Pilgrimage to Andechs
There are plenty of places to find a good beer in Germany. Truth be told, we never encountered one we didn’t like – and we tried as many as possible! There aren’t many place, however, where the beer has been brewed for more than a thousand years!
Kloster Andechs is just such a place. Located on a hill about 30 KM outside of Munich, it is surrounded by pastures and fields framed perfectly by the Alps in the background. It is as bucolic a scene as you might expect from German countryside and it’s easy to see why fairy tales were born here – it really is the land of ‘once-upon-a-time’.
It is, historically, a pilgrimage church. A catholic monastery built in the baroque style drawing those from far and wide to pay their respects and pray at this centuries-old place of worship.
If you’re lucky you might get a seat on the outer patio with views over the countryside toward the mountains. If it’s raining, there is room to crowd inside. It’s a convivial, social, atmosphere so go ahead and share your table with newcomers, introduce yourself, and get to know your new neighbour over a pint.
I can attest that the beer is excellent; a light and spicy Weissbier, a double strong dark Dunkel, and a Helles lager. The Weissbier is my favourite.
They also have a fabulous selection of traditional Bavarian meal options. Meatloaf, cold cut platters, cheese, wursts (sausages), salads, and, of course, Schweinshaxen; the slow roasted, crunchy, sweet, juicy pork knuckle that goes so well with the beer.
Visiting Andechs is one of my favourite things to do while in Munich. It doesn’t get much better than fresh country air, beautiful scenery, great beer, and fabulous food.
If you want to visit Andechs you could easily make a day of it. We took the S-Bahn S8 from Munich to Herrsching (about an hour). There is a lake very nearby; you could spend the morning at the lake and then follow the signs to walk up to Andechs from the town. Don’t worry if you lose sight of the signs – just continue up hill and you’ll see the monastery eventually. Work up an appetite – you’ll need it.