The Pinkus Müller brewery in Münster.
While planning a beer-centric trip to Germany, one may think a visit to Oktoberfest in Munich is the most authentic way to go. But there is another city in Northwest Germany that is worth paying a visit to. A city with its own deep roots in beer as well as charm and history —Münster.
This Westphalian City — one with more bicycles then people and more than 1,000 pubs — is home Altes Gasthaus Leve, a pub that was established in 1607, as well as Pinkus Müller, which claims to the the oldest organic brewery in the world.
Germans take their beer seriously — the country still has laws in place to ensure the quality of brews — and Münster is no exception. However, Münster is a bit more progressive in the beer segment than other Rhine cities, like Düsseldorf — which stands staunchly behind its Alt beer — and Cologne — a city where Kolsch-style beer reigns supreme.
“We love the craft beer movement,” says Dr. Carsten Seick, an historian and tour operator with Stadtlupe. “The enthusiasm from the United States has made its way to Münster.”
The city is one in which the beer-brewing roots of Germany meet more progressive flavors and palates. It helps, too, that Münster is a university city with an economy built on local shopping and dining commerce. In turn, store and restaurant owners are more inclined to offer visitors something they cannot find elsewhere.
Where To Stay
For those who are serious about keeping to the theme, booking a stay at the Factory Hotel is the way to go. Walking distance from the center of the city, the hotel is the site of the former Germania brewery. Yes, you can actually sleep in an old brewery. Additionally, the hotel has three restaurants on-site, as well as a bar for after-exploration sips and bites.
Pinkus Müller is on tap at Drübbelken.
Where To Eat And Drink
Münster is not without an array of places to eat, as the city is quite large. However, for a piece of Bavaria in the northern Germany, check out Drübbelken. Decked out in dark wood and serving up regional and seasonal favorites, the restaurant also carries a hearty variety of Pinkus Müller on tap. It’s an authentic experience in the heart of the city’s cow corner.
Additionally, Altes Gasthaus Leve isn’t just known for its beer. The centuries-old restaurant is rooted in German heritage and serves up an extensive menu full of German specialities.
Pinkus Müller, too, is more than just a brewery. There are also two restaurants and a beer garden attached to the main building, so there is plenty to choose from.
Grab a beer — or one of the bar’s interesting cocktails — at Heaven Hell Bar (Himmel Hölle Bar). Home of the mega-cocktail, reservations are recommended.
Immerse yourself in the student body by grabbing a pint at Cavete Muenster. The neighborhood pub touts a relaxed atmosphere and German comfort food that is well-made.
For a pub with a cozy feel, locals recommend Eulen & Lerchen. The pub also has an extensive cocktail program and serves up breakfast.
Other Sights Not To Miss
While beer may be top-of-mind, the city is also rich in history. It has more than three dozen museums, including the German Tank Museum and the Mühlenhof open-air museum. Just outside the city, in the area called Münsterland, are castles and mansions that are also worth a stop. However, if you are on a time constraint, here are a few of the city’s sights that shouldn’t be missed.
- The Prinzipalmarkt, which was destroyed during World War II and painstakingly rebuilt.
- Historic City Hall
- St. Lambert’s Church
- St. Paul’s Cathedral
- Botanical Gardens
- New Münster City, the more modern side of the city