Airbräu: The World’s First & Only Airport Brewery

Airbräu opened in 1999, and it still holds the title of the first and only airport brewery in the world. We got to experience a behind the scenes tour of the brewery and tasted some of their delicious Kumulus beer in the outdoor garden area of this restaurant/brewery.

Airbräu offers three beers year round and has five seasonal beers that it features during different months throughout the year. Brews offered regularly in the restaurant are: FliegerQuell, a semi-dry ale; Kumulus, a weißbier; and Jetstream, a pilsner. Their five seasonal beers range in both flavor and style, from light summery beers to heavy, dark winter beers. Whenever Airbräu creates a new beer, it offers plenty of free samples to people passing by in the airport.

We sat down with Airbräu employee and brew master student, Yovcho Byalkov, to learn more about the brewing process and the beer industry in Germany.

How do the German Purity Laws affect the brewing process of craft breweries like Airbräu? Every beer can be brewed according to the Purity Laws and still be innovative. Some breweries have stopped obeying the Purity Laws for various reasons, not just because these laws are preventing them from brewing something good.

What makes a beer a craft beer? It depends on the way you ferment and filter the beer. Craft beers tend to use more malt, so they have a maltier flavor.

Is craft brewing a new trend here in Germany? Craft brews started becoming popular in Germany about three to five years ago. Three years ago was the first craft beer exposition of mid-sized breweries in Munich. IPAs and imperial stouts are also becoming more popular. It’s uncommon to have craft beers for sale in stores since most supermarkets only sell beers from the larger German breweries. There are a few small stores that sell American craft beers but not many.

Has the American craft-brewing scene influenced the Germany beer industry? Yes, there has been a big American influence on the German craft beer trend. IPAs and pale ales are originally British styles, but Americans turned them into their own style and these have influenced the German craft beer industry. American beers tend to be hoppier than German beers, but there are so many different types of beer in Germany that you can really get any type of beer you want here.

Home brewing is becoming a very popular hobby in the U.S. Do you find this is the case in Germany? Germany has so many good beers and they are usually pretty cheap, so most people don’t feel the need to start home brewing here. It’s not as big here in Germany. It’s also very difficult to create a new beer or start a brewery in Germany since the industry is already established and very competitive.

Do you think Germany makes the best beer? Yes, and most will Europeans agree. Germany is well known for its beer all over the world. We tasted the Kumulus beer during our visit to Airbräu. This wheat beer has a 5.6% alcohol content, a fruity, refreshing flavor and the taste of a top-fermented beer with reduced carbonation. While this restaurant and bar is a great place to stop by on your way to and from Munich, you don’t need a plane ticket to enjoy the beers here. Anyone can enter this portion of the airport, so you can stop by Airbräu at anytime during your stay in Munich.

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Address: Munich Airport Center, Forum Level 3, Terminaistraße 85356, Flughafen Munich (Located between terminals 1 & 2)

 

World-renowned Hofbräuhaus

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The legendary Hofbräuhaus in Munich is one of the city’s most popular tourist destinations.

The Hofbräuhaus is one of the oldest beer halls in Munich. It was founded in 1589 by the Duke of Bavaria, Wilhelm V. as a brewery solely for the royal residence, however the beer quickly became popular around town because of the brewer and his famous “Bavarian Beer Purity Law.” In the 17th century the brewery switched primarily to wheat beer. Years later, the Hofbräuhaus in Munich was used by Hilter and the Nazi party for political events and commemorations. Other famous people to have visited Munich’s Hofbräuhaus include Wolfgang Amadeous Mozart, John F. Kennedy, and the American author Thomas Wolfe. The Hofbräuhaus has more than 400 years of rich history that make it a must as a tourist destination.

Naturally we were curious to see what the buzz was all about and made it a top priority during our stay in Munich. Walking in through the huge double doors we were in awe of how lively and full the restaurant was. People from all walks of life were enjoying massive mugs of Hofbraü beer while sitting along long rows of benches and enormous wooden tables. Customers ranged from traditional Bavarian Germans to tourists from every continent across the world.

The beer was delicious and crisp, however if you’re looking for a quick and cheap place to grab some beers, Haufbräuhaus might not be the place to go. A liter of light or dark Hofbraü beer will run you €8 (close to $11 USD). In addition, after 6 p.m. the Hofbraühaus does not offer half liters, so if you’re visiting for dinner be prepared to drink an entire liter.

If you’re not a fan of beer, the Hofbräuhaus offers a great version of Radler, which consists of light beer mixed with lemonade. I had never had Radler before and was surprising delicious. It tasted similar to a light beer with a citris-y fruity taste to it. In addition, you can get wines and mixed drinks if you prefer.

The Hofbrauhaus waiters are impressive; the waiter delivered all our liters of beer in one hand!

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 A few Reise PR ladies enjoying the Hofbrauhaus 

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A live band is always playing, filling the beer hall with traditional Bavarian music

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Weihenstephan

“Weihenstephan Monastery Brewery – after nearly a thousand years – still stands upon the Weihenstephan hill, proud of its quality and its tradition and conscious of its position as the oldest existing brews in the world”

-Weihenstephan Brewery

Weihenstephan Brewery – A tour/tasting that provides a lot of bang for your buck

Weihenstephan Brewery is the oldest running brewery in the world. The brewery itself sits on top of a hill overlooking the Technical University of Munich and takes approximately 45 minutes to get to the campus by subway and bus. The students who attend the university use the brewery on a daily basis to learn the craft of brewing and get hands on experience for their respective majors.

The Resie PR team took a tour of the brewery (60 minutes long) and participated in a beer tasting (45 minutes long). Our tour guide was a student at the University studying to be a brew master and worked part time at the brewery. The guide was very knowledgeable while talking our group through the different steps of the brewing process and was entertaining during throughout the beer tasting.

The most interesting part of the tasting was learning the differences between a wine tasting, which many people have experienced before, and a beer tasting. Below are the four steps to beer tasting.

Step 1: Pour the beer so that the form collects on the top, the foam is where the scent of the beer is held, making a more potent scent. *pouring beer at an angle to decrease the amount of foam that collects on the top is an American tendency and not used in most countries.

Step 2: Take a sip and hold the beer in your mouth.

Step 3: Breathe our of your nose while still keeping the beer in your mouth. This action actives the tastebuds in your throat, allowing you to experience the full flavor of the beer.

Step 4: Enjoy the robust flavor of each unique brew.

This process differs greatly from the wine tasting process because wine is typically spit out once it has been consumed. There is no need to swallow the wine because it does not add any additional taste to the experience by swallowing it.

The price for the tour and tasting is 9 euros. During the tasting you will try four of the best selling Weihenstephan beers, get a large soft pretzel and a voucher for 2 euros off anything in their gift shop (beer, glasses, hats, etc). You also keep your mini beer glass used during the tasting. The glass has the Weihenstephan brewery logo on the front.

Reise PR highly recommends this to any person who is fascinated with the brewing process, wishes to learn more about the oldest brewery in world or just wishes to experience a brewery tour and tasting. The staff is knowledgable and willing to teach people about the art of brewing.

Brewery Tour Times

Mondays: 10 am, Tuesdays: 10 am & 1:30 pm, Wednesdays: 10 am

Pictured below: The four beers we tasted on our tour, left to right: Original, Hefe Weissbier (best seller), Vitus (voted best beer of the year at the World Beer Awards), Korbinian (tastes like chocolate!)

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Our Teams Top Picks

Kirstie: Original

Sarah: Vitus

Wyatt: Hefe Weissbier

Nikki: Hefe Weissbier

For more information and to book your tour visit: http://weihenstephaner.de/en/ or contact Reise PR at reisepr@gmail.com

Chinesischer Turm

The Englischer Garten (German for English Garden) is a 910-acre park in the heart of Munich, Bavaria and is home to the second largest beer garden in Munich, the Chinesischer Turm (Chinese Tower). This beer garden is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike and is notorious for its eccentric environment.

The tower consists of 5 stories and is surrounded by benches and food/beer venues offering visitors an inviting place to relax. Here you can buy food such as grilled fish on a stick, roasted chicken, roasted pork knuckles, and of course the traditional pretzel. They offer Hofbräu and Maß Hell beers and every beer on the menu can be purchased for a reasonable price of around 2-3 euro.

I decided on purchasing a Hofbräu Weissbier- a tasty wheat beer. This was my first time trying German wheat beer and I immediately fell in love, as did many of the other beer garden visitors. This beer is top-fermented and contains a lot of wheat (surprisingly easy to taste in the beer).  Its hard to compare this to the beers I’ve tried in the states because the flavor is so much more than what I’m used too. Needless to say, it was delicious. The beer had a tinge of bitterness with a very pleasant aftertaste. While the foam that collects on the top of the beer was a bit overwhelming, it didn’t contain the high taste of carbonation that many American beers have. My initial thought was, “This is what beer is supposed to taste like.”

During my visit there wasn’t a huge crowd and about half the beer garden was left unfilled. It was moderate and comfortable and very easy to navigate. The benches surrounding the large Chinese tower that sat in the middle of the beer garden were perfect for large groups. The closeness of the benches encourages visitors to communicate with those around them. The connectedness of the beer garden was one of my favorite aspects. It was easy to meet new people as well as mingle with those I visited the Chinesischer Turm with. Overall this was one of my favorite places to drink in Munich.

The beer garden is open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., depending on the weather. The address for the English Garden is Englischen Garten 3, 800538 Munich (Schwabing), Germany. They can be reached by phone at +49-(0)89-38387320.

Who is Reise PR?

January 2014, five University of South Carolina journalism students joined together to form what is now, Reise Public Relations. The firm offers an integrated approach to creating thoughtful and innovative communication campaigns. Reise PR specializes in travel, social media and connecting people with travel destinations that are unique and inspire each person’s inner wanderlust.

Reise PR communications and social media team (left to right): Savannah Wright, Kirstie Russell, Sarah Gledhill, Wyatt Avison and Nikki Rothman

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