München (Munich), Bayern (Bavaria):
Thursday 20th May 2010
Is this the most beautiful pub interior in the world? I don't know the answer to that as I have not yet visited them all, but it must certainly be up there with the leaders. Its story began in 1881 when a gentleman by the name of Hubinger opened a brewery called Kleines Hofbräuhaus.
The larger Hofbräuhaus objected to this name so it was changed to Münchner Bräuhaus. It wasn't very successful and was purchased by Eugene and Ludwig Thomas in 1889 who naturally named it Thomasbräu.
They built the brewery tap in 1892 in front of their brewery on Kapuzinerplatz. In 1895 a breakthrough was made when they produced the first light (Helles) beer in Munich. This was an immediate success and before long all of the city's brewers were making this style of beer.
Production increased until the outbreak of the Great War and the hard economic situation that Germany was in following that conflict is well documented.
All beer consumption dropped and because of the harsh financial climate and eventually Thomasbräu merged with Paulaner.
Production continued until the Second World War during which the brewery and pub were badly damaged by bombing.
After the conflict it eventually opened as a pub only, with the brewery land being redeveloped.
In the late 1980s work began to restore the building to its original glory and this culminated with its reopening as a brew pub. The quality of the work is superb and on this visit it looked as fresh as it did over twenty years earlier.
There is a main bar room known as the Schwemme which merges into the Restaurant. The food is staunchly Bavarian with weekday lunch time special offers. You'll also find two rooms called the Kapuziner Stüberl and the Bibliotek (Library). At the rear is the biergarten and it is well worth checking out in the warmer months as the beer served here comes direct from wooden barrels. There are also tables on the square at the front.
The look of these rooms is stunning and the burnished equipment that looks like an artefact, is actually a fully-working brewery.
The regular beer range is Helles (4.7%) (also known as Thomas Zwickel and is an unfiltered light beer), and Weissbier (5.5%) (Wheat). These beers are nearly always supplemented by a seasonal offering.
These are: December/January: Schwarze Zwickel (5.4%) (Zwickel is normally an unfiltered bitterish beer, yet I've never heard of a black version, it sounds very interesting).
February/March: Dunkles Weizen Bock (A dark wheat bock beer, another intriguing style).
April-June: Maibock (7.2%) (A super-strength May Bock beer); July/August: Pauline (5.5%) (a dark wheat).
September/early October: Festbier (6.3%) (Oktoberfest beer) and finally in late October / November: St Martin's Weisse (a dark Wheat beer). Dunkel (5%) is also offered. This dark beer is a product of the main Paulaner brewery.
In addition to the regular and seasonal beers there have also been Specials such as Kapuzinator (8.2% (Doppel-Bock); Jubiläumbock (6.7%) (Wheat Bock); Paulus (7.0%) (another Wheat Bock); Diamond (5.4%) (a Vienna-style lager); Doppel-Hopf (5.2%) (a dark beer with some bitterness) and Münsch (5.1%) (a Kölsch).
As can be seen, this is a great pub for beers as well as its architectural splendour, and the food is excellent! It's very much a personal favourite.
Paulaner Brauhaus, Kapuzinerplatz 5, München 80337
Open: Daily 10.00-24.00
The pub is about five minutes walk from Goetheplatz U-Bahn station on lines U3 and U4. There's a bus stop outside, Kapuzinerplatz, served by the No 58 which also serves the Hauptbahnhof (Main Railway station).