Don't Hassle the Hof
If you needed any more clues about where we went for our Munich city walk intermission, goodness help you. In Munich, a visit to the beer hall is a pilgrimage for many, like a visit to Temple Bar in Dublin. Luckily, the Hofbrauhaus was a stop on the tour, and we decided to make it an extended stop.
Hofbrau is one of the many Munich breweries. It was designated as the official beer (brau) of the royal family (hof) of Bavaria. Hofbrau = Royal Beer. Haus, of course, means house, or hall.
The Hofbrauhaus beer hall building is massive. So large, in fact, that we couldn't immediately find the actual beer hall. We at first were only able to find mostly empty restaurant-style tables with white tablecloths. We had to do some sniffing and listening, but eventually made our way downstairs to the large beer hall proper.
|Hofbrauhaus Beer Hall Interior|
Make Mine MaßLong wooden tables and benches lined the huge, noisy room from end to end. We had arrived for our first (but doubtfully our last) beer in Munich. The three of us ordered our maß (pronounced mahs) sized beers and the night was off!
|Dunkel, Radler, Helles|
I can (and will) write a whole essay about German beer styles, so I'll save my gushing for another post. For now, we'll say we ordered a dunkel (dark lager), dunkel radler (dark lager mixed with lemonade), and helles (light lager). I feel I also must point out for our American readers that many European draft beers are not brewed at 5 or 5.5% alcohol by volume like many American canned and draft beers. Many are brewed between 3.5 and 4.5 % ABV, so drinking a liter (or two) in a sitting isn't the physical feat one might imagine.
It was getting close to dinnertime, and we had all only had a small sandwich and a half-liter of beer. Food was required. Hofbrauhaus does make and serve delicious-looking food (like the pork knuckle served with mashed potato balls), but we had our eyes on a different prize. Servers walked through the hall with large baskets of huge soft pretzels and gingerbread cookies for sale. We all couldn't resist a salty hot soft pretzel.
|Beer, Pretzels, and Hawkeyes!|
While we were working on our massive blast of beer and carbs, a lederhosen-clad band took the small stage in the center of the room. We all enjoyed a performance of marches and polkas while we finished our victuals.
|Beer Hall Band|
After the beer and food, it was time to venture back out into the streets of Munich in search of, well, more beer and food. What did you expect?