On last year's beer trip to Munich, one thing I didn't get to do which I was kinda bummed about was visiting Weihenstephan, the famous Bavarian brewery in Freising, Germany.
Their Hefeweissbier is one of my all-time favorite brews and as the world's oldest brewery they command enormous respect in the industry.
So when I booked our trip to Italy this year I was pumped to see that we had a 5 hour layover in Munich on the flight home. Interesting….
Downtown Munich is too far from the airport for that amount of time, but Freising is just next door. We hit one small snag coming out of the airport — the cab driver hadn't heard of the brewery. He thought it was a milk factory.
Yes you would think every cab driver in Munich would know Weihenstephan but that's how it is sometimes. The lesson: bring the address with you.
15 minutes later we arrived at the restaurant – Bräustüberl Weihenstephan. Going from the hustle and bustle of Venice to the Bavarian countryside was quite the shock, and a welcomed one for weary travelers looking to relax.
It was a beautiful day outside in the traditional Bavarian biergarten. After a week of pasta (albeit delicious pasta) I was craving some weisswurst with sweet mustard, which I washed down with an incredibly fresh dunkelweizen. Beer truly is better at its source. My favorite beers aren't necessarily those without faults or with the best flavor. The context is equally important and the experience is what really sticks in your mind for the years to come. For that, this beer ranked right up there with my favorites.
If you find yourself with a long layover in Munich, the trip to Freising is well worth it. I'm glad I can cross that one off my bucket list.
You may be wondering about the beer in Italy. To be honest I was indulging in so much red wine that I didn't drink much beer. Unlike Germany, you need to do more hunting to find good beer in Italy. Peroni is absolutely everywhere and not very appealing in my opinion. In Rome (our first city) the best spot I found was a cafe on the southeastern corner of Campo de' Fiori. They have a good selection of Belgian ales and even carry Brew Dog. Campo de' Fiori is one of my favorite parts of Rome so you won't just be going for the beer. In Venice (our second city) there is a brewery called Dolomiti which is easily found throughout the city. I enjoyed a few pints of their Rosso (amber ale). A good beer spot in Venice is Bacaro Risorto. They carry Sierra Nevada and Brooklyn Brewery, as well as some German ales. It's more of a locals place too which is nice.