München (Munich), Bayern (Bavaria):
Thursday 20th May 2010
Although there are other beer halls and beer gardens in Munich that are owned by the Augustiner Brewery, this must be regarded as the true brewery tap, as it is actually part of the brewery building.
Augustiner is thought of as the most traditional of the city's breweries and the Bräustüberl is a good showcase for their products. Another plus point is that it is on the periphery of the city centre and therefore not overwhelmed by tourists as some of the other beer halls.
Having said that, I am a tourist also, so I shouldn't be over critical. Its location is very close to the Theresienwiese or, as it is known locally, Die Wies'n, the home of the Oktoberfest. In fact, it is very easy to reach from here.
Augustiner lays claim to be the city's oldest brewery so a bit of history won't go amiss. The story begins in 1294 when an Augustine monastery was established by Italian monks in the area of the current Neuhauser Gasse.
It was recorded in 1328 that there was a brewery and pub on the premises, and this year is regarded as the founding date. There was a great fire in the city that year but the monastery remained unscathed.
It continued for many centuries. One great advantage was that the brothers paid no taxes to the King as the beers were regarded by the Court to be of such a high standard they were exempt.
Probably the biggest change occurred in 1803 with the secularisation of Bavaria and the brewery was "privatised". Under private ownership it moved to Neuhauser Strasse, near Karlsplatz, in 1817.
Another pivotal moment came in 1829 when it was purchased by the Wagner family, in whose ownership it remains today. This is possibly why the brewery is so traditional.
The last major change was in 1885 when the brewery moved to its existing site in Landsbergerstrasse. However, at the Neuhauser Strasse site the space vacated by the brewing equipment was utilised as an extension to the existing restaurant/beer hall.
At the turn of the century the building was redesigned by well known architect Emanuel von Siedl and the beautiful art-nouveaux facade dates from this period. This is now known as the Augustiner-Grossgaststätten. Some time in the future we will have an article on this wonderful beer hall which was the official tap until 1995.
Now, bearing in mind all this history, you would have thought that 1995 was a bit late for a brewery tap to be established in a brewery that was built in 1885, yet it is true. I believe that a lot of space that was formerly used for offices was freed up and the Augustiner-Bräustüberl was opened incorporating the pub that was on the corner.
As befitting this brewery the pub is very traditional. The main room is along Landsbergerstrasse, although there is another room on the left as you enter. Half way along the big room is the serving area. The pub itself is very popular and it is often difficult to get a seat, especially in the evening. I would think it was lovely to sit here in the morning with the sun streaming through the windows. I will do it one day.
I believe the full draught beer range is available here and that is Lagerbier Hell (5.2%), a light Munich style beer, Weissbier (5.4%), wheat beer, Pils (5.6%), Dunkel (5.6%), a dark beer and Edelstoff (5.6%), a beer in the Export style. The latter is the one to go for as it is served direct from a wooden barrel.
Most of the time there are seasonal beers available and these are Maximator (7.5%), which I think is a Doppel Bock in style, on sale during the period leading up to Christmas, Heller Bock (7.0%), a light (in colour only) bock beer for May and June. Finally there is Oktoberfestbier (6.0%) which you can get before and during the event itself.
So, in conclusion, this is a great pub and shouldn't be missed if you're in the Bavarian capital.
Augustiner-Bräustüberl, Landsbergerstrasse 19, München 80339
Open: Daily 10.00-24.00
The beer hall is nearly opposite the Holzapfelstrasse stop on tram routes 18 and 19. This is three stops from the Hauptbahnhof (Main Station) and can be walked in about fifteen minutes. It's just five minutes from the S-Bahn station of Hackerbrücke, which is served by all of the S-Bahn lines that run in the tunnel through central Munich. Finally, it is just five minutes walk away from the Theresienwiese, home of the Oktoberfest.