April 8, 2016 – January 8, 2017

The Münchner Stadtmuseum is mounting an exhibition entitled BIER.MACHT.MÜNCHEN (Munich – Powered by Beer) to mark the 500th anniversary of the Beer Purity Law (Reinheitsgebot) in Bavaria. It features a comprehensive collection of over 700 items, and seeks to recount the stories behind one of the city’s most important industries and review issues connected with this key part of its cultural heritage. Munich – Powered by Beer explores the production and consumption of beer, especially from the mid-19th century to the present day.

In no other major city does the culture of beer seem to be so closely woven into the fabric of its history. The title of the exhibition makes this much clear. “Bier macht München” (Munich – Powered by Beer) is a direct allusion to the way in which beer has shaped Munich’s urban development. Beer also enjoys strong bonds with the powers that run the city, leaving its stamp on everything from medieval brewing rights to the photos of beaming politicians, tankard of beer in hand, published in the local paper every time a new bar opens. Indeed, as industrialization took hold from the 1870s onwards, Munich itself blossomed into a global beer power.

It is fitting that the potential for diversity still epitomized by the Beer Purity Law has moved to the forefront of discussion on the occasion of its 500th anniversary in Bavaria.It is fitting that the potential for diversity still epitomized by the Beer Purity Law has moved to the forefront of discussion on the occasion of its 500th anniversary in Bavaria.

Exhibition poster “BIER.MACHT.MÜNCHEN” (Munich – Powered by Beer) Design: Abc&D, 2015 © Münchner Stadtmuseum
Florian Süßmayr, Klosterstüberl bar in Munich’s Westend district, 2014, Oil on canvas © Münchner Stadtmuseum
August Kaulbach, Schützenlisl (Coletta Möritz), 1878 © Münchner Stadtmuseum
Johann Adam Klein, Unloading the summer beer in front of the cellar, 1862 print, colored engraving © Münchner Stadtmuseum
Philipp Kester, Pretzel seller at the Hofbräuhaus Beer Hall, photograph © Münchner Stadtmuseum
Josef Mehlhart, poster „Pschorr-Bräu Flaschenbier in jedes Haus!“ (Pschorr-Bräu bottled beer in every house!), around 1935, lithography © Münchner Stadtmuseum
Julian Baumann, Hofbräu warehouse workers unloading empty barrels from a shipping container returned from England, 2015, photograph © Münchner Stadtmuseum
“MATHÄSER BIERSTADT” beer hall sign from main entrance on Bayerstraße, around 1970, plastic, sheet metal, neon tubes © Münchner Stadtmuseum

The exhibition is brought to you in association with the Jewish Museum Munich, with the generous support of the Edith-Haberland-Wagner Foundation and Verein Münchner Brauereien (Association of Munich Breweries).

There will be a full supporting events program including academic lectures, debates and beer festivals throughout the entire duration of the exhibition. In conjunction with our partners at the Münchner Volkshochschule adult education center, we will also be putting on a diverse program of guided tours, both within the Münchner Stadtmuseum and at a variety of other locations.

Süddeutscher Verlag will publish a catalog with a number of color plates to accompany the exhibition.

You can pick up your free audio guide at the museum’s ticket office. Content is available in German and English.


The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue published by Süddeutsche Verlag, Munich, available for € 29.90 at the museum’s ticket desk and its online shop.


Die Ausstellung wurde in einzelnen beweglichen Raumansichten dokumentiert. Innerhalb der einzelnen Räume erhalten Sie zudem detaillierte Informationen zum jeweiligen Thema, sowie zu ausgewählten Objekten audiovisuell präsentiert.

Zu den Raumansichten