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Pub Visit - Germany

Meister1Saturday 22nd October 2016

Bob Thompson

This is a rather unique brewery in many ways. Its location is Unterzaunsbach, a hamlet with a population of just over 100.

It is located on the Pretzfeld to Gräfenberg road and is just under five kilometres (three miles) from Pretzfeld. Nevertheless it is relatively easy to get to as there is a bus service from Forchheim.

Meister2The brewery is old yet has little history. It was founded in 1865 by the Meister family and has been theirs even since.

Looking at it from the road I think that the brew house and pub have been rebuilt over the years as it looks quite modern.

I know that the brewery equipment is fairly new, being constructed by Kaspar-Schulz of Bamberg.

Meister3Although not unique, it is interesting that they only brew one beer (excepting a traditional Christmas Special). In case you were thinking this was a small, very local brewery, you would be wrong. They produce 5,000 hl per annum, which is a large amount for a village brewery.

A lot of beer is bottled of course, and sold throughout the region. Apart from that, there is plenty of draught beer supplied to local pubs.

I alighted from the bus and looked at the brewery. The far end I could see was the industrial part with chimneys. Then I assume middle is the bottling plant and the remainder to the right is the pub and accommodation.

The entrance is between this main building and what I presume to be the family home. I arrived in the main room and noticed the bar counter on my right. It’s very typical and traditional pub.

Meister4In the corner by the door is a table that I presumed to be the stammstich, the area for locals, as there seemed to several of them seated there and they seemed to be well known to the landlady. There were large tables by the windows and down the middle of the room were several with four seats each. I was sat at a large table by the dividing wall to the nebenzimmer (side room) which is used at busy times.

I could see a smaller side room directly in front of me at the end of the building. Soon a group arrived and were accommodated in it. Above the door to that room there is a display of stuffed animals that were no doubt shot in the forest around the pub. From left to right they are: Lapwing, Red Squirrel, Stoat, Weasel, Jay and Kestrel.

Meister5I don’t normally eat a lot but felt quite hungry when I arrived here. I wanted something typical of the region and as we were now in the second month of the season, I had carp.

It is farmed and comes mainly from the ponds established on the River Aisch which is not far away on the western side of Forchheim. It was cooked traditionally with the whole fish deep fried in breadcrumbs; it was very fresh and delicious.

I had two beers here. There is just one regular year-round beer and it is Meister Vollbier (4.8%). It is medium to dark brown in colour. To me it had a Brown Ale type of flavour, despite being a lager beer. It smelled heavily of malt the moment I got it near my mouth and that flavour predominated. In fact that was all I could taste, there being no discernible bitterness.

This is not my favourite type of beer, by a long way. However, I know it will appeal to some drinkers. At Christmas time they also brew a Festbier (5.5%)

So, nice food and it’s also right to drink beer at its source.

Important Information:

Brauerei Meister, Unterzaunsbach 8, 91362 Unterzaunsbach. Tel: 09194 9126

Hours: Friday-Monday 11.00-23.00; Wednesday 17.00-23.00. Tuesday/Thursday: Closed

Bus route 222 is useful to visit here and visit other breweries. There are bus stops right outside.
It runs from Forchheim to Gössweinstein via Pretzfeld (Post bus stop).
It is approximately hourly on Weekdays. It runs every two hours on Saturdays, but finishes very early.
No service on Sundays. Pretzfeld Post bus stop is less than ten minutes walk from Pretzfeld station.
This is on the Forchheim to Ebermannstadt railway line and has an hourly service Monday to Sunday.