Munich, Germany: Beer and Surfing

When you think of Munich and Germany, beer comes quickly to mind, but not so surfing. I went to Munich for beer and stumbled upon the surfing. But first the beer, priorities being upheld.

Munich is the capital and largest city, population 1.5 million, of the German state of Bavaria. It is located north of the Bavarian Alps on the banks of the River Isar.

Hofbräuhaus am Platzl, Schwemme, the main beer hall

Hofbräuhaus am Platzl, Schwemme, the main beer hall

I went first to the Hofbräuhaus am Platzl, a Munich institution, to sample German beer on draught in
Schwemme, the main beer hall and the heart of the Hofbräuhaus, which has seating for around 1,300 drinkers and diners. Festsaal, the ball room, has a further 1,500 seats, and other more private rooms hold another 1,000 people. And there is seating for another 700 in the spacious and well-treed beer garden.

Wherever you land in this glorious beer emporium, try one of their best summer beer offerings, Hofbrau Munchen’s Munchner Sommer Naturtrub, which is an unfiltered bottom fermented draught beer hitting 5.1 percent abv. It is a veiled amber in colour,Munchner Sommer Naturtrub at The Hofbrauhaus Chinesischer Turm beer garden showcasing a refreshing hop character upfront and a pleasant hop bitterness underneath a refined malt base. Its crispness on the palate makes for perfect summertime drinking, especially so outdoors in one of HB’s many beer gardens around Munich.

The large warm pretzels and spicy German mustard make for a fine accompaniment to the beer.

Later I set off to visit, in the heart of the Engslischer Garten, The Hofbrauhaus Chinesischer Turm beer garden, (Sommer Naturtrub pictured left in beer garden) which is the second largest beer garden in Munich with some 7,500 seats in the open air. Steins of HB brands are happily served in quantity to ever-eager consumers, many in large groups of friends or with extended family members.

Surfing in Munich!

Surfing in Munich!

Along the way I came upon canal surfing in the heart of Munich, which is quite something to behold. I may have read about it in a guide book but it didn’t make any sense until I actually saw men and women in black wet suits skimming over the surface of hundreds of gallons of water forcefully gushing and frothing from a closed canal into a wider open channel. And then it did make sense. Boy did it ever. Inner-city Munich is a most unusual surfing destination but it really was quite a brilliant spectacle.

But, alas, there was more beer to be had in Munich, much more, and to that end I set my feet in motion.

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