Ever since our first trip to Munich, my husband has been in love with German beer. Leave it to German beer to turn a non-drinker into a habitual beer-a-day drinker. So it only made sense, as I plan our next trip to the Bavarian capital, to consider some brewery tours in Germany. Munich brewery tours are, surprisingly, somewhat difficult to come by. But if you’re willing to travel a little within the state of Bavaria, there are a lot of beer brewery tours available. Prost!
If you’re looking for a brewery tour during this year’s Oktoberfest, then Ayinger is the brewery for you. They’ve got several English language tours scheduled at their location in Aying, just outside of Munich. If you’re looking for a tour outside of these dates, the brewery can be contacted for special arrangements.
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Read More: Beyond The Beer: Aying, Germany Travel Guide
Kloster Weltenburg is picture-perfect daytrip. The monastery sits on a curve along the Danube River in the protected Donaudurchbruch area. The brewery, which is still run by the monks, claims to be the world’s oldest monastic brewery. Thirsty beer fans flock to the abbey to indulge at their Biergarten. But you can also tour the facility while you’re there.
If you’re looking for a beer adventure, try Andechs. After a quick ride on the S-Bahn from Munich to Herrsching, visitors to Klosterbrauerei Andechs can make the pilgrimage hike to the monastery. The trip leads you through the beautiful Bavarian countryside and is absolutely worth experiencing. Once there, Andechs offers guided tours, for a fee and by appointment only, of both the church and the brewery.
Schneider Weisse offers individual tours and group tours of their brewery in Kelheim. The tour includes, among other things, a film, a tour through their museum, a guided tour of the brewery and more. The 90-minute tours run every Tuesday and Thursday.
Perhaps no brewery represents Munich or is as synonymous with traditional Munich beer than Hofbräu München. Regardless of whether this is actually true or not, the Hofbräu München offers tours of their traditional Munich brewery so that you can get a little peek behind the scenes. Hofbräu tours, which are available in either German, English or Italian, are by appointment only from Monday through Thursday.
Erdinger Weißbräu offer brewery tours in German, English and Italian as well as showing a film in German, English, Italian and Spanish. At 3 hours, the brewery’s tour of their Erding plant is a little longer than some of the others and includes a tour of the brewery and a tasting. They even offer a chance to buy a souvenir photo.
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Spaten Brauerei, Löwenbräu, Franziskaner Weissbier
Spaten Brauerei, Löwenbräu, Franziskaner Weissbier are today all part of the Anheuser-Busch InBev company. As such, there is a single tour for these Munich-based brands. Unfortunately, the tours are only done in German. If the language barrier isn’t a problem for you, they offer tours on the first Friday of every month and on every Saturday. Tours include beer, pretzels and Leberkäse. Once a month they also offer a connoisseurs’ beer tour that runs three hours long and involves in-depth tastings.
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Read More: Munich Tips & Picks
The Bavarian State Brewery Weihenstephan
Weihenstephan is the world’s oldest brewery. So it only makes sense to include it on a list of Bavarian brewery tours. If that doesn’t make it worth a visit for a tour, I don’t know what does. They offer two different tours which take place on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. Both offer a guided brewery tour and a voucher for the beverage shop. But, for an additional cost, you can extend the tour from an hour to two hours and take part in a beer tasting session. Be sure to register in advance to secure your spot on the tour.
Get more info.
Brewer Riegele is in Augsburg, Germany and offers a brewery tour of their historic brewhouse. The roughly one to two hour-long tour includes, of course, a tasting. Just be sure to register ahead of time.
Tips for Bavarian Brewery Tours
It should be noted, the information is based on the information provided by each brewery on its website. Always visit the brewery’s website or contact the brewery to make sure the information is still accurate. If you’re planning on visiting with anyone under 16, be sure to check the brewery tour’s policy; many make note of only being open to visitors who are of the legal German drinking age for beer — 16. Additionally, some have dress codes you should take note of. Specifically, closed-toe shoes if the tour will be taking you along the factory line.
While you’re at it, consider German beer festivals, too. Oktoberfest is a popular festival that everyone knows. But Munich Frühlingsfest (the Munich Springfest) and Starkbierfest, in the winter, are smaller but lots of fun!
Looking for something that’s even more unique? Nuremberg red beer, or Rotbier, lives up to its name. The Franconian brew is worth discovering.
If you’re looking for German brewery tours outside of Bavaria, check out my suggestions!
The top photo, Weltenburg, Andechs, and Aying photos are my own. All other photos are from the website of the respective brewery.