Hoppy traveling on the beer routeFor beer lovers Germany is the ultimate paradise. Wherever you travel you can be sure to find a local brewery, often producing beer in its own distinctive style. The country has an estimated 1,340 breweries, with over half the total in Bavaria alone. Even if you’ve already been to Munich’s Octoberfest, our beer route will have you discover breweries and beers you’ve never heard of and what’s more, meet the families that have been brewing for over 600 years!
In the most northern town on our beer route, Rostock, the local brewery Hanseatische Brauerei Rostock has been in existence since 1878 and is also a museum with tours and tastings. Interestingly, it also produces a kosher beer variety for export to Israel. Other places you shouldn’t miss are the Trotzenburg brew pub which welcomes visitors to a hearty lunch, and the Alter Fritz brewery on Rostock’s harborside famed for its special dishes created with beer.
Osnabrück’s only brewery, the Rampendahl Hausbrauerei (a Hausbrauerei is basically a combination of a small brewery and a pub restaurant), has a fantastic atmosphere and their simple selection of “Helles” or “Dunkel” beers is also available in 1l bottles, perfect for gifting.
As early as the 16th century, Münster was a renowned brewing centre. The main product of the town's breweries was Keut (a beer brewed from wheat, barley and hops) which was exported far and beyond the city. However, in the 19th century Keut was ousted by Altbier, and the local Pinkus-Müller brewery is the last one to make this style. It’s also the world‘s first brewery to brew with only organically grown barley malt and whole hop blossoms.
Traveling some 250 miles south, the beer route continues on to Würzburg where the Würzburger Hofbräu was founded in 1643 by Prince-Bishop Johann Philipp von Schönborn. The idea behind the founding of a royal court brewery was to placate the thirsty soldiers with delicious beer after almost all of the wine supplies had been depleted. The Würzburger Hofbräu is the oldest brewery still in existence in the city today. A scenic spot to hang out and try the local beer is the Goldene Gans beer garden right next to the river Main.
The Bavarian city of Augsburg first stipulated in 1143 that establishments serving bad beer or dishonest amounts would be fined and their beer destroyed. Beer tradition is still thriving at the Riegele Brewery, one of the oldest in the world. Established in 1386, it’s currently run by a 5th generation owner who also happens to be a former World Champion Beer Sommelier. With seven breweries no one will ever go thirsty in Augsburg! Stop by at Thorbräu, founded in 1582, or the König von Flandern micro-brewery.
In Regensburg you’ll find the Kneitinger brewery which offers cellar tours and guests can even earn a Beer Diploma. Many local beers pair well with meals served in traditional restaurants like the Historische Wurstkuchl (the Historic Sausage Kitchen) said to be the oldest one in the world. Don’t miss the Spitalgarten, a beer garden in a hospital right next to the Danube river, where the tasty Spital beer been has been produced and served for nearly 800 years. And if you’re traveling with friends why not jump on a Beer & BBQ cruise?
The beer route now turns north to the Thuringian state capital of Erfurt. In the 16th century, some 600 small breweries were run here. Today, you can go on a tour with the historically costumed beer crier, an important figure in the Middle Ages, who used to spread the news of freshly brewed beer around town. The tour will take you to houses where beer was once brewed and traditional breweries like Zum Goldenen Schwan to sample the local beer and tasty Thuringian food.
The last stop on your beer route is Potsdam, where in 1689 the Krongut Bornstedt (Bornstedt Crown Estate) started brewing beer for the Prussian Kings and their guests at the nearby Sanssouci Palace. These days, the Krongut is famous for its "Bornstedter Buffalo" beer specialties. Alternatively, both the Meierei Potsdam brewery and Forsthaus Templin Brewhouse are worth a visit, located on two of Potsdam’s many picturesque lakes.