Top Ten Wineries, Breweries, and Distilleries
|German beers on tap at Oktoberfest in Munich (Foodcollection/Getty)|
7. Munich, Germany: Beer
Seeking the ground zero of German beer? Munich is your one-stop wonderland. Brewery tours are not as prevalent as one might suspect, despite it being the home of Oktoberfest. "The major city breweries are too busy or too big to offer public access," says Larry Hawthorne, author of The Beer Drinker's Guide to Munich . But a few choice tours remain. Hawthorne recommends Weihenstephan, the world's oldest brewery, in operation since 1040, which has won many international distinctions for its beers. You can take a tour of the brewery, walking through its near-millenia of history and concluding with a beer tasting. Hawthorne's other favorite is the Ayinger brewery in the Munich village of Aying, a 40-minute rail ride outside the city. Owned by the Inselkammer family since 1878, Ayinger has won several first-place awards at the World Beer Championships. The owners also operate the largest hotel in town, allowing visitors to relax for a full bier erlebnis (beer experience). Munich is steeped in German culture and history, from the New Herrenchiemsee Castle, with its renowned Great Hall of Mirrors, to the sparkling BMW museum. Prefer the outdoors? Check out the Hellabrunn, the world's first geo-zoo (with 460 animal species in large natural habitats) or the city's well-clipped English Gardens.
Munich Travel Guide
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Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication