|their history - their beers|
|This page catalogues the breweries in the Munich area and the beers
they produce. It also explains a little about the historical development of the Munich
brewing industry in general.
I've tried (god how I've tried) to sample as many of the Munich beers as I can. I provide tasting notes and my own outrageous opinions on those I have tried.
You'll have to forgive me for the gaps (expecially in brewery histories) which I know I will need to fill. One more burst of enthusiasm and I should get it reasonably complete. My intention is to have a few paragraghs for every Munich brewery. That's if my butterfly attention span can be kept in check.
|Munich Breweries Then|
|This is a summary of the last 130 years of brewing in Munich.
When I finally get around the reading all those books weighing down my shelves,
I'll fill in the gaps a bit more.
The modern Munich brewing industry began with the innovations introduced by Sedlmayer at Spaten in the mid-19th century. He had visited large, modern British breweries and brought back new technology, such as the use of the thermometer and the hydrometer, from his study trip.
Before the second half of the 19th century no Munich brewery was of any great size. Those brave enough to copy the technological improvements introduced by Sedlmayer at Spaten saw their output increase exponentially. The political environment of the period, when customs barriers within Germany disappeared as a consequence of unification, was favourable, too.
You can read more about the lagers of this period here.
In the years after 1870, the progress of Munich's brewers mirrored reasonably well that of the complete German brewing industry. The general comments which follow apply equally well to the Munich breweries.
German beer production peaked around 1900. It held steady at a slightly lower level right up until Princip engaged in direct political action in Sarajevo. The next 40 years were not German brewers' best. The First World War was a disaster for the German economy. Strangled by the Allies' maritime blockade, German society began to disintegrate: children went hungry and even the front-line troops were underfed. By 1919 there was hardly a drop of beer being brewed.
The postwar recovery was slow and uncertain. A small peak in the 1930's left output below its 1910 level. Many breweries, like so much of German industry, were little more than a pile of rubble by the end of the Second World War. Not every Munich brewery was able to restart after the war.
From 1949 onwards, those breweries which had managed to survive the war increased production steadily. As the economic miracle started to kick off, there were tramfuls of industrial workers with a few dm's to spend on beer. German beer output finally exceeded its 1900 peak in the early 1970's. However, what had appeared to be a never-ending process of expansion, came to an end in the 1990's. Bavaria is the state most hit by the shrinking of the German beer market.
The new millenium
The reaction in Munich to the unfavourable business climate has been merger (Spaten/Löwenbräu) and selling out to one of the big boys (Paulaner).
It seems that the international sharks have finally smelled blood. Interbrew - one of the usual suspects - got hold of Spaten/Löwenbräu in October 2003. If the regulators give it the nod, it will give Interbrew Deutschland an capacity of 15.6 million hl or 11% of the German market. I don't expect they'll be happy with that small a cut for long. Even less likely is them being left unchallenged by the other globalisers (Heineken, SAB) for long.
State-owned Hofbräu and local favourite Augustiner are probably less vulnerable than their larger colleagues to this type of "restructuring". But what do I know? If you had asked me 20 years ago which UK independent breweries would be left by 2003, I doubt that I could have picked half.
Beers from Munich have never been noted for their hoppiness. All you West-coast hopheads will be disappointed in this part of Bavaria. Around 1890, Thomass-Bräu launched Munich's first reaction to very pale lagers of the pils type. All the large Munich breweries brew a pils and none of them are particularly hoppy. If you're searching for something with a real bite, head directly for Frankenland.
Pils is an important, but not dominant, style in terms of sales. In Bavaria it's share is about half of the national average (a depressing 68%). Helles and Weizen combined sell a greater volume.
These were the market shares by type for Bavaria in 2002:
All the Munich breweries have very large product ranges, brewing as many as dozen or more different beers. This is a typical assortment, bottom-fermented beers first:
|Pils||11.5-12º||5-5.2%||Hoppy, thin, pale lager.|
|Helles||12.5º||5.2%||Pale, malty, lightly hopped.|
|Spezial||13º||5.7%||Pale, full, bitter-sweet and delicately hopped.|
|Oktoberfest||14º||6%||Pale and sweetish.|
|Dunkles||12.5º||5.2%||Red-brown, nutty, malty and lightly hopped.|
|Bock||16.5º||6.5%||Pale, amber or dark, bitter-sweet.|
|Doppelbock||18.5º||8.5%||Red- or dark brown, fruity, bitter-sweet, alcohol and concentrated dark malt flavours|
|Helles Weißbier||12.5º||5.4%||Pale, spicy, high CO2 content, yeasty.
|Dunkles Weißbier||12.5º||5.4%||As above, but dark.|
|Kristall Weißbier||12.5º||5.4%||The filtered version, almost always pale.|
|Weizenbock||16.5-18.5º||6.5-8.5%||Usually dark, with even more spiciness than the weaker versions.|
|Output 1879 - 2002|
|Spaten-Bräu||299,000 hl||466,000 hl||520,000 hl||500,000 hl||1,945,000 hl|
|Löwen-Bräu||208,000 hl||462,000 hl||553,000 hl||628,181 hl|
|Augustiner Brauerei||70,000 hl||283,000 hl||337,000 hl||320,000 hl||700,000 hl|
|Leist-Bräu||175,000 hl||268,000 hl||360,000 hl||380,000 hl|
|Pschorr-Bräu||121,000 hl||200,000 hl||230,000 hl||280,000 hl|
|Bürgerliches Brauhaus||144,000 hl||254,654 hl|
|Hacker-Bräu||124,000 hl||144,000 hl||199,100 hl|
|Zacherl-Bräu (Paulaner)||90,000 hl||106,000 hl||155,243 hl||2,275,000 hl||2,767,000 hl|
|Königl. Bayer. Hof-Bräuhaus||69,000 hl||70,000 hl||161,000 hl||161,000 hl|
|Münchener-Kindl Actien Brauerei||61,000 hl||87,315 hl|
|Salvator Brauerei||41,000 hl|
|Unions-Brauerei||36,000 hl||130,000 hl||2,500 hl||2,500 hl|
|Sanct-Anna Brauerei||33,000 hl|
|Eberl-Faber Brauerei||32,000 hl||126,152 hl|
|Zum Bayer Löwen Actien Brauerei||26,000 hl||50,746 hl|
|Thomass-Bräu||22,000 hl||160,000 hl||2,500 hl||2,500 hl|
|Rochel-Bräu||22,000 hl||60,000 hl|
|Gabelsberger Brauerei||20,000 hl|
|The Munich brewing industry 1860 - 2001|
|Year||No.Breweries||Beer Production||Beer Exports|
|1860||18||802,000 hl||6,755 hl|
|1881||37||1,694,000 hl||563,000 hl|
|1902||27||3,232,000 hl||1,531,000 hl|
|1908||24||3,146,000 hl||1,677,000 hl|
|1914||23||3,141,000 hl||1,465,000 hl|
||2,226,000 hl||1,005,000 hl|
|1920||22||1,528,000 hl||702,000 hl|
|1922||15||2,061,000 hl||762,000 hl|
|1929||12||2,985,000 hl||1,487,000 hl|
|Breweries in the city of Munich|
|Augustiner-Bräu Wagner KG
Landsberger Straße 31-35,
Tel: 089 - 519 940
F ax 089 - 519 941 11
Annual production: 700,000 hl
Augustiner has remained the most traditional of the large Munich breweries. It's the only one still regularly supplying outlets in the city with beer in wooden barrels.
|Hacker-Pschorr Bräu GmbH
Tel: 089 - 51060
Annual production: 425,000 hl (2001)
The beer is mashed and has its primary fermentation at the former Hacker brewery. It is then transported to the Paulaner brewery for secondary fermentation and filling. The brewery's performance in recent years has been disappointing, with production falling 5.7% in 2001.
It is possible that when Paulaner starts paring back its brands to free up capacity for more Weizen that some beers will move to Hacker-Pschorr.
Telefon: 089 - 79 89 61
Fax: 089 - 79 14 723
E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website:
Brewpub in the former Großhesselohe station. It produces beer of outstanding quality.
Nymphenburger Str. 4,
80335 München. 089 - 052000
Annual production: 1,900,000 hl (Spaten & Löwenbräu combined: Löwenbräu = ca 900,000 hl)
Bought by Spaten in 2000. The two breweries continue to operate independently, at leas t for the moment. Löwenbräu was was forced to sell out by continuingly poor sales, even worse than those of their Bavarian rivals. Having produced 1,400,000 hl of beer in 1995, it was brewing less than 1,000,000 hl by the time of the sale.
|Paulaner Brauerei GmbH & Co. KG
Tel: 089 - 480050
Annual production: 2,070,000 hl (2001), 2,767,000 hl (2003)
Owned by Brau Holding International, the company jointly owned by Paulaner and Heineken.
In 1634 a group of South Italian monks, invited to Munich by Kurfürst Maximilian, brewed their first beer. The existing Munich breweries made sure that they were prevented from selling their beer to the general public. In 1745 one pub, the Tannenwirt close to the monastary, was allowed to officially sell Paulaner beer. In 1751 they were allowed to sell their beer on the feast day (2nd April) of the monastary's patron, St. Franz of Paula. The strong beer that they sold - "Sankt-Vater-Bier" (later contracted to Salvator) - proved very popular. Salvator was the original doppelbock and the custom of selling beer on the feast day was the start of the Starkbierzeit ("strong beer time") tradition, though in the 1830's this was moved from April to two weeks in March.
Only in 1780 were the monks allowed to sell their beer wherever and whenever they wanted. Production increased rapidly, but the monks were not to benefit for very long. In 1799 the monastary was secularised and the brewery became the property of the Bavarian state. In 1813 Franz Xaver Zacherl bought the brewery and for the next seven decades it bore his name. After he died childless in 1849, the Schmederer brothers bought the brewery. The name was changed to "Gebrüder Schmederer Aktienbrauerei in München" in 1886 and "Aktiengesellschaft Paulanerbräu in München" in 1899.
The succeess of Salvator led other Munich breweries - Salvatorbrauerei, Löwenbräu. Hacker, Spaten - to introduce beers of the same name. The Schmederer brothers took them to court and finally, in 1895, were granted "Salvator" as a legally-protected registered trademark. Their competitors then thought up all sorts of -ator names - Triumphator, Maximator, Optimator - to get around the restriction. Every large Munich brewery has its own -ator today.
Palauner achieved a considerable coup with the purchase of Thomasbräu in 1928. It continued to operate the Kapuzinerplatz site and its own brewery until bomb damage closed both towards the end of the war. When brewing resumed in 1949, it was only at the Paulaner site.
A milestone was reached in 1971, when Paulaner for the first time brewed more than 1 million hectoliters of beer.
In 1979 Josef Schörghuber, who had made a furtune in construction and property development bought first a majority holding in Hacker-Pschorr then in Paulaner. His acquisitions were bundled together under Brau-Holding AG. In 1986 Reichelbräu from Kulmbach was added and in 1996 Thurn und Taxis.
This is an overview of the Paulaner's takeovers.:
In 2001 Heineken bought 49% of Brau-Holding AG, the parent company of Paulaner. The plan is, in the next five years, to double production of Weißbier to 2 million hectolitres. To achieve this, their current range of products will be drastically cut back. (Note: not only have Paulaner so far not culled any existing beers, they've introduced two new beers in clear bottlres.)
Paulaner hope that Heineken will play a crucial role in expanding their Weißbier exports. I find their faith in Heineken's good intentions very touching. I expect Heineken to use their Munich brewery as a way of selling more of their own crappy pils in Germany.
In my opinion the Paulaner beers have got considerably worse in the last 10 years. The cause is skimping on raw materials. The use of hop extract - as listed on the label - is a very bad sign. If you want to see the effect, try tasting Augustiner Edelstoff and Paulaner Original Münchner alongside each other. In the type of pale lager beers that make up much of Paulaner's sales you just can't get away with cutting corners. It's all too obvious in the end product.
Tel. 089 - 5446110
Founded: 1989 (1881)
Annual production: 2,500 hl
In 1881 the brewer Hubinger founded the Kleines Hofbräuhaus on the Kapuzinerstraße, but was soon forced (by the other Hofbräuhaus) to change thename to Münchner Bräuhaus. Things didn't go too well and he had to sell to the Thomass brothers, who gave the brewery their own name.
In 1895 they shook Munich by brewing the first pale lager - Thomas-Hell or Thomasbräu-Pilsener. Nine of Munich's large breweries issued a public statement against the introduction of pale lager, but were soon forced by public demand to follow Thomasbräu's lead. The new beer was good for Thomasbräu: they saw production increase from 22,000 hl in 1891 to 160,000 hl in 1901. Not bad in a period when total the output of Munich breweries was beginning to level off.
After the First World War life was difficult for brewers in Munich and there were a great number of takeovers. One of these saw Paulaner gobble up Thomasbräu in 1928. Brewing continued at the Kapuzinerplatz until the brewery was damaged by wartime bombing.
Tel.: 089 - 51220
Fax: 089 - 52222400
Annual production: 1,900,000 hl (including Löwenbräu: Spaten = ca 1,000,000 hl))
It was Spaten that initiated modern industrial brewing in Munich. The legendary Gabriel Sedlmayr II visited several breweries (including Bass in Burton-on-Trent) in England and Scotland in 1833. He was greatly impressed by the much more scientific approach to brewing that he encountered. On his return to Munich he began to copy many of the technological innovations he had seen on his journey, such as use of the hydrometer.
Throughout the latter part of the 1800's the Spaten brewery remained neck and neck with Löwenbräu in terms of output. Output hit a peak in 1893 of around 520,000 hl, then declined to just over the 400,000 hl mark where it remained stable until the outbreak of the First World War. From this point, began a steep decline, with the nadir in 1922 of around 220,000 hl. Throughout the 1930's output stayed in the 300,000 - 350,000 hl range. After the Second World War, starting from under 200,000 hl production rose steadily, exceeding the maximum of the 1890's in 1972 and finally hitting a new peak of 1,100,000 in 1996.
In October 2003, Interbrew announced that it had effectively taken over Spaten. If the regulators agree the deal, that is. Interbrew Deutschland will have a capcity of 15.6 million hl, or 11% of the German market. I don't expect that they will stop there, but having their own Munich brewery to play with is a good start.
|Staatliches Hofbräuhaus in München
Tel: 089 - 92105-0
Fax: 089 - 906426
Annual production: 165,000 hl (2001)
Originally behind the Hofbräuhaus on Platzl in the city centre, then next to the Hofbräukeller in Haidhausen, the brewery is now an anonymous modern building on the outskirts of town.
Still state owned, Hobräu is the only smaller brewery to have survived in Munich. Like many breweries in Bavaria, output has been steadily falling in recent years. In 1990 Hofbräu brewed 210,000 hl.
Tel. 089 - 477 677
Fax: 089 - 470 5848
Annual production: 2.400 hl
Taken over and closed by Löwenbräu in 1921. It was reopened as a brewpub in 1991.
Breweries around Munich
Tel. 08152 - 376-0
Fax 08152 - 376-143
Annual production: 95,000 hl
Brewery of the St. Bonifaz monastery. 10% of the beer is sold at the Klosterburg itself in the Bräustüberl and Klostergasthof. The brewery also has a few pubs spread about Bavaria.
|Arcobräu, Gräfliches Brauhaus GmbH
& Co. KG
Schlossallee 1, D-
Tel: 09938 - 918180
Fax: 09938 - 918155
Annual production: 180,000 hl
Lange Zeile 1 und 3,
Tel: 08122 - 4090
Fax: 08122 - 409 115
Annual production: 1,360,000 hl
|Private Brauerei Franz Inselkammer KG
Tel: 08095 - 880
Fax: 08095 - 8850
Annual production: 140,000 hl (2001)
Tel: 08822 - 74413
Fax: 08822 - 74412
Annual production: 10,000 hl
One of Germany's remaining monastic brewers.
|Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan
Tel: 08161 - 5360
Fax: 08161 - 536200
Annual production: 180,000 hl
Bavaria manages to have not one but two state-owned breweries: Hofbräu and Weihenstephan. Not content with that distinction, Wehenstephan claims to be the oldest brewery in the world and is home to Bavaria's renowned brewing university.
Tel: 089 - 90 36 032
Fax: 089 - 90 39 600
Email: email@example.com Website:
Brewpub at the old Munich airport.
Traunstein Josef Sailer KG
In 1982 Hofbräuhaus Traunstein was the first brewery in the world with draught Weißbier. Though I must admit to being a bit sceptical about this claim. Exactly how were wheat beer breweries serving their beer in the 17th century?
|König Ludwig GmbH & Co.KG Schloßbrauerei
Tel: 08141 - 243 0
Fax: 08141 - 243 138
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Annual production: 400,000 hl
|Karmeliten Brauerei Karl Sturm
GmbH & Co. KG
Tel. 09421 - 78190
Fax: 09421 - 781913
|Private Weissbierbrauerei G. Schneider
& Sohn GmbH
Emil-Ott-Straße 1 - 5,
Tel: 09441 - 7050
Fax: 09441 - 7050190
Annual production: 276,000 hl (2001)
Until being bombed out in the war, Schneider brewed in the centre of Munich. Currently all brewing is done at Kelheim, at the site of another weissbier brewery which Schneider had taken over. Primary fermentation still takes place in open vessels. The same yeast is used for both the primary fermentation and the secondary fermentation in the bottle. Some wheat beers use a bottom-fermenting yeast for the bottle conditioning (one of my many points against the Reinheitsgebot).
Schneider only introduced draught versions of their beers in the late 1990's. Before that 100% of their output was bottled. They continue to only produce top-fermenting wheat beers.
|Tucher Bräu Verwaltung
Schwabacher Str. 106,
Tel. 0911 - 9776-0
Fax 0911 - 9776-370
Mainburger Straße 26,
Tel. 08161 - 6010
Fax 08161 - 6830
Annual production: 260,000 hl
Tel: 0731 - 974 480
Fax: 0731 - 974 4820
& Gasthof Schlössle
Tel: 0731 - 77390
Fax: 0731 - 972 7557
Annual production: 1,300 hl (2003)
|Max'l Bräu Max Jehle
Tel: 0731 - 719 210
Founded: ***** closed 2000 *****
Annual production: 2,000 hl
Kühbach Freiherr von Beck-Peccoz
Großhausener Straße 2,
Tel: 08251 - 89 660
Fax: 08251 - 89 6699
Independent brewery. In a former monastery owned since 1862 by the Beck-Peccoz family.
|Augusta - Brauerei GmbH
Lauterlech 10 - 14,
Tel.: 0821 311055
Fax: 0821 157361
Annual production: 20,000 hl
S. Riegele KG
Tel.: 0821 3209 - 0
Fax: 0821 320980
Annual production: 200,000 hl
|Brauerei "Zur Goldenen Gans"
Weite Gasse 11,
Tel: 0821 - 35075
Fax: 0821 - 35076
Brewpub. Open Mon-Sat 11:00-14:00 and 18:00-23:00.
|Charly - Bräu
Tel.:0821 - 426346
Fax: 0821 - 426343
Annual production: 700 hl
Brewpub. Open Mon-Fri 17:00-01:00, Sat-Sun 10:00-01:00
|Erste Augsburger Gastronomie
- Brauerei "König von Flandern"
Tel.: 0821 - 158050
Fax: 0821 - 314287
Annual production: 1,000 hl
|Brauerei Hasen - Bräu
Konrad - Adenauer - Allee 33,
Tel.: 0821 - 3299-0
Fax: 0821 - 3299111
Wertachbrucker - Tor - Str. 9,
Tel.: 0821 - 36561
Fax: 0821 - 158827
Independent brewery with a few weird products.
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