Bavaria is famous all over the world for its beer. Actually, German beer in general has a
great reputation. To a great extent, this is due to the German "Reinheitsgebot" - the German Beer Purity Law that
was enacted in Bavaria in the early 16th century and spread to all of Germany. Originally, it limited the
ingredients that could be used to make beer to water, hops, and barley-malt. The Bavarian government insisted on it
becoming part of German law before agreeing to become part of Germany in 1871.
Today the law has changed, but German brewers are still very proud of their long beer
tradition and many adhere to the old purity law voluntarily.
In Germany, several different types of beer can be found. Click
here for more detailled information about them. To start out with, it's probably
enough to know about the following types
"Helles Bier" (light beer): a lighter colored beer that is sometimes called "Lager" or
"Export". It contains 4.5 - 6 % alcohol.
"Dunkles Bier" (dark beer): as the name says, a darker, heavier, somewhat
"Pils" (pilsner): a light-colored beer with a more prominent taste of
"Weißbier" or "Weizenbier" (wheat beer): a top-fermented beer made using
wheat with lots of natural carbonation.
Once you've tried all of these, you can experiment with lots of local
Most cities of any size have at least one brewery - there are over 600 of
them in Bavaria. Many have their own pubs or restaurants and offer tours for visitors.
In earlier times, lots of beer was brewed in monasteries and many of those breweries are
still in existence. Most of them have been secularized, but there are still present-day monasteries that offer
Andechs, a Benedictine monastery that
was started in the 15th century
Ettal, another Benedictine monastery dating from the 16th century
Kreuzberg, a Franciscan monastery brewery
Weltenburg is the oldest monastery in Bavaria (600 AD) and beer has been brewed there since 1050
German beer gardens are great places to enjoy a warm summer afternoon or evening. In
addition to different types of beer - and soft drinks, of course! - they offer a selection of simple meals.
Sometimes musical entertainment is provided, too.