Beer is a huge part of German culture – and there’s no better place to experience (and taste) it first-hand than in these five cities.
Almost 2 million gallons of beer are served during Oktoberfest
Munich has become one of Germany’s top beer towns thanks to its annual Oktoberfest celebrations. Almost 14 million pints of locally brewed beer gets served to visitors from around the world during this half-month festival. But Munich’s reputation as a beer town isn’t just limited to October. The city is home to tons of beer halls and gardens like the famous Hofbräuhaus am Platzl and the Chinesischer Turm in the Englischer Garten.
Hotel Isarblu is just a quarter-mile from the Theresienwiese – the open-air venue where Oktoberfest is held. Hotel guests get access to both an onsite bar and a rooftop terrace, where they’ll get a bird’s-eye view of the festivities.
Craft breweries put a new twist on all the classic beers
The Berliner Weisse is a cloudy, sour beer that dates back to the 16th century. In its prime, there were more than 50 producers within Berlin’s city limits, but today only one remains – Berliner Kindl Weisse. This beer is unique compared to so many others because its often flavored with syrups or mixed with other beers to balance its sourness. Although the number of brewers producing this beer has decreased, the market has been replenished with loads of new breweries putting fresh, new twists on other classics.
Hotel Oderberger is just a 2-minute walk to the Prater Biergarten Berlin, a seasonal self-serve beer garden that serves plenty of locally brewed beers.
Sip on an “altbier” at one of the city's breweries
Altbier (“old beer” in German) is a Düsseldorf specialty. It’s named after its unique brewing method – the much older top-fermentation technique. This process makes the yeast rise to the surface during fermentation, giving it a subtle fruity flavor. The best way to sample the city’s best Altbiers is by hopping between the city’s eight breweries, most of which are in the Altstadt, or “old town.” And if you’re in in town during the winter holiday season, be sure to try each brewery’s “Sticke” – a seasonal variation of the Altbier.
Derag Livinghotel De Medici is located right between the Rhine promenade and the lively Old Town district – putting it in easy walking distance from the city’s top Altbier breweries.
Cologne is the only place you can try authentic Kölsch
Kölsch is another classic beer unique to the city of Cologne. Brewed since 1906, this top-fermented beer is similar to a Pilsner. Kölsch has been awarded a geographical indication status, meaning its qualities and reputation are a direct result of where it’s brewed. Due to this, Kölsch can only be brewed in this region, so be sure to spend some time at one of the thirteen Brauhäuser (breweries) in and around Cologne. In this region, you’ll also get the unique of being served by a Köbes – the name for the waiter who serves Altbier.
The Excelsior Hotel Ernst am Dom is just steps away from the enormous Kölner Dom and several of the city’s best breweries.
Nuremberg's beer history goes as far back as 1303
Nuremberg’s history as a beer town dates as far back as 1303, when the city passed a Reinheitsgebot—a beer purity standard—requiring that only barley malt be used to brew beer. Following the passing of this law, the city grew and developed around the brewing industry. Check out the historic, rock-cut beer cellars that citizens have used over the centuries for beer storage, protection during WWII, and still remain in use to this day.
Dürer-Hotel is just a 2-minute walk from the Historische Felsengänge Nürnberg, where guided tours of the famous underground cellars start.