Is Munich turning into a beer desert?


I have lived two years in Munich to date and have visited it many times before for the Oktoberfest and sometimes just for a summer trip. The beer there (I drink Helle beer) used to be mostly good. But in the last two years, Augustiner beer used to have a big advantage in terms of quality with Paulaner a good distance behind and the others (Hacker-Pschorr, Löwenbräu, Spaten) left in the dust. But even this has changed for the worst. Paulaner ceased to be a good beer more than a year ago, leaving Augustiner making the only good Helle beer in Munich, but a week before the start of Oktoberfest 2005 the Augustiner beer took a nose-dive in terms of flavour and body. It is now thin and watery and barely worth drinking. And the end of the Oktoberfest has not heralded an improvement.
Bavaria used to be famous for its beer with Munich being a city noted for beer. But it looks like the accountants in these firms have calculated that there is more profit in poorer quality beer.
Reply to
rolandberry

that's a bad new. I have been in Munich last year and the Agustiner was delicious (especially the non pasteurized helle). I'm planing to come back there this winter and I hope not to have nasty surprises :(
Anyway Bavarian are smart people, I don't think they want to lose the popularity of their local brands just to save some bucks by producing poorer quality beer... at least it's what I hope.
bye, - Luca
Reply to
LG

I never found Paulaner to be great, just competent. Unless you're talking their hausbrauerei in Kapuzinerplatz (a couple hundred meters from the Goetheplatz U-Bahn station). The kellerbier there is outstanding.
But Paulaner has slipped a bit as they've been acquired in the wave of German brewery consolidation. I can't recall who they're owned by - or if they're even one of the owners. German brewing has been consolidating like crazy over the past few years, generally not to great results.
Munich,
Augustiner was always my favorite when I was living there.
Are you getting the regular helles, or are you ending up with the festbier/wiesnbier? The beer brewed for Oktoberfest is not great stuff by any stretch, and lacking flavor and body would fit.
Give it a couple weeks. I'd venture to guess that you're getting wiesnbier, not the regular hell. And if that doesn't change for the better, upgrade to the Edelstoff. Now, if they ruin that, the apocolypse is surely nigh.
-Steve
Bavaria used to be famous for its beer with Munich being a city noted for beer. But it looks like the accountants in these firms have calculated that there is more profit in poorer quality beer.
Reply to
Steve Jackson

I've drunk it there, of course. I find it good but not outstanding. Maybe it has got worse since you were there.
No, I am talking about the regular helles beer. I drank the festbier. It wasn't bad and it had body but I don't like festbiers in general because I find the alcohol content too strong.
I tried the Edelstoff straight from the wooden barrel in the main biergarten (Augustiner Keller on Arnulfstr.) and it too was thin and watery. Not a patch on what it used to be. There is no sign of improvement yet, though the Oktoberfest ended less than a week ago at time of writing.
Reply to
rolandberry

Please try out a variety of beers and take notes and report back. I would be interested in your opinions.
But there have been some brewery mergers and the conglomerates will be run by accountants/pennypinchers and accountants/pennypinchers don't drink beer. So don't hold out too much hope.
Reply to
rolandberry
Paulaner (and Hacker-Pschorr) are owned by the Schörghuber group, which in turn is part-owned by Heineken.
Only too true. InBev has taken over significant chunks of German brewing: Spaten, Löwenbräu, Diebels, Beck's, Dinkelacker for starters. Brau & Brunnen is busily applying the consilidation smackdown across the board, as Oetker management has ordered. Schultheiss and Kindl (in Berlin) now operate a single brewery between them.
The dumbing-down will continue, and nobody in Germany who consumes that country's beer seems to care. There is still no national consumer-level grassroots movement like CAMRA or Zythos in Germany. The prevailing attitude is that the brewers know best, so "shut up and drink your beer."
I, too, hope that the OP has gotten yet another tedious batch of "Wies'nbier" or "Festbier," and that the Edelstoff hasn't been dumbed down. Augustiner is one of the few breweries in Munich that hasn't been accused of massively dumbing down its range, even as it struggles to remain independent.
Reply to
dgs

I'd blame the consumer on that to a large extent. As long as they can get ridiculously cheap "premium" beer, they don't give a damn. Largely. There are exceptions, but they're expecting too much for too little.
JMO.
Reply to
Lew Bryson

"Lew Bryson" schreef in bericht news:L7e1f.18$ snipped-for-privacy@newssvr23.news.prodigy.net...
A pity about München, but I have been told the real time to visit the Bavarian Capital is at Starkbierzeit, March. And there is still a lot to be had in Germany (not that I don't fully agree about your criticism on their complacency about the situation, as well on their gut-aversion to a European Beer Consumers Union). If you allow me to spam unashamedly for myself for once, this is what I re-discovered in Franconia:
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Zum Wohl, Joris
Reply to
Joris Pattyn

There are at least a couple of "M-dorfs" in that neck of the woods, btw... we stayed at the the place in Melkendorf (lovely malty dark lager, inexpensive nicely fitted rooms). Franconia most certainly *isn't* a beer desert. Ain't half-bad for micro-distillery schnapps, either.
Massively agree with your take on Ambräusianum, by the way. In fact, you were being too kind. That place was a major disappointment, and one beer I had was infected - and I hate what goddamn lousy infected cloudy-in-a-bad-way crap beer does to me.
Reply to
dgs

It's been a year. And it's never been my first stop on the night. Or even my second. Which could have some bearing on my perception.
Well, that's depressing.
And now I want to cry.
Augustiner is not only my favorite brewery in Munich, it's one of my favorite breweries in the world. I can't tell you how much of my life I've spent sitting sitting in the beerhall off of Kaufingerstraße or at the Augustiner-tied pub/restaurant that was about 30 meters down the street from my old flat in Schwabing. I adore the stuff. And if it, too, is starting to go the way of mediocrity, I'm going to be seriously pissed off.
Let's hope they have decided to do something stupid but not wholly un-understandable and change the recipies a bit for when hordes of largely beer-clueless Americans, Australians and Italians descend upon Munich, and change it back to normal once the town is back in control of the locals.
I guess I'll find out in December when I'm back there to visit friends.
And if you tell me in a few months that they've weekend the Maximator, I think I just may have to kill myself.
-Steve
Reply to
Steve Jackson

I can only guess that you're referring to the Hofbräuhaus, which is just one of many beer halls in central Munich. Yes, by far the most famous, but hardly singular.
And, yeah, it's been a tourist trap for eons. Locals don't set foot in there. They do set foot at the Weisses Brauhaus just a short walk from their (Schneider's main beer hall), Augustiner about a 5- to 10-minute walk away is a well-known local favorite, and there are little Ayinger and Andechs halls tucked away nearby as well that attract a lot of locals.
The beer hall in general is not inherently a tourist trap. Just primarily Hofbräuhaus.
You should be thankful. Even Germans can hardly understand the Swiss. I had a devil of a time understanding them. Even the full-on Bavarian accent was easier to penetrate. Barely.
Well, there's a Planet Hollywood across the plaza from the Hofbräuhaus. That should tell you all you need to know. (Oops, a quick google shows that the Hard Rock Cafe has replaced Planet Hollywood there. Hardly a giant step forward.)
-Steve
Reply to
Steve Jackson

"Steve Jackson" wrote in news:LIK1f.14166$q81.13841@trnddc06:
I was in Munich 65-68 in the military. That is where I learned all about beer. In those days the HBH was still packed with locals. I remember some old guys that were there daily and had a reserved table.
In those days it was mainly in the summer time that there was a big tourist trade. I always made it a point to go the HBH in the summer and look for American tourists, that were always happy to buy beer for a poor G.I.
Back then there was at least one strip-tease club and a couple of sleazy bars inhabited with B-girls.
Reply to
Rick

It gets worse. I was in the Chinese Tower beer gerden in the Englishergarten yesterday. I could see the Hofbräu helles being poured from a wooden barrel. Very traditional, I thought. Except the barrel never emptied even after a few hundred masses being poured and there were no other barrels in sight. It was just a tap routed through the barrel.
Reply to
rolandberry

It's been this way for years. Why did you think it was any different?
If you want beer from the wood, get out of Munich and head out to the brewery taps in the small towns. Or head up to Düsseldorf or Cologne instead.
Or just go over to Salzburg and go to the Müllner Kloster for its Augustiner (no relation to the Munich brewery), fresh from the barrel. It's one of the world's great beer halls.
Reply to
dgs

[snip]
Is this the beer hall that is kind of hidden and offers free, fresh pretzels and is connected to a church? If so, I have been there and had a great time. Originally I felt a little weird partying in such a place, but that disappeared after 2 liters of great beer.
Dan
Reply to
Dan

A Beer desert...hmmm...I can't think of how you could make beer into anything that could be remotely palatable as a desert. But I suppose anything is possible.
Reply to
John S.

You'd trying to imagine how beer could be as palatable as sand?
You do know the difference between a big, barren strech of land and something you might have after dinner, right?
Reply to
dgs

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