Reviews, News and Views from the Field Research Team
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Various reviews from Team Member Elmer Eddy (from his last visit to Munich in August 2001):

Our hotel was on the edge of the English Gardens and about a 5-minute walk to the Chinese Tower beer garden. This is good! Chinesischer Turm: Made two visits here. Monday evening was sort of quiet but still very busy. Wednesday was a holiday and it was full of folks, the band was playing and it was what everyone thinks a beer garden should be. On Wednesday afternoon we ate there, the fast food was excellent and prices good. We drank the dark beer, excellent. Deposit on the beer mug, 2 marks. I really liked this place, what a great place to have a beer, watch people and enjoy life. Highly recommend this place. Seehaus: Took a walk Thursday afternoon thru the gardens to this place, it was very hot for Munich and every open space had sun bathers. Not overly impressed with this place, it was about 4 in the afternoon, quiet, had a beer and left. Lake/pond full of ducks, geese and boats. No deposit on beer mug. Viktualienmarkt: Tuesday afternoon free time we go here for lunch. Well at noon there was not a seat to be had, place was packed, so we go shopping and return at 1 o'clock, still crowded. Don't these folks ever go back to work? Well, we finally secure a some seats at picnic table and set down for lunch. What another great place to sit and enjoy life watching the world go by. Large selection of fast foods available, ours was very good. Wurst, kraut and beer, is there any better? The beer stand was filling beers as fast as they could, it never let up. No deposit on the mug. This is another place I would highly recommend. Note: if table has table cloth, it means you will be served by a waiter, don't bring your stuff here and sit. Hofbräuhaus: Made two visits here. part of the tour package was a dinner and folklore show at the Hofbräuhaus in Munich. Thought this should be interesting, well it's in a large hall on the third floor, very commercial, run the tour group in, give them a beer, serve dinner, put on show . Move them in and move them out. Show and dinner OK, but not the Hofbräuhaus I know. The real place is down on the first floor, the real beer hall, which was rocking, singing, music and happy people. Thursday we did lunch at Hofbräuhaus, at noon, not crowded. Food was very good, price was good, beer was good, band was playing, very quiet for this place. I guess if you want noise and lots of people come back at night. The Hofbrauhaus has a world wide reputation and one must at least stop here once and experience the place. During Octoberfest this place is a zoo, been there, done that. Well as you say "so many beer gardens and so little time". I have ample reason to return to Munich and continue the beer garden adventure. The folks on the tour were very impressed by the information I had on the beer gardens, thanks to you and your book and web site. — Elmer Eddy.

Augustiner Großgastätte (Jan. 2002). Rude and obnoxious staff. we sat there like idiots waiting forever to be served while the waiter quite blatantly served his friends. It took over half an hour for him to bother bringing an average beer. Very disappointing after seeing its great review in BDG2M.

It was a freezing January day and we'd had a harrowing look around Dachau camp. We were in need of food and beer - we found excellence in both. Big steaming plates of dachau goulash, flagons of wheat beer and really friendly staff. What a wonderful place!! — Becky Lyons

*Research Note: Augustiner Großgastätte continues to get negative comments due to their surly (non-existent?) service. We briefly noted this in the 4th edition of the BDG2M. If their service doesn't improve we'll reflect it in their ranking in the 5th edition.

Andechser Hof. No one seems to ever mention this bar, near the Marienplatz, Munich city centre, open three years now selling all Kloster Andechs beers. Handy for those whose schedules don't allow a visit to the "Holy Hill". I'm there next for Starkbierzeit 2002 - can't wait!! 4 beers — Stephen D'Arcy


Elmer at work in the Hofbräuhaus.

A Trip to Munich for "Maßfest" - August 2000
Just got back from "Maßfest 2000" (an annual pilgrimage to Munich to spend time in the biergartens). Unfortunately the weather was foul (rainy) for the first three days and overcast on the last day. We still managed to make it to 15 establishments and consume a Maß at most of them (one of the guys managed to get a halb (half-liter) at most of them and in his case the trip should be called "halbfest"). Apparently Paulaner Keller suffered damage in some kind of fire and is closed. We heard several different stories from the locals all involving fire. One local assured us that there is never a shortage of bier in Bavaria and told us that Paulaner had a "tent" set up in which bier was served. I saw no evidence of fire, but the place was definitely closed. There appeared to be a room which had been used recently which could have been makeshift but it was closed (2:30 Friday afternoon in a light rain). For foul weather we found Hofbräu Keller to be a good choice (actually I've been there four times and have had good service, food and beer all four times). The room has a traditional beer hall atmosphere with high ceilings giving an impression of roominess. We had dinner at Deutsche Eiche (my third time there); the biergarten was not open due to the weather. The food, service, and beer have always been good here also. I'd like to sample their biergarten fare but have never been there when the biergarten was open. On the last day we managed to visit the Englischer Garten biergartens which opened a little late despite the questionable weather. Hirschau*was not open but appears to be under renovation. There is a sign indicating that a renovation will be complete in 2001 suggesting that the wirt is responsible for the tennis courts as well as the restaurant and biergarten. We included Sankt Emmerams because of its proximity to Aumeister but the concessions outside were not open. We had dinner at Schleuse* and the wirt led us to believe that the biergarten was open during May, June, and July but not much later than that. We are discussing the last few days of April and the first few days of May as the date of Maßfest 2001; hopefully this time of year will give us better luck for the biergartens.
— Paul Pizzeck

*Research Note: Hirschau was dropped from the 4th edition of the BDG2M due to deteriorated conditions. Schleuse, also omitted, is now an Italian restaurant.

(Footnote to Maßfest 2000)
I must admit, I am the unnamed "halb drinker" in Team Member Pizzeck's "Maßfest 2000" review. Since my beer consumption has been called into question, I find it necessary to respond. While I do admit to a couple of halbs, in amongst the many masses, I, unlike member Pizzeck, wasn't soaking up the beer with every fleischplanzerl I could get my hands on and sullying my taste buds with a cappucino at every stop. Seriously, Munich is a great place to go for food as well as drink. For anyone considering a trip, I say it is a "must do". And, the BDG2M is the perfect reference. Found it to be accurate on the directions as well as the ratings. I'll report back after "Maßfest 2001". Oh, by the way, member Pizzeck's "annual pilgrimage" has consisted of two trips according to my recollection.
— Lewis Jones