Munich in Bavaria has the reputation to be the city of beer and breweries. Combined with the unique Bavarian live style it comes to no surprise, that beer gardens for every ones taste can be found, with some of them looking back to a long history. South in Munich, in the district Grohesselohe, you will find the Waldwirtschaft, best translated with Forest-Inn, but commonly known by Munich’s citizens as WaWi. This is a truly original beer garden high above the valley of the river Isar and the most beautiful place for a typical Bavarian Brotzeit.

Live music is high on the agenda at WaWi with a rich program including traditional Jazz such as Dixieland, Blues and Swing with local- and international bands performing daily and nightly. On a sunny Sunday morning you will be surprised to meet so many like minded people here and great fun is guaranteed. Huge trees provide you with shade on a hot summer day and there is space to accommodate up to 2,200 guests, who will be primarily seated on wooden table sets. Additionally a tent covers the heart of the beer garden, in case the weather is not so great during the stay. Since the new owner started in 1981, WaWi became one of the all year round operating and best known beer gardens in Bavaria. So maybe that’s why you will find the rich and famous sitting right next to you.

Beer is a part of culture in Munich and already around 1600, Munich had reached its peak with 80 breweries! In the 19th century there were still 60, with small ones eventually closing their doors or taken over by bigger companies such as Lwenbru. Today there are 6 breweries left, also providing the beers for the worldwide unrivaled Oktoberfest. Todays breweries are Augustiner, Hacker Pschorr, the state-run Hofbruhaus, Lwenbru, Paulaner and the Spaten-Brauerei.

Beer gardens started to exist already around the middle of the 16th century. In those days for security reasons, a fire could easily break out; it was only aloud to brew beer between the end of September and end of April each year. The so called Mrzenbier, a stronger March-beer, was brewed to last through the summer months. To cool the beer, special beer-cellars were constructed near the breweries. Because of the high underground water level in Munich deep cellars were out of question and that’s why many trees, especially robust and big leaved chestnut trees were planted to provide coolness and shade. Off course the breweries started to add tables and chairs and served customers who came in huge numbers. The beer gardens were born, but local restaurant owners did not fancy this competition and King Ludwig I finally forbid the sale of food in those beer-gardens. No obstacle for Munich’s beer garden lovers though, they responded by bringing their own food to the premises and the tradition of a Brotzeit was born, and is still sacred to real Bavarian.

In case you visit a real beer garden don’t be surprised to see people doing just that or much better, why don’t you join in this tradition? Here’s what you need to make it authentic: a table-cloth, best red and white checkered, not blue and white diamonds! Wooden boards, cutlery and napkins; Radi, a long white radish and a special sharp knife to cut the Radi in spirals; Leberkaas, a kind of meat loaf, regional cheese like Emmentaler, Romadur or Limburger, salt, pepper and mustard; fresh country butter, brown bread and fresh Brezn, or Pretzel. Other toppings for your bread could be tomatoes, chives, small red radish, lard, also mixed with greaves and Obatzda. This a savory cream of mashed Camembert cheese, butter, very fine chopped onions, spiced with salt, pepper, paprika, caraway and a bit of wheat beer! Now, don’t bring your Brotzeit in a plastic bag but in a natural wicker basket since by tradition, all materials used should be as natural as possible! Off course this is not a complete list off foods, add potato- or sausage salad, oh and maybe even candles for the time after sun down. Enjoy your food, the beers, the music and make it a beautiful day.

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