Throughout my career as a professional tour guide, I presented many interesting tours to Munich’s visitors. My preferred one is no doubt the beer tour.
Explaining some of the most outstanding chapters of Bavarian history and its beer episodes is exiting.
Organizing a pleasant schedule for people you have never met before can be a challenge. When I wrote about the joy of beer tours, I wanted also to give some hints about organization, but my posting was already too long.
Questions like “Do they eat early or late?” or “How many are vegetarians?” are crucial in the planning. Such events can be birthdays, bachelor’s, or a simple company events, and where I normally have long chats with team-assistants and the social souls of those companies (not just to hear the best gossips). Never seat two people, who can’t feel comfortable near each other, side by side. My mission is to deliver a memorable time together.
Munich Beer, best of the world
You find this in one square in Munich, announcing how proud Bavarian people are, about the local beer. As a guide, it is a privilege for me to represent the local heritage of huge importance. That’s why I keep with the most recent facts about our breweries, like the new raising brand “Giesinger Bräu”. They will be great, and I’m sure soon they will be represented in the Oktoberfest.
I’m eclectic and try many different brands, in order to have a good basis for my opinion about the taste of the different brands. I am like a sommelier who can provide you with useful knowledge about the products as well as their manufacturers, decorated with my personal note.
Beer Tradition and beer tours
Beer is almost synonymous with Germany. In fact, Bavarians consider it both a drink and food. When someone talks about my country, a beer often comes to mind first, alongside juicy sausages, for my pain as a vegetarian.
Some traditional ingredients for making the drink were not always used in their traditional form. The 250-word document, which dictated what beer could be made and what profits could be made, has been debated over its real intentions. It was enacted to prevent price wars among bakeries. My personal opinion is, that monks wanted to reduce the possibilities of competitors, but I’ll never make this statement officially to not burn in hell for heresy.
In 1987, the European Court dismissed the Purity Law as a protectionist measure. Despite this, the purity law has not held any international currency. The four best beer halls in Munich, which is the country’s most popular place to visit, are the Chinesischer Turm, the Augustiner Keller, the Hacker-Pschorr Brauhaus, and the Hofbräuhaus. These establishments are known for serving some of the best beers in the area. I ever try to organize my events in one of those restaurants.
History Of Bavarian Beer is nice, but too much history may be boring
I like to start my tours with an introduction about Iran, Egypt, and Mesopotamia. Mythology is a must to give the special touch of the mysteries behind this beverage. In the 12th century, the Abbess Hildegard of Bingen discovered the antiseptic and conservative qualities of hops. This is the time when the first royal breweries were established and when hops came to the ingredients of our actual version of the beer. The history of beer can be traced back to 1516 when Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia regulated the concept of Bavarian beer to the brewers.
In 1520, wheat beer was brought to Bavaria from Bohemia. It was made using yeast and wheat. In 1567, it was forbidden to brew wheat according to a disclaimer from Albrecht V, and this restriction was abolished by Prince Elector Maximilian I in 1602. Albrecht V considered wheat beer as a beverage to make drunk but not strong. I may agree with him, but we need a lot of power to raise a beer maas. It states that only three ingredients are needed to make beer: water, hops, and malt. Yeast will come later.
Types Of Beer
Normally, beer tours involve giving a try to a lot of different but historical types of beers that are available all across the country. As Germany has a long written history of this beverage, sometimes it seems so good that I don’t know where to start.
Throughout the history of Munich, but also other parts of my country, many beers have passed through the tourists’ hands. Beer is such a traditional piece of Germany that every region has one of its own. Their taste varies depending on what local ingredients are injected. And this represents the biggest reason why Bavarian and other beers can vastly differ in density and taste.
Some of the most popular beer types we can find are Pilsner (Helles), Maibock, Schwarzbier, Doppelbock, Eisbock, Oktoberfest / Märzen as well as their darker version Dunkel.
The Ingredients must be introduced with passion
The most common but yet necessary ingredients for making special German beers are water, hops, malt, and yeast. But something that makes these so special is one additional ingredient, love. Perhaps dozens of countries provide citizens with beers but only ones made in Germany possess a pinch of love from its creators. According to German Beer Purity Law from 1516, these materials are the only ones that can be used in beer production.
Why water? – Water has mineral components, and these have properties that give regions a regional character. For instance, regions such as Dublin have wells that are ideal for making stout. To get the best possible beer, Germans carbon filter the water and add conditioners to it in the mashing stage.
Why malt? – The starch source in beer is a key component that contributes to the flavor and strength of the beer. This material is found in the malted grain. Malting grain is a process used to convert starch into fermentable sugars. Its fibrous husk is also used to make the wort more robust. This is because it helps convert starch into sugars.
Why hops? – The hop inseminated female flower is the main component used for making beer. It is also used as a preservative agent. Hops contribute bitterness and floral notes to the beer. They also have an antibiotic effect that can help preserve the flavor of the beer. Hops help preserve the head and taste of beer. They are also beneficial for reducing bacteria and yeast growth.
Why yeast? – Yeast is an organism that can convert ethanol into alcohol. It can be used for generations and can be used in different batches of beer. Many beers contain neutral yeasts, which are not known to enhance or decrease the flavor of the beer. In Hefeweizens, the yeasts are responsible for creating the clove and banana flavor. Brewer’s yeast is a type of fungus that contains nutrients that are very beneficial to your body (but not for your belly).
And why love? Well, because our people enjoy making this traditional beverage which shaped the history of the German country.
My Concept Of The Beer Tour
Beer tours must be simple, but well planned. They must offer more than getting drunk. And make sure your guests are not already drunk at the beginning. If they are, change the beer tour, to a strong coffee tour and send them to the cold shower. Depending on the schedule, I make some quiz or offer other drinks to keep the balance of beer and unexpected side effects. It implies that you shouldn’t hesitate to ask for some specific information about the particular beer, brewery, or anything else.
Never offer overcrowded tours. This is money making and far from the Bavarian hospitality. Overcrowded groups frequently misunderstands what your guide is saying. Too many people are hard to control and most of them will even forget the name of their guide. That’s why I am keeping track of my concept and choosing the “less is more” approach.
It means that I am always willing to provide and get all the necessary information for a good personal interaction. But in the same way, keep you entertained like I usually do with my other events. Providing tourists with a feeling like they are talking with their own cousin (or old uncle) is what I stand for.
So, it is in my best interest to find a perfect balance between entertainment and getting knowledge. That way, our communication will be much better and paved with mutual admiration and respect.
Join me for your next event
Beer tours represent a unique way to catch up with groups and make them aware of how interesting beer is for the region and socializing. Through this activity, we are discovering new, interesting things together and getting familiar with some outstanding data that the Internet can’t provide. Consequently, you can see what an impact the role of a tour guide like me can have on people and how valuable it can be.