Monday, November 23, 2009

A Perfect Munich Beergarden - At Last!

For ages now, I've been prattling on about wonderful beers and wonderful places in which to guzzle them. There are so many! And since I can only praise the lovely liquid so much without a Thesaurus nearby, I tried to attach a numerical rating to the various Beer Experiences. But is there such a thing as a Perfect Beer Experience?
Well, yes, I've decided that there is indeed a Perfect Ten out of Ten on my Yuk/Yummy Scale of Beer Goodness. There is a Perfect Beer for me, and a Perfect Beergarden where I can enjoy it, and yes, it is in Munich, Germany. It's the first beergarden I ever visited, the most recent beergarden I've been to, and if there was only one beergarden left for Mooncattie, this would be the one I'd greet the Afterlife with.It's the Augustiner-Keller, just west of Munich's main railway station, or Hauptbahnhof. Weather permitting, it's a joy to sit outdoors among the chestnut trees and the thousands of happy patrons and enjoy one of Munich's most historic (ie. OLD) beers. Whether you go for the Augustiner Helles, the slightly stronger Edelstoff, or their Weissbier, you are guaranteed a magnificent maß (I hope that's the 'double-s' key). If the clouds are rolling in, you can always duck inside the large adjacent beer hall and join your fellow revellers in toasting the night away.

I won't say there isn't a better place to enjoy a beer, but in my (albeit fairly limited) experience, it's the best I've found. Of course, this means I have to keep traveling and trying out new spots while not forgetting to return to my old favourites. Roll on, 2010, and Prost! to you all.

Augustiner Keller
Arnulf Strasse 52
80335 Munich
Ph# (089) 594393

Take the #17 Tram to Hopfenstr. or any of the main S-Bahn trains to Hackerbrücke and walk one block north to Arnulfstr., then turn right one block to Zirkus-Kronestr. Cheers!

NEXT: The Big 5-0!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Perfect Munich Beergarden, Part 2

Yikes, I haven't written anything in over a month. Busy at work, and general laziness, I guess. I want to continue my look back at the Summer of 2009 and in particular, a wonderful time spent touring the beergardens of Munich. In an earlier chapter, I recalled a trip to the northern part of the city to visit a Spaten sponsored garden near the River Isar. Today I'm pleased to tell you about another Spaten spot located well to the south of Munich, but easily accessible by S-Bahn and a lovely countryside stroll. It's the historic Kugler Alm Beergarden!
How to get here: from anywhere on the main S-Bahn line of stations in the heart of Munich, grab the S5 in the direction of Furth. That's your destination, and you'll need an upgraded ticket or transit daypass to get there, as it's a bit further beyond the Munich city limits. Once you arrive at Furth, just follow the directions on the various signposts to Kugler Alm. It's less than a 20-minute walk, and a very pleasant one it is.

I arrived just in time for lunch on a Wednesday, and as you can see, there aren't a lot of folks hanging around just yet. I'm sure it's a great spot in the evenings (plenty of parking adjacent) and on weekends (lots of cycling paths leading the way in). That's where the historic nature of Kugler Alm is revealed - this is the home of the Radler, the light-beer mixture of Beer and Lemonade (or anything resembling what we know as 7-Up). Legend has it that the garden's owner, Franz Kugler, came up with the idea in 1922 as a means of keeping the Radlers (cyclists) from getting too tipsy to ride home after a visit. It's now a common low-alcohol alternative in many beergardens and taverns in Germany. Well, I didn't have to worry about driving or cycling, so I went for the mass of Spaten Helles and a plate o' ribs, and was I ever happy afterwards!
This was, for me, very close indeed to the perfect beergarden experience. The BBQ spareribs were the BEST I had tried at any of the Munich gardens, and the beer was fresh, cold, and tasty. The awning above provided shelter from a brief July shower, the loos were clean, and the staff was friendly. What more could I want? Well, not very much actually. I rate the Kugler Alm a hair or two above the previous day's visit to Sankt Emmerams Mühle for the fine location, the superior ribs, and the ever so slightly tastier Spaten. An easy 9.5 on the Yuk/Yummy Scale of Beery Goodness, and maybe, just maybe, touching a wee bit closer to the Perfect Ten. So I'll split hairs and give it a grateful 9.75 and look forward very much to the day I get to return to this wonderful spot. For an easy day trip outside Munich's city center, I cannot think of a better destination to quench one's thirst than this one.
Kugler Alm
Linien Strasse 93
82041 Oberhaching
PH (089) 61390190
Open 10am - 11pm

NEXT: Yes, there IS a Perfect Ten!