6 Things You Didn’t Know About Hofbräuhaus

Posted on 18. Jan, 2013 by in Destinations, Europe Travel, Germany

As you may know already, I’m not a big fan of beer in general - I much prefer my rosé in the evening. Or anytime it’s 5 o’clock somewhere…

So it may come as surprising news that one of the things that I was looking forward to the most during my time in Germany was the world-famous Hofbräuhaus in Munich. Why the hell would I be going there if I can’t stomach 3 sips of beer, let alone a giant Bavarian jug!? That just doesn’t seem like a good time investment when spending just two days in the city.

Well, as it turns out, there is a lot more to this place than meets the eye - in fact, I bet you a giant beer jug that you didn’t know any of these things about the Hofbräuhaus. Let’s see…

  • It’s the largest bräuhaus in all of Munich - it can hold up to 5000 beer partygoers, and it’s also the second-largest tent at Oktoberfest.
  • It was founded in 1589 by the Duke of Bavaria Whilelm the 5th, as the official Royal Brewery, and used to be exclusively for the use of the Royal family.
  • However, the beer rapidly became famous around Europe - people raved about its purity and incredible taste. It got so famous, in fact, that King Gustavius from Sweden accepted to not invade Munich in exchange of 600,000 barrels of the fine brew during the Thirty Years War.
  • There are 24 other Hofbräuhaus locations in the world, including Seoul, Genoa, Dubai, Stockholm and Philadelphia. The one in Las Vegas is reportedly the first full-scale and most succesful replica of the beer house.
  • A lot of famous names hung out at the beer hall - Mozart, Lenin, and Hitler, to name a few.
  • Speaking of which, the Hofbräuhaus was used by the Nazi Party to hold functions and assemblies. It’s precisely where Hitler declared the 25 thesis of the National Socialist party back in 1920.

Another great example of why you should never judge a book by its cover, especially when it comes to travel.

It reminded me of my experience at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin - I only went in to humor my husband, but I ended up having a really great time while learning more about beer. Mind you, I still hate beer. Nothing you can do about that I’m afraid. But at least I know a whole lot more about it!

Also good to know for the non-beer lovers like me: the Hofbräuhaus is extremely photogenic. From the massive wooden shelves filled with jugs to the live band to the typical Bavarian dishes, the place will be most pleasant for your camera. Yes, it is very touristy, and I don’t think there was a single local in there. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth a detour, if only to get a glimpse of this legendary place.

Have you been to Munich’s Hofbräuhaus? What did you learn during your visit? Did you enjoy your time there?

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24 Responses to “6 Things You Didn’t Know About Hofbräuhaus”

  1. Julika

    18. Jan, 2013

    I’ve been to the Hofbräuhaus quite a few times, but I actually never sat down to have a drink there - too many tourists and way too expensive! Although whole Bavaria is like a cliché version of Germany in itself, the Hofbräuhaus feels just too fake… There are a lot nicer and more authentic beer halls in Munich, where the locals actually go themselves :) But it was really interesting learning about all these historical background facts!

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie-Eve Vallieres

      19. Jan, 2013

      I didn’t spend much time there - I actually walked through, and left to enjoy my evening drink somewhere else. But the place is so interesting!

      Reply to this comment
  2. Jeff @ Go Travelzing

    18. Jan, 2013

    I went to the Hofbrauhaus on my first trip to Europe. It was a lot of fun and I even met people sitting across the table from me that knew somebody that I knew. Small world!

    I keep saying I am going to visit the one in Las Vegas, which I just returned from, but always think that I will be disappointed because it is not the original.

    My favorite beer garden in Munich is the one in Englisher Gardens.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Clare

    18. Jan, 2013

    We went to the Hofbrauhaus last month - we didn’t have a drink there but we stopped by on our walking tour and definitely learned a few things (I’ve learned a few things more from your post)!

    I’ve also been to the Guinness storehouse, so I know what you mean. And I love beer (and Guinness) in addition to my wine!

    Reply to this comment
  4. Sonja

    19. Jan, 2013

    My relatives who live in Munich always let me peek in for a moment but never let me stay for a drink. That’s okay with me.

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie-Eve Vallieres

      19. Jan, 2013

      Me too - I didn’t want to drink/eat there, simply take in the place.

      Reply to this comment
  5. Vera

    19. Jan, 2013

    I’ve been there! I only really took a step in, looked around, and stepped out again:) It’s original for sure, I just prefer the smaller places. Did definitely NOT know that beer saved Munich from being invaded - that’s hilarious!

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie-Eve Vallieres

      19. Jan, 2013

      Same here - haven’t sat down or anything, but I thought it was fascinating!

      Reply to this comment
  6. A Cook Not Mad (Nat)

    19. Jan, 2013

    I hope you got to see the stein lockers, I thought that was the coolest thing.

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie-Eve Vallieres

      19. Jan, 2013

      Are these the lockers with the giant metal jugs?

      Reply to this comment
      • A Cook Not Mad (Nat)

        05. Feb, 2013

        The lockers are made of metal, the steins are ceramic, they slide in on their side and have a little padlock. Regulars leave their steins there. Also there is a schedule of which regulars go on what nights. As touristy as it is, when we were there, it was still a fun experience.

        Reply to this comment
        • Marie-Eve Vallieres

          13. Feb, 2013

          Yes, I remember seeing them, and wondering if they did belong to locals. Thanks for enlightening me :)

          Reply to this comment
  7. Andrea

    19. Jan, 2013

    They make the strongest of the Oktoberfest beers as well

    Reply to this comment
  8. ConfusedJulia

    19. Jan, 2013

    Unfortunately I didn’t make it to the Hofbrauhaus when I was in Munich in the summer - I spent too long at the Augustiner beer garden and by the time I got over there, the Hofbrauhaus was closed :( Definitely want to try and get it next time, especially as I’m going to try and hit Oktoberfest this year!

    Reply to this comment
  9. Denise L

    19. Jan, 2013

    I’ve been to the Hofbrauhaus a few times and have always seen locals there - look for the Stammtisch sign on a table that designates where the regulars sit. Most German restaurants/bars have them. Although probably harder to locate in the Hofbrauhaus with all the tourists.

    Reply to this comment
  10. I think about beer

    20. Jan, 2013

    I have yet to visit Munich, but as a beer lover, it’s on my list. I do like their beer however. As a beer lover, I take it as a challenge to find at least one beer someone can like. As a wine person, have you tried a geuze or a fruit lambic? A real one, not a super sugar sweetened one? Geuze is very champagne like. A Oude Kriek ventures into the realm of sparkling rose.

    Reply to this comment
  11. I had the traditional Bavarian breakfast there. It was a the perfect meal after a night at Oktoberfest :-)

    Reply to this comment
  12. Andrew

    21. Jan, 2013

    I agree with a couple others here, it seems just so touristy to want to spend much time there. The smaller beer halls are nicer to sit in anyway.
    We went to Augustiner that last time I was in Munich. I did enjoy it, so maybe the bigger places aren’t all bad. It is interesting to see some more history of the Hofbrau.

    Reply to this comment
  13. Cheryl

    21. Jan, 2013

    Yes, it’s touristy but I love it. :)

    I think I’ve been there 3-4 times, as I always end up in Munich with someone who’s in town for the first time. So I end up there yet again, not that I mind.

    Reply to this comment
  14. Nicole

    28. Dec, 2013

    I was just there in November, 2013. It was such great atmosphere. We did speak to a local and he tried to help us with the menu. I’m not sure what it is in German, but we ate pork knuckle with a potato dumpling, and we tried a dark and a light beer. The food and the beer was absolutely amazing. I highly recommend going for more than just a jaunt through the place. :)

    Reply to this comment
  15. Nicole

    28. Dec, 2013

    Oh, and thank you for teaching me a little more than I had already learned about the place. Can’t wait to go back again.

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie-Eve Vallieres

      02. Jan, 2014

      You are most welcome! The Hofbräuhaus is such a fabulous place!

      Reply to this comment

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