Thursday 30th July 2015
The story of G. Schneider & Sohn involves breweries in both Munich and Kelheim, a market town on the banks of the Danube near to the city of Regensburg.
It was there that a wheat beer brewery was established in 1607 known as Kurfürstliche Hofbräuhaus Kelheim (Duke’s Court Brew House). Back in those days nearly all beer was the top-fermented wheat beer and the aristocracy had a monopoly on brewing it. Brown beer was to come later.
Now let’s move to the city of Munich. Here from 1855 to 1872 Georg Schneider (1st) is leasing the Königlich Hofbräuhaus München (Royal Court Brew House Munich).
In 1872 he persuades King Ludwig II to sell him the brewery and more importantly, the rights to brew.
Top-fermented beer was very much on the decline by this time, being replaced by the new bottom-fermented lagers.
It is thought that the King gave up the right to brew because the brewery was in a poor state of repair and thought it wasn’t worth spending any money on it with less wheat beer being consumed year on year. However Georg Schneider believed it had a future, so went from being an employee to an owner. The brewery closed for almost a year, giving credence to the theory that it had to be re-equipped.
It continued through several generations of the family. A considerable development occurred in 1924 when Georg Schneider (4th) took over. He was very progressive and in 1928 bought another brewery in Munich to increase production, also one in Straubing. But more significantly, in 1927 the Royal brewery in Kelheim was purchased, this was later to prove invaluable.
The buying of a brewery in Straubing in 1928 is interesting as the Weisses Bräuhaus sells one of the beers from the Karmiliten Brauerei of that town and I wondered if there was any connection; I couldn’t find one.
The next major change was in 1944 when the brewery and pub were badly damaged by allied bombing. I don’t think there was much beer being drank in the city then so it didn’t really matter much at the time. However in 1946 it was decided to move all production to Kelheim, and that is the situation today.
The brewery now produces over 300,000hl a year and is one of the biggest Bavarian wheat beer producers. The brewery was modernised in 1989 and new fermentation vessels were introduced. These were constructed in the traditional open style.
All the wheat beers are brewed by Schneider; these were the draught options:
Original (5.4%), brewed to the first 1872 recipe;
Blonde Weisse (5.2%), a golden wheat beer;
Hopfenweisse (8.2%), a new hoppy wheat beer;
Adventis (8.2%), their signature strong darker beer;
Alkoholfreier (0%), self-explanatory.
Plus the following were available only in the bottle:
Kristall (5.3%), filtered, so not cloudy;
Grünes (6.2%, green, made with organic ingredients;
Leichter Weisse (3.3%), a lighter version;
Eisbock (12%), an immense beer, sold only in 0.33l bottles.
In addition they also offered the two following non-wheat beers on draught:
Tegernseer Hell (4.8%), a standard Bavarian hell beer from south of Munich;
Karmeliten Kloster Dunkel (5.1%) a dark beer from the Karmeliten brewery of Straubing.
I entered the building from the side and took a tall table near the serving area. Looking around I could see that there was another room to the left of this door called the Bürgerstube, which places it at the rear of the pub. It seem to be mostly made up for dining. There is another room at the back called Brauer Stüb’n. Where I was the main walkway through the narrow to accommodate the kitchen and beer service point.
At the front of the building by the main door from the Tal the room named Schwemme and is quite large.
There are no less than a further six rooms on the first floor. However most of these are reserved for private use.
The side of the pub that fronts Maderbräustrasse has very large windows that are partially stained. These provide an exceptional flood of light into the wood-panelled main rooms.
Of course there is a full menu with lots of Bavarian specialities including a number of dishes involving offal; liver, kidney and others. Not to everybody’s taste but a lot of people like it.
This is a great pub to visit should you be an aficionado of wheat beers, with a very large selection indeed.
Weisses Bräuhaus, Tal 7, 80331 München. Tel: 089 2901 1380
Open: Monday-Sunday 08.00-00.30 (Last orders before 24.00)
Holy days; I assume these are Good Friday, Ascension Day, Christmas Day
and maybe others: 08.00-15.00
Kitchen: Open from 08.00-23.00
Easy to find in the centre of the old city. From Marienplatz station, exit from the S-Bahn platform (S-Bahn) if coming from Hauptbahnhof (Main station) at the south easterly end. Walk through the arch into Tal. You will see the pub on the second corner on the left.
Marienplatz station is served by S1-S4, S6 and S8.
It is also served by U-Bahn lines U3 and U6.