Munich’s legendary Hofbrauhaus beer hall is so renowned around the globe, that a number of international replicas have sprung up in its honor but nothing beats a visit to the original. First opened in 1589 by Duke William V to serve the aristocracy, the Hofbrauhaus became well known for its homebrewed beers and ales, and by 1610 was opened to the public.
With its unbeatable history dating back more than four centuries, the Hofbrauhaus remains Munich’s number one beer hall, a central drinking haunt for those attending the annual Oktoberfest celebrations and at the top of tourist itineraries year-round. Today, the historic beer hall features a vast ground floor hall, the ‘Schwemme’, that seats up to 1,300 guests on long tables that date back to the late 19th century. Typically crammed with both locals and tourists, the hall has become a quintessential part of Munich’s drinking culture, where crowds gather to drink beer and munch on giant salted pretzels. To add to the authentic feel, traditionally dressed waiters will serve your beer in huge 1-liter steins – juggling up to 10 at a time – while a live oompah band plays a number of classic tunes. Look out for the two racks of beer stein safes, a unique custom that allows regular guests to store their personal glasses, and don’t forget to head upstairs to the restaurant where you can order a number of delicious Bavarian dishes.
Even if you’re not a beer drinker, the Hofbrauhaus is an atmospheric place to spend an evening and soak up Munich’s distinctive Bavarian culture. Squeeze between the crowds on one of the long wooden benches, order a mass of the homebrewed Hofbräu Dark Beer or Hofbräu Original, and settle in for an evening of beer drinking and raucous entertainment.