A family of discontented royals founded the Hofbräuhaus in 1589. Bavarian Duke Wilhelm V voiced a court-wide dissatisfaction with the quality of local brews and agreed to establish a brewery that would produce refined beer exclusively for Munich’s elites.
It took 250 years before the Hofbräuhaus experience was made available to the general public. Today, visitors can enjoy the product of a royal love of brewing and beer.
While exploring its historic grounds, feel the essence of the intriguing and infamous characters that drank here. Such celebrity patrons include Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, who organised meetings for Bavarian Communist Party in these halls. Adolf Hitler led Nazi party meetings here and painted a watercolour of the building. Further into the 20th century, Hofbräuhaus hosted the likes of American Presidents, John F. Kennedy and George H.W. Bush.
Take a tour of the Hofbräuhaus’ four main areas. The Schwemme (taproom) is a huge room that was once used for beer production, but is now beer-drinking hall. Up to 1,300 guests can drink here at one time and live local music generates an energetic atmosphere. The Bräustüberl offers a calmer drinking experience with a view of the square. Get excited in the Festival Hall, a chandeliered room that displays dance and folklore exhibitions every evening. On warm cloudless days, enjoy a cool brew under the chestnut trees outside.
The Hofbräuhaus may see up to 4 million visitors each year. Though this means crowds are likely, it also ensures a great atmosphere and plenty of opportunities to meet locals and other travellers. Be sure to ask for a photo with staff wearing traditional Dirndl and Lederhosen. Adventurous eaters can try the Weisswurst, a type of white sausage that is eaten with breakfast.
The Hofbräuhaus is located at the Platzl (square). Walk there from Marienplatz, which is well connected via buses and the U-Bahn (subway). It is open daily from the morning until quite late.