German breweries are nearly in a class of their own, and many travelers plan entire trips around beer in Germany. From the celebration of Oktoberfest to the perfect accompaniment to German food, local brews are right at the center of German culture. If you’re interested in learning more about this local specialty, be sure to include German beer tours in your itinerary. It is possible to visit microbreweries in a city or even venture out of cities to some of the largest and best known breweries in the country. Whichever you choose, be sure to bring your thirst as there will be plenty of varieties to try during your visit.
When it quenching your thirst, some travelers would argue that there’s nothing like a cold beer in Germany. From Cologne to Munich and everywhere in between, there are opportunities for German beer tours. The first decision to make is just how much you want to learn about beer. There are entire tours designed around the brew, where you can travel with a small group to breweries around the country for anywhere from three to ten days. Other travelers who don’t want to spend their whole trip visiting breweries can choose to spend an afternoon sampling local beers.
Munich alone is home to 40 different types of beer. They come mostly from six major breweries in the region, all of which you can arrange to visit. Some of them have the most recognizable names of beer in Germany including Paulaner (which was founded by monks), Erdinger, and Hacker-Pschorr. Other breweries you can visit in Munich include Augustiner, Lowenbrau, and Weihenstephan (the oldest brewery in the world). Each of these breweries offers their own take on a museum tour, exhibition, and tasting. You will learn about how ingredients and the local water combine to make unique beers.
Munich isn’t the only destination where you can sample some of the best beer in Germany. If you want to take a tour of a famous brewery, check out the Becks brewery in Bremen. You will get to explore the brewing rooms at this brewery in northern Germany. Another option for German beer tours is the Rechenberg Brewery Museum in Saxony. This historic brewery features a brewing room dating back to 1780. From the Black Forest to Bamberg to Bremen, there is an incredible variety of breweries to explore. One bonus of joining a tour is not having to figure out opening times and tour languages; that can all be arranged for you in advance.
While beer tours are popular in Germany, another local delicacy to explore is wine. Many travelers don’t know that Germany is well known for wines, and has a few wine growing regions that are worth exploring. Take the Rhine River for example. This region is known for producing Riesling grapes. It is possible to plan a trip here to visit local wineries, taste different Rieslings, and even participate in the harvest. If beer is more to your taste, stick to the wineries. Munich and Bavaria is where many breweries are densely packed, but across the country you will find options for learning about the history and process of making German beer.
Image: GNTB/Hans Peter Merten