Beer brewing monks at the Benedictine abbey of Andechs

My sister’s fiance was absolutely adamant we visit the Andechs Abbey. He swears they brew some of the best beer in Bavaria and while it was a little bit of a drive down the autobarn, just driving towards this picturesque town already makes it worthwhile.

Especially if there is a promise of yummy beer at the end of the drive in a crammed little car.

Except no one told me there would be a massive steep hill to climb to get to the top, where the church, monastery, pub, restaurant and brewery would be.

I was not a happy bird.

Andechs Abbey runs a really tight shop. Despite the crowds of people (this photo was taken well after the afternoon crowd had ebbed away), customers were served with true German efficiency – one counter is dedicated to the beers and on the other end has all the food orders, which offers a traditional Bavarian spread of roasts and pork knuckles.

But as good as the food is, it really does play second fiddle to the beers.

Brewed by the monks who live in the abbey with the same recipe since 1455, their small selection is hard to find anywhere else and thousands make the pilgrimage to the monastery

The beers come in either 0.5 litres or 1 litre mugs, and they are very affordable as well. A half litre of Spezial hell or Radler hell is €2.80, whereas a litre is €5.60. Not something that would break the bank at all and the spezial hell has a special place in my heart now – it is such easy drinking.

In terms of seating, there is the open air biergarten-style pavilion (which was full due to the gorgeous sunshine) and the tavern interior with long heavy set tables, perfect for large groups or families.

But you know they are serious about their beer when they have beer stein LOCKERS!

That’s right, those are lockers for beer mugs! And they’re almost full! We had a hard time searching for an available slot and found about two amongst the assortment of handkerchief stuffed mugs, caged in the metal frame with some very unusual collection of padlocks.

My sister’s fiance swears most of them would belong to the monks, but I wouldn’t be surprised if regulars to Andechs Abbey have rented out a locker for their favourite stein.

And while we stuffed our faces with more pork – I wouldn’t be surprised we ate an entire pig’s worth of meat in the duration of our stay – my sister’s fiance insisted we try the romadur.

This soft cheese is reputed to have a smell so strong that permeates everything – but hey! Isn’t that just about every soft cheese? After tasting it, my verdict is that its reputation is worse than the reality. It’s definitely not strong, nor as pungent as… say, blue cheese, but it’s definitely a bit of an acquired taste.

My sister’s fiance took the opportunity to pick up the assorted 6 pack: Weissbier Hefetrüb, Spezial Hell, Doppelbock Dunkel, Export Dunkel, Vollbier Hell and Weissbier Dunkel.

Whereas the SO decided to pick up the sample pack of spirits instead.

  • Der Grüne vom Heiligen Berg (a herbal flavour at 38% vol)
  • Kloster-Kräuter vom Heiligen Berg (a herb)
  • Johannisbeere vom Heiligen Berg (black currant)
  • Klosterbiene vom Heiligen Berg (honey)
  • Obstler vom heiligen Berg (apples and pears)
  • Enzian vom Heiligen Berg (alpine gentian roots)

Andechs Abbey
Bergstraße 2
82346, Andechs
Tel: +49 8152 376 259
Fax: +49 8152 376 268