Stiebarlimbach, Bayern (Bavaria):
Sunday 23rd October 2016
After visiting the three bierkellers on Kreuzberg (Brauhaus, Rittmayer and Lieberth) I decided to visit the tiny village of Stiebarlimbach at the foot of the hill on the opposite side to the road I used to get up there. I found a signpost that pointed down a “path” through the forest. It wasn’t too steep but what made it so awkward to traverse were the considerable amount of tree roots sticking up. These were covered by a carpet of leaves, so were hidden.
Anyway, I had only been going for around fifteen minutes when I could the distant sound of children playing. This was especially noticeable as this wood was the quietest I have walked through. Normally you would hear the sounds of birds and the rustling of squirrels, etc. The only noise here was the sound of the leaves hitting the ground, it was that quiet.
Then the trees parted and there was a small stream to cross on a wooden bridge. After that I turned left along a path and went around one of the buildings that forms a part of the Roppelt Keller.
It was not clear whether this would be open on this day. It could have or just the Gasthaus or maybe both, their website was ambiguous on this point.
Well, the day before (Saturday 22nd October) was the last day of the season and it was the day that the first Bockbier of the season was tapped (Bockbieranstich) at the Keller, according to the blackboard outside. Even though it was closed the noisy children were in the play area. I continued my walk, now on the level, over a stream with ponds on either side. This is a tributary of the Aisch, a significant river in these parts.
The ponds I could see are breeding grounds for carp. The Aisch is famed throughout Bavaria (known as the Aischgrund) for these fish. Almost every pub here has it on the menu from mid October. There is even an expression “When the biergarten season finishes the carp season begins”. The situation reverses in April.
The most common method of cooking is to deep fry the whole fish covered with breadcrumbs. There is also Blau Karpfen (Blue Carp) which is steamed whole. My destination today is particularly noted for it.
Just after the stream I noticed the Roppelt brewery on my right. It is adjacent to the Gasthaus but physically separated from it.
After turning right into the main street I immediately saw my goal. Up a few steps and I was inside. I visited this pub in November 2008 and as soon as I entered now I could see that the main room had changed.
I noticed that light wood seemed to be the predominant material used and there were new floorboards throughout. The service counter was of a modern curved design. Despite these alterations the pub still has a traditional feel about it. They had just opened yet it looked like they were expecting a lot of customers later as the nebenzimmer (side room) was open and the tables were all laid out.
Having had my taste buds wetted by the blackboard at the Keller advertising the new season’s Bockbier I plunged in for a half litre. At 7.2% this pale brown beer is no lightweight. I thought it was delectably smooth with a great depth of flavour. There was some sweetness, as per this style, but not enough to spoil the overall experience.
As I thought earlier that the keller might be open, I now had time for a second beer, so I had the usual offering, Kellerbier (4.9%). This was served in a ceramic krug and again I thought it was excellent.
The other year-round beer is Weizenbier (wheat) (4.9%). There is also one other seasonal offering: Festbier (5.2%) for the Oktoberfest period. All are available on draught at the Gasthaus and they are also packaged in bügelflaschen (flip-top bottles).
For those living locally they also brew Hausbier (4.5%). This is a young beer in a barrel that you can take home to mature in your own cellar and is available to collect every two weeks. It is revival of an old tradition.
This pub has a good reputation for its food, so there are many good reasons to call in if you are in this very beery area of Germany.
Brauerei-Gasthaus Roppelt, Stiebarlimbach 9, Stiebarlimbach, 91352 Hallerndorf. Tel: 09195 7263
Gasthaus: Hours: Winter (October-April) Friday-Tuesday: 10.00-23.00. Wednesday-Thursday: Closed
Summer (May-September): Closed when the Keller is open.
Keller: Summer (May-September) Friday-Tuesday: 11.00-23.00; Wednesday-Thursday 15.30-23.00
Winter (October-April): Closed.
Bus 265 is from Forchheim ZOB (Zentral Omnibus Bahnhof-Central Bus Station), next to the railway station. Monday to Friday it is approximately hourly until 20.00. Saturday it runs hourly to 19.00.
On Sunday there are five journeys every two hours from approximately 10.00 to 18.00.
At the end of its route it does a circle through the villages in an anti-clockwise direction.
Schnaid is the first and Stiebarlimbach is the second stop after Hallerndorf.
The pub is opposite the stop and remember it is the same stop to go to Hallerndorf and Forchheim.