We spent our last night in Munich. Despite my mixing up exits from the Hauptbahnhof and thus thinking two streets along was in fact two streets down, we found our hotel. Unsurprisingly it was at 90 degrees to where I thought it would be! I've been a little unlucky in weather in my recent visits to my favourite city and so it proved this time. Sunshine and very heavy showers greeted us. Nonetheless we set off for one of our favourite spots, the Viktualenmarkt, the city's major food market and a source of one of my favourite breweries, Landshuter.Their Hochzeits Weisse certainly hit the spot and their unfiltered pils is one of the more palatable of this wretched style. A meander through some of the better known places followed. The Andechser Am Dom, Ayinger Am Platzl where we just missed out on a keller beer from the wood and of course a quick glass of Edelstoff in the Augustiner outlet, but my target was, love it or hate it, the Hofbräuhaus.
This massive beer hall, a tourist attraction in its own right, contrary to what people allege, is extremely popular with Germans. In fact a large number of tables is reserved for them. The Oompah band seemed lazier than ever, seemingly out of puff after about two numbers but the waiters were fast and efficient and, if they like the cut of your gib, don't ask you to pay up front. It was as buzzy as usual and we shared our table with a couple of gorgeous German girls who E later assured me were gay! How did she know? I certainly didn't, though on reflection, they did seem to cuddle up a lot. The beer for me is always dunkel and comes by the maßkrug - a whole litre - at €6.90 a pop. Not too bad. I reckon it's a pretty good beer. We stayed for three, with a reluctant E drinking wine! Great fun. If you ever get the chance go there. It remains a world classic.
And that more or less was that, apart from a quick beer in the Spaten Haus on Sunday morning and a couple at the airport's Airbrau brewpub - shite unfiltered pils and dunkel, but decent weizen. We sat in the beer garden complete with pond and fake ducks while a mere 5 minute walk from our gate! The beer is an amazingly cheap €2.30 a half litre.
My Bavaria trip confirmed my suspicion that German beer is not in good shape. The public are complacent, in most cases will drink any old rubbish and predatory international breweries smell blood. They'll get it I fear!
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, local CAMRA Chairman and activist, beer writer, beer reviewer and pursuer of all things good in beer. He lives in the North West of England and London. Despite his CAMRA membership, he does not limit himself to cask conditioned beer, though he believes that cask conditioning, when done correctly and appropriately, brings a quality to beer that is hard to equal by any other kind of presentation. He is a strong supporter of Northern methods of beer dispense and avidly detests poorly presented beer and dislikes pasteurisation. He regularly visits Germany, has conducted corporate British and German beer tastings for CAMRA at the Great British Beer Festival where he has worked for years on Biere Sans Frontieres and was Deputy Organiser at CAMRA's very successful National Winter Ales Festival in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and at the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival from 2013 to date. He admires good brewers wherever they are and has travelled extensively in pursuit of good beer to drink.
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