With central locations, large buildings and recognisable names, Munich’s famous breweries are easy to spot. But beyond Spaten’s yellow tower and Augustiner’s red-brick chimneys are a number of small and experimental players adding a punch to the local beer scene.
Founded in 2018, this nano brewery can be found in the basement of an old bakery in Maxvorstadt. The man behind the beer is Paul Higgins, an American who’s been living in Munich for many years. Expect handmade IPAs, Pale Ales and Cream Ales brewed in small batches. Note: you need an appointment before visiting.
Try: Eclipse Black IPA or the limited edition Spruce Juice.
The beer from this backyard brewery in Westend is delivered directly to addresses across Munich. Orders can be made via WhatsApp and should arrive within 90 minutes. Alternatively you can head to the brewery or one of their “Tankstellen” (petrol stations) in Glockenbach and Schwabing for a drink.
Try: Pale Ale or check out their current collection
With no facilities of his own, “gypsy brewer” Marc Gallo borrows space from other breweries to produce his bottles of Hopfmeister. A graphic designer by trade, Marc’s interest in brewing developed when creating labels for a different craft beer brand. Expect cloudy, unfiltered beers and fun, travel-inspired names.
Try: Brazilian Road Trip (a chocolate stout with açaí)
With fun and young branding, Isarkindl is a brewing project founded by four students in 2015. Their small range, brewed in a number of different locations, offers contemporary interpretations of classic beer styles, including one seasonal lager. Their Wildhopfenlager is made with wild hops and only available from October to December.
Try: Naturradler (shandy with cloudy lemonade)
After studying the art of beer brewing at Munich’s Technical University (yes, that’s a thing) and gaining experience at a brewery in Switzerland, local Ludwig Tilman launched his own brand in 2014. With colourful label designs, bottles of Tilmans Biere stand out in beer fridges across town. The best place to try his beer, however, in on tap at his bar Frisches Bier.
Try: Das Helle or Brown Ale
Tucked away in a Haidhausen backyard, Hopfenhäcker offers creative and experimental beers that originate from the knowledge of two brewers: one from Germany, one from the US. While the brewery has limited opening hours, the bottle shop / restaurant next door has a great selection.
Try: Der Rote (a red export beer)
Haderner is the first certified organic brewery in the city. Using ingredients from Bavarian farms, they produce a small range of beers which you can pick up from the brewery in Hadern or a number of shops across the city. They also offer brewing courses and tours of their site (currently on hold) .
Try: Haderner Leichtes Helles in summer and Haderner Märzen in winter.
The story of CREW Republic began in 2011 – with a home brewing kit and a flat share in Glockenbachviertel. Since then, owners Mario and Timm have built the reputation of their beer, bottle by bottle. In 2015, they opened a brewery in the north of the city, later adding a beer garden and a tap room.
Try: Hop Junkie Session IPA or keep an eye out for new, possibly limited edition, brews marked with an “X”.
Another place with humble beginnings is Giesinger Bräu. From a garage to a city brewery to a huge new facility opened last month, they are certainly a local success story. They have a small bar (Stehausschank) next to Viktualienmarkt and a beer garden at their new site, but nothing beats a bottle of cold pilsner from their brewery in Giesing, accompanied by the sound of the bells from the church featured on their labels.
Try: Giesinger Pils
The last one is doesn’t quite fit as True Brew Brewing Co. produce their beer in Oberpfalz; however the recent opening of a stylish brew pub in Dreimühlenviertel, complete with shiny beer tanks behind the bar, has put their name firmly on the local map.
Try: Beyond the Pines Double IPA
Where else to try…
There are a number of bars and restaurants in Munich that have a good selection of craft beer: try Hop Dog in Dreimühlenviertel, Frisches Bier in Schlachthofviertel, Ambar in Giesing, Saluki in Sendling, Wirtshaus Eder in Westend, Crow Bar in Schwabing and Tap House and Das Meisterstück in Haidhausen.