Beer History – World’s Oldest Brewery


1280px-Flag_of_Germany.svg The Weihenstephan Brewery – Weihenstephan | Bavaria | Germany

Established 1040


The Weihenstephan Brewery is the oldest operating brewery in the world. Its roots can be traced back to the year 768 where at the Weihenstephan abbey, a hop garden was paying tithes to the abbey.  Yes, monks were responsible for this beer! Located in the town of Weihestephan, the brewery got its license from the City of Freising in the year 1040. It is thus the oldest working brewery in the world.

The brewery today
The brewery today


Between 1085 to 1463, the brewery survived being burned down 4 times, 3 plagues, a famine, and an earthquake – truly this beer was meant to survive and make it to your pint glass today!

The monastery and brewery were secularized in the year 1803 and became possessions of the State of Bavaria.

Since 1923, the brewery has known as the Bavarian State Brewery (Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan) and is operating with technical assistance from the Technical University of Munich)


The Beers

The brewery is known for its award-winning Hefeweizen beer – (Hefe means yeast, Weizen is wheat) – this is the mother of all Hefeweizens and my all time favorite. The brewpubs in Bangalore that replicate this style of beer best would be Toit and Windmills Craftworks.

Appearance – Golden Yellow with a rich creamy white head.

Aroma – Strong presence of cloves and banana.

Taste – Sweet with a clove and banana flavor profile.

Mouthfeel – Smooth, full bodied, crisp with adequate carbonation.

ABV -5.4%

Weihenstephaner poured in the right glass - my home in Brampton, Ontario - Circa 2013.
Weihenstephaner poured in the right glass – my home in Brampton, Ontario – Circa 2013.


The other beers – They have an amazing Dunkel (dark) Weiss, a filtered Weiss (Kristal) and a few other stronger varieties. These 3 main beers were readily available in Ontario, Canada (LCBO stores) and was a frequent part of my weekly beer runs.

Here’s a great scorecard from “Beer Advocate” on all their brews – please click on the image to expand

Score Card


Print Media

The ads are catchy and always make reference to the beer’s Abbey roots. The tagline for their beers is “Durst Auf Leben” – translated into English simply means “Thirst For Life”



Availability in Bangalore


Sadly, I have yet to come across this beauty of a Hefeweizen here in Bangalore. Other German ones are on the shelves. Perhaps I should ask the brewery itself why this product isn’t being marketed to India. If I’m wrong, please let me know ASAP!

This is definitely top on my list of breweries to visit in Germany. The brewery conducts guided tours and sampling with a souvenir for approximately 9 Euros (as of March 2015)


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