After exhausting research (I mean exhausting, yes: we visited 11 different breweries or biergartens in a period of 4 hours at night, then 2 hours the following day), the EYM and I can answer the question....What is the best beer in Munich?
Unfortunately, our answer is boring, and it's the one that many people would give. I was hoping for some obscure and revolutionary insight.
But....the answer is.....The Weissbier brewed by Augustiner. It has three separate flavor sensations. First, just the cold, solid feel and taste of a hefeweissbier, unfiltered and tactile. Then, a terrific middle taste, crisp. Then a hint, a coquettish peak at a lovely ankle, a sweet biting breath of clove spice like the memories of her lip gloss on your first kiss, gone as soon as it you feel it.
And I have to admit that even the universally available Franziskaner, or Guttman, or Schneider, weissbiers, out of a bottle, are just fine, wonderful really. But Augustiner is clearly the best.
We tried HARD to avoid this choice. Augustiner is a touristy, standard beer, widely available in Munich. But it is really, really fantastic.
The response is likely to be that, no, no, the only REAL good beers are available after crawling up a mountain, taking a four wheel drive vehicle over a goat path to a monastery, something like that. At a minimum, I expect to hear, you have to take the dB to Bamberg to get good beer in Bayern.
And, maybe so. But I know this: the fact that something is not widely available does NOT make it better. The whole premise of Smokey and the Bandit was that Boss Hog wanted a really, REALLY special beer for the wedding. So....they went to all that trouble...for COORS! Bland American carbonated pisswater beer.
So, for anyone seeking the Bayerische weissbier experience, the basic tourist wisdom is actually true: Augustiner weissbier is a remarkable, complex, fantastic beer. If you sit in a biergarten and have four 0.5s, on a warm German day, you will be happy. And you will be in Munich, with all its charms. The day trip out to the country is worth doing, but for the trip, not for the beer.