How could I have missed this? An opportunity to tour a working beer brewery with samples included! Only too late did I find out a tour of the Ayinger brewery was going on the day I was in town. Oh well...
The Ayinger brewery, all too happy to capitalize on the new "experience tourism" trend, has set up a veritable theme park for beer junkies, complete with beer garden, luxury hotel, and the centerpiece, a multi-media tour of the brewery, complete with 3-D film and light show. And it even comes with a tasting of all 9 permanent Ayinger beer varieties, and a glass of "Zwicklbier" straight from the vat. I didn't take the tour, but I provide the information here for those beer fanatics who might follow.
Tours are offered Tuesdays at 11AM, Thursdays at 6PM, and Saturdays at 10AM. Cost is EUR 7 for adults, EUR 5 for children(?!) Food not included. Tours are in German with some accommodation for those speaking another language (but really, beer requires no translation!). Group tours in English, French, or Italian can be arranged by appointment.
If you're in Aying, you might as well sample the beer. The best place to do that is at Liebhard's Bräustüberl zu Aying, located just a few dozen meters from the Ayinger brewery. Sit inside in the cavernous beer hall, or, if the weather's nice, outside at one of the numerous tables (the ones with table cloths offer table service, while the bare ones are self-service). Liebhard's offers an extensive, reasonably-priced menu, and (naturally) tasty Ayinger beer on tap.
Favorite Dish: I had some tasty mixed Preßsack (head cheese) in vinegar with onions and pickles. Plentiful fare is available for more conventional palates, including a EUR 7.30, 3-course lunch option.
Beer is from the neighboring Ayinger brewery and delicious. A special treat is the "Liebhard's Kellerbier," an unfiltered golden lager which is brewed specially for the restaurant (though 1/2-liter bottles and 30 liter kegs of it are available from the brewery).
Aying is reachable by S-Bahn, or suburban railway, from Munich. From the town center, it is on the S-7 line to Kreuzstrasse. If you are traveling from southeastern Bavaria or Salzburg, a regional train between Rosenheim and Holzkirchen stops at Kreuzstrasse, where you can change to the inbound S-7 to Aying. Expect a 30-40 minute train ride to from downtown Munich, and another 5-10 minute walk to the brewery or town center.
If coming from Munich, note that Aying is on the edge of the "Green Zone" on transit maps, which means you need at least a "Munich XXL" Day Ticket to have your entire trip covered.