50km south of Munich. It
is in the old castle on the beautiful lake Tegernsee in Bavaria. Not known
to tourists, you can experience the "real" Bavarians in beards, lederhosen
and feather hats consuming beer and "Radis" (white radishes, sliced fan-like
into very thin slices). This beerhall is smoky and noisy but has by far
the best atmosphere.
Howard, OH USA 11/08/99
We were stationed first at Lindsey Air Station and then at Wiesbaden Air
Base — great city with a great wine-fest. But, for beer it's gotta be "The
Brauhaus" in Mainz-Kastel (kind of a suberb of Wiesbaden). They make the
beer right there in a big, copper kettle and it's the best you'll ever
get drunk on. Food is pretty good too.
Jackie and Dave King
WI USA 10/22/99
I have been to Mathauser's in Munich, but still found it a bit touristy.
My German cousins recently took me to a nice beer hall in Cologne (Koln),
the Fruh brewery. It is famous for the Koln style of beer called Kolsh.
The Fruh brewery is not far from the Dome (Cathedral) and doesn't have
an oompah band. But, it has good beer and good food. The waiters (sorry,
no big-bosomed waitresses) will keep bringing you a fresh beer until you
say "No more." Try the "Himmel und Ad" (Heaven and Earth), which is blood
sausage, mashed potatoes, fried onions and applesauce. Sounds gross, but
it is very good. Have fun in Koln.
Longmont, co USA 10/19/99
Try "Vetters" in Heidelberg. It's near the Alte Brucker. Just ask,
everyone knows where it is. The beer is brewed on site and is excellent!
Beware as it is 33% alcohol — the floor will come up and smack you in the
face! Also, the food ain't shabby. Best pig knuckle in captivity.
Pittsburgh, PA USA 09/18/99
Mathauser's is gone? Schade. I'll have to vote for Augustinerbrau in
Salzburg then. I've been lucky enough to visit Salzburg twice and both
times, the time spent at Augustinerbrau, the sunny summer afternoon in
the garden, and the rainy September evening inside, were both great travel
San Jose, CA USA 09/08/99
The best beer in Munich is brewed by Augustiner — their Helles is the world standard, and their Edelweiss Export is nearly as good. Also make superb Weizens. My short list of best beer halls and gardens includes:
1. Augustiner Grossgaststaette (Neuhauser Strasse, near the Marienplatz)
2. Augustiner Keller (the biergarten, behind the Hauptbahnhof)
3. Englischer Garten, Munich, with the Chinesischer Turm (Lowenbrau) and the Seehaus (Paulaner)
4. Kloster Andechs (about 30 miles southwest of Munich)
5. Tegern Bier Halle at Tegernsee (about 30 miles southeast of Munich) — probably the most atmospheric and dynamic beerhall in the world
6. Ayinger Brau in the village of Aying (about 15 miles southeast of Munich) — wonderful, bucolic atmosphere, good beer.
Pittsburgh, PA USA 08/09/99
The Hofbrauhaus is great for the atmosphere (touristy, but you have
to go there at least once.) The best beer in Munich is Augustiner, brewed
the old way and still not into the world production craze like Lowenbrau
or Paulaner. Even better is the Andechs monastary south of Munich. Take
your pick of their light or dark beer. Either one is incredible.
Hanau, GermanyUSA 08/06/99
If you want a one-liter mug go to the biergarten in the English Garden.
You have to pay a deposit on the mug. (Hofbrauhaus sells theirs) The beer and food is very good at the English Garden, with the
biggest pretzels I have ever seen.
Pearland, TX USA 07/07/99
In Munich if your main concern is quality of beer, Augstinerbrau is
the best bet. For a good party, the Hofbrauhaus is good, but very touristy
(lots of noisy fellow Americans). In Salzburg, you MUST go to Augustinerbrau.
The beer is not very expensive (compared to everything else in Austria),
it's DELICIOUS, and it's such a beautful place to drink. Overall, it's
probably the best place to have 4 or 5 liters of beer.
Edison, NJ USA 06/30/99
The Franziskaner beerhall/restaurant (just across the walkway from the cathedral in Munchen) has great beers, lots of happy people, and the best pork knuckle in Bayern.
The best beer I've ever had is not sold in a beerhall, but in a hunting and gun store in Rothenburg o.d. Tauber: go to the "Rothenburger Waffeneck" and ask Jurgen Hensel, the proprietor, for the beers in the fancy hunting-scene bottles. This, for my tastebuds, is the best beer ever. If memory serves, a local guy in Rothenburg brews it.
You can find a surprisingly good-tasting Guinness in, of all places,
Krakow, Poland! Try one of the cellar bars off of the main square - again,
not really a beer hall, but for something different give it a try. And
the Polish girls are supreme; as good as any in Europe!
Littleton, CO USA 06/28/99
Why Hofbrauhaus is the best: Band throws themselves into music. Worth of beerhall band is determined by how many times they play Rosamunde. Have to like a place where they have guards at the door. They are not there primarily to worry about stolen beer steins.
Food is okay. Best thing to eat with beer is a Salzstange, a long roll with coarse salt on outside. Better than Bretzel (Pretzel). They sell them from stand at back. Also at all bakeries.
Beer is great. Don't order liter of beer. Order a halbe (1/2 l.) of
Hefeweissen (Weissen). People come to the Hofbrauhaus to drink. They are
part of the show. They don't let you get up on the tables and dance anymore — too
many headers. Drink beer for your health: German beer only has hops, barley,
water, and yeast — no additives. Find out what is in a Bud. It will surprise
you. Germans rule when it comes to beer.
Whitefish, Mt USA 06/13/99
Munich: Microbrewery at Grosshessenlohe S- or U-bahn stop. Old station made into brewery, with Isarbrau unfiltered beer and great Spannferkel too.
Hallwag publisher has book (in German) of all breweries in Germany,
also with eats and accommodations. German beer is flussiges brot. Prosit.
Hofbrauhaus is still best: music, beer, and gemutlichkeit..
Whitefish, Mt USA 06/10/99
In Cologne visit the Schreckenskammer, Ursulagartenstrasse 11-15, preferably
in a group of two or more. This is the old House of Horrors where the
convicted waited to be executed back in the dark ages of 1442. Now it
is a restaurant and tavern where your beer coaster is the credit card.
You don't have to order your beer. Just sit down and you will be served
Koln Pils in a .2 liter stein for 2.8 marks. To stop the service just
throw your wallet or purse on the table. You do have to order the food.
The Schreckenskammer sits in the middle of 4 to 6 churches and the bells
remind you not to overindulge.
Melvin G. McClanahan
Spokane, USA 06/04/99
Just got back from Praha. We went to U Flecku and it has great beer.
I had read Chris's comments and knew about the schnapps and strudel, but
could not convince my travelling companions of the hidden prices we would
incure. Also, when we asked for a menu the waiter rattled off two dishes
and would not bring us a menu. Needless to say we got taken royally. Just
be aware there is nothing free at U Flecku.
Vancouver, Wa USA 05/27/99
If you are in the Bamberg, Germany area the Griefenklau is a great biergarten.
The beer from tap is a lager. There are many others in the area, so it
is hard to choose. If you just drive a few miles in any direction you
are bound to find a nice biergarten with a few beers "vom Fass."
wayne, pa USA 05/24/99
udine, italy, in friuli province, has a brewery with a beer hall — moretti
brewing company — food, festive atmosphere, all the company beers on
tap etc. this part of italy is relatively unknown and a good gateway to
slovenia and eastern europe
chicago , il USA 03/29/99
The best beer, not necessarily beerhall, is in Belgium. Orval, Duvel,
Chimay, etc. You can not go wrong with the Belgian beers. German beers
get more pub (pardon the pun) but Belgian beers are the best kept secret
Arlington, VA USA 03/15/99
I agree that Kloster Andechs is worth a trip if you're
near Munich. We've been there twice and never noticed any other Americans.
There were several tour buses of very drunk Germans, however! We taught
some of 'em how to play Euchre. The beer is quite good - Fodor's (sorry
Rick) Germany book said it was the best in the world - I'd go as far as
top ten anyway. Not cheap, though - a couple of mugs with the pork hocks
and a slice of Leberkase will really set you back.
Middleton , WI USA 03/08/99
The most fun I ever had at beerhall or tavern on my recent trip to Europe
was in Prague at a place called U Sedni Svaru. Visiting this place was
like walking into a time warp to medieval times...right down to the guy
chpping wood for the fire. Everyone was dancing and singing as musicians
were playing medieval folk music. The beer (dark) and food were the best
I had in Prague and were served in medieval fashion. This place even had
a dungeon downstairs. Ye, it seemed to be for the tourists (although there
were quite a few locals), but who cares, it was great fun!
Beaverton, OR USA 03/08/99
I had a bad experience at the Hofbrauhaus in Munich. A waiter was continually
adjusting the price of a beer to add some trinkgeld for himself. Regensburg
has a great Hofbrauhaus — much smaller and friendlier.
Rochester, MN USA 02/17/99
I went to the annual Great British Beer Tasting Festival (in 1993 it
was held in London over four days in August), and had a blast! Brewers
from around the UK brought their wares - large & small, from Cornwall
to the Orkneys (with a brew called, I kid you not, "Skullsplitter!").
I thought it might get a bit rough, but "suits" from the City came directly
from work, clutching their briefcases. You pay a flat rate to get in,
and get a glass. Then you pay a nominal fee for each beer you taste. They
also had a silent auction about an hour into the first night - pretty
amusing, with great beer items at good prices. There were two LONG tables
of hard ciders for tasting, as well. All were cloudy with small bits of
fresh fruit. Potentially lethal. VERY fun, with specially-running Tubes
for just this event. Enjoy!
Albuquerque, , nm USA 02/17/99
Paul T writes below that Munich's Hofbrauhaus is touristy- he's right,
it is. Nevertheless, it's a pretty fun place where you're sure to meet
plenty of great people (from Spain, France, Italy, the UK, etc., rather
than natives, I'll admit!). But you will drink lots of beer and sing along
with the ever-present oom-pah-pah band. I've stopped there twice and had
a blast each time; so did everyone else in my small group of "back door"
travelers. It's not a place I'd hang out every night- but who says it
can't be fun going through the "front door" every once in a while!
Arlington, VA USA 02/07/99
For a little treat just outside of Munich, try the Andechs Monastery.
The monks brew their own beer so that during fasting, they can get their
necessary "nutrients". The beer is that rich! While you're there, try
the pork knuckles....YUM!
Steve 'Hendo' Henderson
Brisbane, Q Australia 02/04/99
In Munich, the Hofbrauhaus is for the tourists. The locals seldom go there.
Boston, MA USA 01/13/99
My favorite bier garten is in Stuttgart in the park next to the bahnhof.
It's populated mostly by locals, the food is good and fairly inexpensive.
A nice way to spend an evening eating, drinking and people watching. Within
a 5 minute walk you are on the Ubahn or Sbahn and back to your hotel.
S. Dartmouth, MA USA 01/08/99
I always find my visits to the Augustiner Monastary in Salzburg, Austria
to be an enjoyable and tourist-free time. The monastary is within a 15
minute walk from thecenter of town and is on any map, also it is on or
near five or more bus or tram routes.
Freeport, NY USA 01/08/99
Another comment about U Flecku in Prague. It is worth the trip, but
be careful of the waiters. They will come to "offer" you a drink after
your meal, seemingly as a courtesy. Same thing with the apple strudel.
However, their little pencils are keeping track. The goulash is not bad.
Oakland, NJ USA 01/06/99
The best beer hall in Munich, possibly the world, is definitely the
Hofbrauhaus. They only sell two brews of beer: light and dark, in huge
steins, so two rounds is enough to get me into lala-land. I tried walking
out with the stein and got caught by the security.
Toronto, Canada 01/06/99
This is not a beer garden in the traditional sense, but if you're in Bruges, Belgium, and you're a beer lover, go to Brugs Beertje on Kemelstr. 5. This small and very quaint bar has 300 different Belgian beers (Yes 300), some very potent, all good. You choose from a menu of about 10 pages and the waitress pours your beer in it's own special glass.
The Hofbrauhaus in Munich, Germany is another must...the beer is served
in huge glasses (it must've been 40 oz +) of light or dark - we got the
dark (1 1/2 of them) and left feeling, to say the least, loopy! Great
atmosphere, we went during the afternoon and didn't come across any tourists,
and we even heard some locals singing a Prost!
Marshall, MI USA 12/09/98
Like the below comment mentioned regarding U Flecku in Prague, the place
has great beer and is very affordable. About 2 blocks from U Flecku is
Pizzeria Kmotra (address: V Jircharich 12) which has delicious 12 inch
pizzas for about $2. Both U Flecku & Pizzeria Kmotra are hard to find
but well worth it.
The Augustiner Beer Garden in Munich is a great place to go for good beer
and food. It is in a park type setting. Go early to get a table so you
can sit back and enjoy the beer, food and the people. Lots of fun.
Elmira, NY USA 11/29/98
Definately the best beerhall that I have been in is in Salzburg. The
Augustiner Brewery is a very old brewery that is run by monks. The beer
is very good and it is serve yourself. The beerhall has several rooms
as well as an outdoor garden and is quite big. If you are in Salzburg
don't miss it.
Boulder , Co USA 11/24/98
Here is another good place near Marienplatz in downtown Munich. Weisses
Brauhaus just east of the Isortar gate at the end of Marienplatz. Good
food and atmosphere too.
Arlington Heights, IL USA 11/04/98
Augustiner's is one of my favorite Munich beers. I was told by a lederhosen-clad Bavarian (at my first Oktoberfest in 1995) that it's the "best beer money can buy." If you're not lucky enough to visit during that oh-so-special time of year, check out the Augustinerkeller on Neuhauserstr. (near Marienplatz); I've always had a great time there both inside and people-watching at the outdoor tables.
Another place to enjoy the beer in an authentic and not so touristy
atmosphere is at the beer garden located a few blocks from the Hauptbahnhof
(rear exit, turn left and walk about 4-5 blocks; it's on the right). Reportedly,
this place is totally jamming in the warmer months-I was there in late-September
and it was moderately crowded. Big-wig politicians and Bavarian media
personalities rub elbows with average Joes and the few tourists who amble
in to sip beer under the chestnuts. Lots of fun!
Arlington, VA USA 11/04/98
By far the best way to experience beer halls is also the most exercise.
But it is worth it. Whenever in Germany, look for the beer bike tours.
There are signs everywhere. They take you on a bike tour of whatever area
you are in, but the best part is the very frequent stops at all the best
beerhalls. And on top of that, you usually get kicked out of the tour
if you dont drink at least a beer at every stop, and believe me, you stop
a lot. I recommend no other way to search for beerhalls. The tours only
show you the best. And it was awesome!
Davis, CA USA 11/04/98
U Flecku in Prague. An ancient beerhall - something on the order of
500 yrs old. Great and not expensive beer, great "beer food." You'll have
to look for it, not on a main sqaure, but not too far off the main street.
A great evening's entertainment.
santa clara, ca USA 11/03/98
Bavarian beer is not necessarily the best. Little known regional beers and beerhalls may offer more taste and more "Lokalkolorit".
Darmstadt (Hessen, near Frankfurt): Find your way to the Brauerei Grohe (less than five minutes from the palace downtown. The brewery in the old city hall is very expensive in comparison.)
Bamberg (OK, back in Bavaria): Hunt down a "Rauchbier" brewery for "smoked beer".
Jever (Niedersachsen, almost on the North Sea coast): Any pub that offers
Jever Pilsner on tap will do for a good North German (dry) Pilsner ("kuehles
Columbus, OH USA 11/03/98
It is a shame that they're ripping all those halls down! We found the
Lowenbrau factory beerall pleasant, but it was out of the way. In summer
we like the Hirshgarten near Nymphenburg castle and of course, the English
Garten 's Chinese tower.
Wyckoff, NJ USA 11/03/98