Löwenbräu is a brewery in Munich that produces a traditional Munich-style beer.
It is owned by the Belgian company Anheuser-Busch InBev. Like other premium
German beers, it is brewed according to the German "Reinheitsgebot" dating back
to 1516. Löwenbräu means "lion's brew". In centuries past, the name "Löwenbräu"
was fairly common and used by many brewers. The Löwenbrauerei Mayen was typical
of this custom. In the end, many of the smaller breweries adopted more original
names or went out of business entirely.
Löwenbräu has a long history dating back to 1383 when it was first brewed at "Zum
Löwen" ("The Lion's Inn") by an innkeeper. Löwenbräu has been served at every
Oktoberfest in Munich since 1810 and is one of only six breweries permitted to
serve beer at the festival. During Oktoberfest, Löwenbräu brews a special beer
called "Wiesenbier", a fresh, light amber lager.
The Löwenbräu brewery was bombed to rubble during an Allied air raid in 1945. It
was later rebuilt.
From the mid '70s until 2002, Löwenbräu beer sold in American markets was brewed
under license by Miller Brewing Company. Although it claimed to use the same
"recipe", this American brewed version included corn in the grain bill, so the
taste was markedly different from the Munich brewed version (most notably
lacking was the malty flavor characteristic of many German lagers). After 2002,
Löwenbräu began directly exporting its beer from Munich. In the years before the
Miller licensing arrangement, Löwenbräu Oktoberfest beer bottled for export for
sale in the U.S. was in the "Märzen" style, an amber/copper hued beer in the
6.2+ ABV range. With the return of authentic German Löwenbräu to the U.S., as
currently offered this product is lighter color (in the "Helles" style),
although still of higher alcohol content than Löwenbräu Original.
Löwenbräu merged with Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu in 1997. In October 2004,
Spaten-Löwenbräu was acquired by Anheuser–Busch InBev.
Löwenbräu Keller has also one of the many Biergärten in Munich.
Lowenbrau Lagers and Ales
Löwenbräu Original – 5.2% ABV, a Munich helles
Pilsener – 5.4% ABV, the hoppiest of Munich's pilseners
Dunkel – 5.5% ABV, a dark lager
Triumphator – 7.6% ABV, a doppelbock
Löwen Weisse – 5.2% ABV, a hefeweizen
Urtyp – 5.4% ABV, a helles brewed according to traditional methods
Löwenbräu Oktoberfestbier - 6.1% ABV, a Märzen brewed for Oktoberfest