Up and down this hop-crazy country you will find buzzing microbreweries and brewpubs, cavernous beer halls and chestnut-shaded beer gardens that invite you to linger, quaff a cold one and raise a toast – Prost! Some of the best are in Bavaria, home to Ingolstadt of 1516 Beer Purity Law fame. Munich offers a taste of Oktoberfest year-round in historic beer halls, where you can hoist a Mass litre of Weizen and sway to oompah bands, and leafy beer gardens for imbibing and chomping on warm pretzels (Brez’n) and Weisswurst (herb-veal-pork sausage). This festive spirit spills into other Bavarian cities, such as Regensburg, Bamberg, which runs a five-brewery tour, and into villages where monks brew potent dark beers as they have for eons. Cologne is another German beer stronghold, famous for straw-gold Kölsch served in skinny glasses called Stangen.