A Family Tradition Since 1878
The Ayinger Brewery (or Bräu von Aying, in German) in the centuries-old tiny village of Aying just a half-hours drive from Munich is one of the places where traditional Bavarian beer culture is still alive and kicking today. Ayinger makes all the popular Bavarian-style brews, from the classic Albayerisch Dunkel ("old-Bavarian dark"), the all-barkley based darkish lager that emerged in the 16th century after the passage in Bavaria of the Beer Purity Law of 1516, to the modern Pils, the hoppy German interpretation of the original Czech blond lager that was first brewwed in the Bohemian city of Pilsen in 1842. Perhaps the brewery's most "celebrated" brew is it Celebrator Dopplebock, the classic dark and strong Bavarian winter lager. Ayinger usues exclusively Bavariuan Hallertauer hops for its beers.
The more than 125 years old Ayinger brewery represents a typical mix of Bavarian conservatism and progressive thinking: While its beers reveal an unyielding reverence for tradition and authenticity, its high-tech brew house, which turns out almost 150,000 hectoliters per year, ranks among the most advanced beer production sites in all of Europe. The modern Ayinger brewery commenced operations in 1999 and is a symbol of the company's foreward-looking embrace of modernity. From its automatated beer-making facility, surrounded by acres and acres of farmland, Ayinger ships its authentic Bavarian brews to the world.
Ayinger is dedicated to operating its brewery with the minimum amount of envorinmental impact, by engaging in ecologically sound and sustainable practices. As much as possible, Ayinger sources its brewing wheat and barley from the surrounding fields fields fertilized in part with wholesome organic waste from the brewery istelf. Ayinger brewing water is among the best in the region, because it is pumped directly from a mineral-rich, 176-meter (approx. 580 feet) deep aquifer right next to the new brewery.
The village of Aying is one of those idyllic spots, adorned with church spires and old farmhouses, and in the village center, a solidly-looking inn and beer garden, owned and operated by the Ayrnger brewery (see also the panel "Beer Travel Destination Aying" in this website). Outside the village are miles of traquil paths for hiking and bicycling.
Early Days of Ayinger Beer
In 1876, Johann Liebhard, took over the family business in Aying, an agricultural and forestry estate called Zum Pfleger. Attached to it were a tavern and butcher shop for extra income. The business had been in the family since the Napoleonic period, around 1810. Within a year, Johann began to change things. Rather than continuing to serve other breweries' beers to his partons (there were some 6,000 breweries in Bavaria in those days), Johann decided to brew his own. He invested in a brew house, malt house, and a fermentation cellar. By February 2, 1878, everything was ready for the grand opening. Writes Johann in his diary, The first beer that we served was excellent, and we had a full house. Michl and Müller from Höhenkirchen got so drunk, they fell down ten times on their way home. Thus were the humble beginnings of the Ayinger brewery.
In 1900, the village of Aying got an economic boost, when it was decided to connect it to the expanding rail network fanning out from Munich. The first train arrived from Munich on May 28, 2004. Johann was the first Aying resident to receive a private telephone connection in June 1904, and in 1911, electricity, the basis of innovation, arrived in Aying. The village had entered the modern age. When it came time to retire, Johann handed the business over to his eldest daughter, Maria, who had married August Zehentmaier, the son of a farmer and brick factory owner, in 1904. In the early 1920s, the family busness took a serious hit when the tavern burned to the ground. Undounted, however, August and Maria set out to rebuild and erected what is still today the "Brauereigasthof Aying, the Ayinger brewery's inn and restaurant. It was completed in 1923.
Change at Ayinger in the Early 20th Century
Until the mid-1920s, all the Ayinger beer was draft, while the major brewerioes had long since moved into bottled beer as well. It was time for Ayinger to ctach up with the times. Thus, in 1926, Ayinger invested in a complete bottling line and bottle washer, and, in 1927, made its first beer delivery to Munich, the Bavarian capital, and, in 1928, fermentation capaicity needed to be expanded. By 1929, half Ayinger's annual production of 10,000 hectoliters went to Muinich, and in 1930, Ayinger opned it first tavern in the big city.
In 1936, August dies unexpectredly at age 56, and his daughter Maria together with her husband Franz Inselkammer took over the business, which they navigated through the difficult years of World War II and the subsequent reconstruction periood. By 1953, Franz Inselkammer was able to purchase the Platzl Hotelin Munich, opposite the world-famous Hofbräuhaus, perhaps the most prominent place in all of Munich. This acquisition turned out to be a breakthrough event for the Ayinger brewery, because, for the first time, its brand received unparalleled name recognition. As the demand for Ayinger beer increased in the 1950s, so did the brewery in the village and, in 1963, the next-in-line, Franz Inselkammer jr., took over the reigns of the family enterprise. By the late 1970s, the brewery had grown to its current volume of output. Today, Ayinger makes about a dozen tradiional Bavarian beer styles, and here are some of those:
Bräu-Hell is a light-colored lager of 4.9% alcohol. For a description of this beer style, see Helles. The Ayinger Premium-Pils (see Pils for an explanation of this beer style) is a 5%, very dry, hop-aromatic Bavarian interpretation of the northern German adaptation of the Bohemian original. The Ayinger Altbairisch Dunkel is the Ayinger interpretation of the traditional Bavarian dark lager, which was the most popular beer in Bavaria until the Second World War. This brew is only mildly hopped and has an exceptionally malty finsh. The Ayinger Jahrhundert-Bier (centennary beer) was first brewed on the occasion of the brewery's 100th anniversary. It has about 5.5% alcohol, is golden-yellow in color, has a spicey upfront bitterness and a honey-like aroma. The Ayinger Celebrator Dopplebock (see the style description under Doppelbock) is a strong winter lager at 6.7% alcohol with a dominant malty taste, nut surprisingly little residual sweetness in the finish.
Liebhard's Kellerbier, so-named after Ayinger founder Johann Liebhard, is an unfiltered, yeast-turbid traditional Bavarian lager of 4.9% alcohol. It is very full-bodied, but highly drinkable. For a description of this style, see Kellerbier. Beer filtration was not invented until the 1870s. Until then, all beer were somewhat cloudy. Liebhard's Kellerbier is a nostalgic reminder of those olden days.
Ayinger, like most Bavarian breweries nowadays, makes a line of wheat ales, Weissbiers, as well (see style description under Weissbier). The 5.1% Ayinger Bräu-Weisse has the typical banana and clove fragrance associated with a Bavarian Weissbier. The Weissbier flavor stems from the special yeast strain used to ferment these types of beer. The brew is highly effervescent, with a refreshing champagne-like sparkle.
The Ur-Weisse is Ayinger's interpreattion of the traditional bavarian dark wheat ale, the Dunkelweizen (for style guidelines, see there). Like the Bräu-Weisse , it has a flowery yeast character and distinct banana aroma.
For further inofrmation about the Ayinger brewery, visit: http://www.ayinger-bier.de. For inquiries about the hotel and inn Brauereigasthof Hotel Aying, write to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact:
Zornedinger Strasse 2
Phone (from North America):
Fax(from North America):
The Brauerei Aying administration building is is located
Zornedinger Strasse 1
Phone (from North America):