The decision to visit the Hofbrӓuhaus in Munich is easily made, but choosing what to do once you’re there isn’t so simple .
The biergarten, in the central courtyard, is sheltered by 400 year old chestnut trees. It’s as popular with locals as it is with tourists, all indulging in a Hofbrӓu bier or two.
Inside, in the Schwemme, there’s room for 3,500 guests. The traditional Bavarian menu is extensive, and watching other people’s meals go by doesn’t make the selection of a dish any easier. The pork knuckles are almost as big as the plates they’re served on and the succulent Weiner Schnitzel is complimented by kartoffelnsalat – a delicious Bavarian potato salad.
But there’s another side to the Hofbrӓuhaus that’s equally worth seeing. Visitors have to go to the second floor to experience the Festival Hall, the largest room in the Hofbrӓuhaus, which is used for functions and parties, especially during Oktoberfest. It’s beautifully decorated and the flags that line the walls represent the states that Bavaria once ruled over.
Up another flight of stairs, to a mezzanine floor over the stage, is the Hofbrӓuhaus-exhibition, which tells the history of the Hofbrӓuhaus and its beer, from its beginnings in 1589 to the present day, with old photographs, brewing equipment and memoirs.
The Schwemme is beckoning though, and it’s time to go downstairs and claim a space for dinner. Now, will it be pork knuckle or Weiner Schnitzel?