Beer has been Germany’s national drink and an integral part of its culture since 1516, the year in which Bavaria adopted the Reinheitsgebot or German Beer Purity Law, a series of regulations that German breweries still rigorously abide by.
The oldest document regarding Paulaner, one of Germany’s largest breweries, dates back to 1634 and regards the activities of the Minim friars of the Neudeck ob der Au cloister. This order was called Paulaner in German, after the town near Cosenza in Calabria, where they originally came from. The friars’ daily life was regimented by an austere code of conduct and hard work, which became particularly difficult during the Lent fasting period. In this period, to sustain their energy levels the friars drank a strong beer known as the Salvator. Any beer that was left over was given to the poor or sold in the monastery’s taverns, but it soon became so popular that the private breweries in Munich lodged an official complaint with the city council. This is recorded in the first document regarding the Paulaner brewery mentioned above.
Another important step in the history of the social and urban organisation of Munich was the creation of the Biergarten (beer garden), an institution that dates back to the 16th century. At that time, a low fermentation type of beer was produced which could brew in the winter months at temperatures ranging between 4 and 8 degrees centigrade. The law only allowed beer to be produced between 29 September and 23 April, as the hot boilers combined with the summer temperatures could trigger serious fires. Therefore, beer had to be produced in winter and kept fresh for several months. To do this, the inhabitants of Munich built cellars where the beer could be kept cool. Dug into the ground, the cellars were naturally cooled by the shade of the horse-chestnut trees and the gravel scattered over the top of them. To begin with, beer was only sold in these places, but then local inhabitants began to enjoy drinking beer under the foliage of the enormous horse-chestnut trees. To make customers more comfortable, breweries began to put out tables and benches giving life to the Biergarten and arousing the protests of both smaller breweries and taverns. In 1812, Maximilian I Joseph, the first king of Bavaria established that the highly popular Biergarten should continue to exist, but to protect the business of taverns, he forbade them to sell other dishes besides bread. Therefore, customers began to take food with them, a custom that quickly took hold and still distinguishes Munich’s beer gardens today.
In 2018, Paulaner opened a new brewery on a little hill in Munich called Nockherberg. Two important areas of this new meeting place for the inhabitants of Munich benefit from the artificial light created by iGuzzini products. Palco projectors installed on a low voltage track and recessed Laser Blade luminaires illuminate the large central structure, called the Rotonda, which is both a bar counter but also a showcase for the two large beer tanks. In the transit area between the "Wirtshaus" (indoors area) and the "Biergarten" (outdoors) there is also a large suspended metal structure resembling a pot, and featuring large metal rings connected with ropes in which recessed Laser luminaires had been mounted.
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