Monday 7th April 2014
This brew pub is of the modern age yet it is located in an ancient building. Its narrow frontage hides an extremely large pub inside. The building was constructed in 1536 following a major fire in the city.
In 1567 Michael Ermweig was paying tax on the property. At the time he was the richest man in Weiden. In 1585 it was purchased by Wolf Mayer who was a cloth maker and later became the city's major.
After he died in 1621 his widow sold it to the mayor of that time, Jacob Schnabner. His legacy is a chronicle of the city of Weiden from 1619 to 1663. It is regarded as historically important it covers nearly all of the years of the destructive Thirty Years War (1618-1648). It was eventually published in 1928. He died in 1671 and ownership of the house passed to his son-in-law Georg Neidt, a master butcher, and his son George Schabner, a master carpenter.
There were a number of changes of ownership over the years. One interesting occupant was Johann Christian Dienstl, a comb maker, and the city's tax records in 1808 show that the house was being used for his profession and it also held a personal brewing entitlement.
In 1833 it passed to his daughter and one of her children, Joseph Johann Herrman rose to a high position in the Bavarian civil service and represented the Kingdom at the Federal Council. He was later knighted for his services.
Prior to the First World War the estate passed to the regional court physician Dr Gustav Vierling. One of his relatives was Wilhelm Vierling, a painter and sculptor and it was he who created the stone St George on the front of the building, adorned since 2008 with a traditional sundial. He was also responsible for the Vierling family symbol over the archway to the building.
The widow of Dr Vierling sold the property to Max Gottschalk before the Second World War. He was a fruit and vegetable wholesaler and following his death his widow operated the premises as a grocery and vegetable store. Robert Müller purchased it in the 1980s.
In 1990 it was bought by the Winkler family, the current owners. It took a long time for them to realise their vision and it wasn't until 1993 that the inn opened. In 1994 it was awarded first prize by the Bavarian construction industry for the use of both traditional materials and modern building methods.
As alluded to earlier, this is a very large pub. The brewery is to be found in the cellar along with two rooms with vaulted ceilings known as the Festkeller and the St Georg Keller. On the ground floor there is a smallish room towards the front of the building followed by a much larger one that contains the service area. After that the tall copper funnels of the brewery can be seen rising through the floor from the basement.
Beyond this is an internal courtyard that acts as a biergarten in nice weather. Walk through this and you'll find yourself in the Bräu Wirt Hotel which has its entrance and reception in the next street.
There are more rooms on the first and second floor known as the Wirtstüben and the Braüklause. The latter is often used for private functions. As it was mid-afternoon when I visited only the ground floor was open. Out the front are more tables and chairs that form a very nice al fresco eating and drinking area in the Unterer Markt (Lower Marketplace) and this is where I settled.
Something interesting happened here as I glanced up to the magnificent roof of the old city hall opposite. I saw a stork's nest was atop one of the chimneys and thought that it would nice to see one of these birds but dismissed the thought as it was the beginning of in April and probably too early for them to have migrated up from Africa. Well, I was proved wrong because when I looked up again there was one standing in the nest, please see the photograph, which is a little indistinct as it has been enlarged considerably.
I had a quick look at the menu to ascertain what beers were offered and they were Zoigl Hell (light); Zoigl Dunkel (dark) and Zoigl Weizen (wheat). I could see no evidence of any seasonal beers but they have been known to brew a Fastenbock for Lent and Maibock for May.
Please notice that they call their beers Zoigl which is incorrect as these beers are sold from houses that only open for a short period at a time and are normally brewed in a Kommunbrauerei (Commune Brewery).
The beers are also most unlike Zoigl beers being just normal examples of their styles. I had the Dunkel first and thought is was quite malty with not a lot of other flavours along with a lack of bitterness. This is fairly typical of many Bavarian Dunkel beers and they are well liked. Sadly the Hell was not very bitter either. I thought it was OK without being anything special. I did not taste the Weizen. However, you will not get these beers anywhere else and the above is just my opinion.
The pub has an extensive menu featuring a lot of local specialities along with several vegetarian alternatives.
Braüwirt, Unterer Markt 9, 92637 Weiden. Tel: 0961 481330
Open: Monday-Friday 11.00-23.00; Saturday-Sunday 10.00-01.00
The station of Weiden is an important junction on the DB network and is served by many trains. There are RE (regional express) trains connecting the city with Nürnberg, Regensburg and Fürth im Wald.
Alex Express trains also connect it to Regensburg and Fürth im Wald, also Plzen (Pilsen) and Praha (Prague). Alex will also take you to München (Munich) and Hof.
Local trains are mostly from the Vogtlandbahn Railway Company and they operate out of the city on all of the above lines.
The pub is in the Altstadt (Old Town) and this can be reached by several bus services from the station.