Beer Lover's Guide to Germany

Beer Festivals, Breweries, and Beer Gardens in Germany

Want a true taste of German culture and cuisine? Then explore Germany’s rich history of century-old beer making. There are many ways to educate yourself in German beer culture, and almost all of it includes raising a mass (liter of beer). Get ready to say "Prost"!

  • 01 of 10
    German Brewery
    ••• Getty Images/Johannes Simon

    Take a look behind the scenes and find out how German beer is made. From thousand-year old monasteries, to modern state of the art facilities, take a tour through one of these German breweries before you sample your fresh beer right then and there.

    For example, the Hofbrau Brewery Tour allows you behind the scenes in one of the most iconic German breweries.

  • 02 of 10
    German Beer
    ••• GNTB/Hans Peter Merten

    Beer lovers may be surprised to find that beers have traditionally been quite regional. While generic Pilsners from mega-brewers can be found everywhere, there are specialties in each area. Along with learning about the many regions of Germany, delve into the smoked brews in Bavaria, sample the woodruff-laced wheat beer in Berlin, and throw back many petite Stange of  crisp Kölsch in Cologne. Every city offers a beer adventure.

  • 03 of 10
    Hofbrauhaus, Munich, Germany
    ••• Dave Morris

    Munich is home to one of the most famous beer halls in the world, the Hofbräuhaus. Established in 1589 as the Royal Brewery of the Kingdom of Bavaria, the Hofbräuhaus is an essential part of Munich’s culture and cuisine, treasured by tourists and locals alike.

    For more fantastic beer halls, check out the article Best Munich Beer Halls.

  • 04 of 10
    Berlin brewery - hops & barley
    ••• Adam Berry /Getty Images

    After leading the beer scene in medieval times, corporate breweries slowly crushed the little guys in Germany. For a time, only mass-produced Berliner Pils or foreign beers like Beck's were commonly on offer. And that fit the clientele who was happy to walk in to any kneipe (bar) and simply ask for a Pilsner — whatever that may be.

    But as the people of Berlin have changed, so has the beer scene. There is currently a craft beer renaissance with new breweries opening in every corner. Tour the city with the 11 best craft brewers in Berlin.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10
    German beer garden
    ••• Björn Láczay

    One of the best places to enjoy your handcrafted beer is in a German beer garden, sitting at long wooden tables, shaded by century-old chestnut trees. You aren't experiencing a true German summer without a visit.

    So what traditional food should you try? How do you find a good table, and can you also bring your own pick-nick? Find the answers and more in our German beer garden special.

    Also check out the best biergartens in Berlin, Munich and Dresden. But if you aren't in one of these cities, have no fear. Beer, and biergartens, are found absolutely everywhere in Germany.

  • 06 of 10

    Germany's 10 Best Beers

    Hops and Barley beer.jpg
    ••• Erin Porter

    According to the purity law of 1516, German beer is only made with 4 ingredients - water, hops, malt, and yeast -, but that doesn't mean that all German beer tastes the same. You can wet your whistle with 5,000 types of beers. This about.com guide to beer gives you a great overview of the vast German beer scene. 

    Also note that in a country of tradition, a brand-new beer scene is making a splash. Craft brewing has arrived and taken the reins back from major brewers. Small, craft brewers have popped up around the country and are re-inventing German beer.

  • 07 of 10
    Oktoberfest Munich
    ••• GNTB/Rainer Kiedrowski

    The famous Oktoberfest is a colorful celebration of German beer, culture and cuisine. Get a taste of Bavaria in over 30 Oktoberfest beer tents, each one proudly serving different local beers, which were handcrafted in some of Bavaria’s finest breweries.

    Pour through our articles on Oktoberfest Beer (and other drinks), What NOT to do at Oktoberfest, Lederhosen and don't miss what to eat at Oktoberfest and sweets.

  • 08 of 10
    Berlin International Beer Festival.JPG
    ••• Erin Porter

    Missed Oktoberfest? Germany has many great drinking festivals to fill out the rest of the year. Discover lesser-known festivals like spring festivals in Stuttgart and Munich, Berlin's International Beer festival and wine festivals like fruit wine in Werder. Prost!

     

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Beer and Oktoberfest Museum

    Munich Beer and Oktoberfest Museum
    ••• Munich brewers meet to taste Oktoberfest brews in Beer and Oktoberfest Museum. GettyImages / Alexander Hassenstein

    Educate yourself about Germany's favorite drink in Munich's Beer and Oktoberfest Museum. The exhibition showcases the art and culture of beer making around the world and explores history of Oktoberfest.

    If you want to see more of Germany's unusual museum offerings, refer to our list of Weirdest Museums in Germany.

  • 10 of 10

    For the Non-Beer Drinker

    Rotkäppchen Sekt
    ••• SPBer

    Not a beer-drinker? Despite its reputation, Germany has many unique drinks to enjoy in summer and in winter. Branch out into wines, sodas, seasonal drinks and spirits like Jagermeister.