Today marks the beginning of our new monthly blog post series highlighting a different German brewery each month. We’ll explore the history of the brewery, the beers they offer, and talk about the brewery today, as well as covering any and all interesting information in between. To kick things off, we’ll start with a favorite of ours — Hofbräuhaus.
The history of Hofbräuhaus dates all way back to the year 1589 when William V, the Duke of Bavaria and his royal family became dissatisfied with the local beer offerings in Munich available to them at the time. In fact, the local beers of Munich at the time were so poor that William V. actually imported beer to Munich from the city of Einbeck in Lower Saxony. However, the cost of importing beer and travel times meant that the beer was expensive and not quite of to his standards. The solution quickly became apparent to the Duke, he needed to start a brewery of his own. Soon after, Heimeran Pongraz, the master brewer of the Geisenfeld Monastery was recruited to become the master brewer, planner, and developer of the new brewery. The very first HB beer was a brown ale known simply as the “brown” Hofbräuhaus.
The new beer turned out to be a huge hit. In fact, it was this very beer that actually saved the city of Munich from destruction. In the year 1632, during the Thirty Years War, Bavaria was invaded by King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden who threatened to burn down the entire city of Munich. Fortunately, tragedy was averted when the citizens of Munich agreed to two conditions; the releasing of a few hostages and surrendering 600,000 barrels of HB beer. Yes, this beer actually saved the city of Munich.
Now that you know how Hofbräuhaus got its start, let’s talk about the most important thing; the beer.
If there was one specific beer that best captured the character of the City of Munich, this would be it. This full-bodied bottom-fermented Lager offers a great golden color, fine hoppy aroma, and a smooth finishing taste of citrus and earthy hops.
The beer that started it all! This was the first beer ever brewed Hofbräuhaus. With a popular following of over 400 years, the Hofbräu Dunkel offers rich flavor with the hint of a subtle spiciness. The mild carbonization produces a decent sized, yet not over-sized head. If you’re a fan of darker beers, this is the beer for you!
Hofbräu Hefe Weizen:
With a history dating back over 400 years, Hofbräu Hefe Weizen has been a local favorite. Back in the early 1600′s, Weissbier (wheat beer) could only be brewed by ducal privilege (Privilege granted by Duke of Bavaria) and Hefe Weizen became the first and only Weissbier brewed in Bavaria, an exclusive monopoly which it held for nearly 200 years. Brewed to ancient tradition, this beer is characterized by its rich foam and distinguished fruity taste.
Celebrating the rich traditional of the largest festival in the world, the Hofbräu Oktoberfest brew is naturally the perfect choice of beers when you’re celebrating Oktoberfest, be it at the Munich Beer Festival or a local celebration closer to home. This full-bodied beer is the perfect mate to a traditional Bavarian meal. Naturally brewed from only the finest pure water and highest quality hops and malt (as with all HB beers). If you can’t make it to Oktoberfest Munich, pick up a pack of HB Oktoberfest and enjoy a piece of Oktoberfest right at home.
The Hofbräu Maibock, an amber bock, has a distinguished history dating all the way back to the year 1614. This powerful beer comes in at a rather hefty 7.2% abv, the strongest of all the HB beers. A favorite of the Hofbräu brewmasters and locals alike, the first keg of Maibock is tapped during the last week of April at the historic Hofbräuhaus just in time to celebrate the merry month of May.
In addition to the famous beer hall in Munich, Hofbräuhaus also owns other beer halls and tents in Munich. These include the Hofbräuhaus am Platzl, originally built as an extension of the original brewery, except its focus was on brewing Weissbier; The Hofbräukeller restaurant; and the famous Hofbräu-Festzelt, the largest beer tent at Oktoberfest Munich. In addition to the beer halls in Munich, there are now “Hofbräuhauses” all across the world to supply the worldwide demand of HB beer.
Hopefully you enjoyed this post and have learned something new about Hofbräuhaus. It’s time now to grab your favorite HB beer and sit back and enjoy the storied history of that brew.