Bavaria’s Griesbräu Brewery
Bavaria’s Griesbräu Brewery
Germany is well known for its beer production; there is an entire globally-renowned festival dedicated to it every October. Recently, I had the opportunity to partake in a brewery tour at Griesbräu Brewery in Murnau, Bavaria, and it was one of the best brewery tours I have ever been on.
For readers still learning Deutsch, the tour was given in English by Braumeister (brewmaster) Wolfgang who has been with Griesbräu for over 20 years. He even completed a trip to Washington DC about 10 years ago to learn more about IPAs (India Pale Ales). Wolfgang began our tour by handing us each a pint of Griesbräu Weissbier (wheat beer), explaining the roots of beer’s creation in Bavaria and how beer is made today.
Over the course of the tour, we learned about the filtering process, the history of the brewery itself and tasted three additional beers, including Helles and Dunkel varieties. My favorite part of the night was learning about, along with tasting, the brewery’s invention of their own beer likör, which Wolfgang served to us warm in shot glasses topped with whipped cream. Wolfgang also insisted that there be no whipped cream left in anyone’s glass, so most of us were promptly served a second shot to help clear the whipped cream out of our glasses.
The tour concluded with dinner and, you guessed it, one more beer (in case you lost count, it was five beers and two shots total). However, before we could indulge in delicious duck, savory pretzels and spaetzle, we had to pass a written test based on the information we learned on the tour (which got a little murky after the beer likör shots). Thankfully, we only had to get 5 out of the 10 correct. I am proud to say I scored a 7 out of 10. In honor of my newly gained knowledge of Bavarian beers, I was thusly rewarded with a “Bierkenner” (beer connoisseur) certificate.
As we were eating dinner, we received our fifth and final beer of the evening. This gave me a chance to talk with others on the tour. I met a couple who had taken the same tour nine years before with Wolfgang and loved it so much they knew they had to do it again since they were in the area.
Like all great rides at theme parks, this tour ended in the gift shop. We used the opportunity to not only pick up some apparel and glassware bearing the Griesbräu logo, but also a couple of bottles of the delicious beer likör.
If you are staying at Edelweiss Lodge and Resort, you can book the tour through them, which is what I did. This was a great additional component to an already wonderful tour because Edelweiss provided not only the transportation but also a knowledgeable tour guide. On our way there (about a 30-minute drive), the tour guide told us about bars that were once Nazi meeting grounds, mountains that may be haunted by women accused of practicing witchcraft and how a group of doctors used their knowledge of local traditions as well as a rental helicopter to earn themselves free skiing for life.
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