Saturday 22nd May 2010
Whilst this was not a brewery visit in the normal sense, as we did not go walking around a brew house looking at copper-clad vessels, it was nevertheless a visit to a brewery. Along with fellow imbiber Patrick, I walked from the railway station, through the village of Trebgast the one kilometre uphill to the home of the Haberstumpf brewery on a very hot May day.
Where are we? Well, we are in the brewery-laden province of Franconia (Franken), which is the part of Bavaria (Bayern) that includes Nürnberg and Bamberg. It is in the district of Kulmbach, a well-known brewery town. However, unlike the remaining massive brewery there, this is a small operation, that can trace its origins back to 1516. The present brewery has been modernised but some of the buildings are quite old.
As we walked up the sylvan lane to the brewery we didn't know what to expect. We were soon reassured as a man operating a barbeque grill waved a greeting towards us. He turned out to be the owner and brewer, Hans Wernlein.
We walked into a courtyard surrounded on three sides by the brewery and stores. The only customers were Hans and his wife, who acted as the waitress, another couple, and one other man, all friends. We never felt excluded, as our new host insisted on speaking to us in English, even though I can speak a little German and Patrick is fluent. We had a wonderful time sitting in the yard supping his beer. After giving his friends some food off the BBQ, he offered to grill us something, but we had to decline as we had eaten earlier.
Despite its small size there is a remarkably large range of beers, although I suspect that most are only available in bottle. Tiny breweries, dotted across the Franconian countryside, are heavily dependant on home deliveries and, like the milkman, they come direct to your house to drop off a full crate and take away the empties.
They also do small kegs to provide a draught beer equivalent. We were drinking Aecht's Haberstumpf Zwickl, an unfiltered pale beer and it was delicious. Please see the list below for the complete list of beers brewed.
After this wonderful little session we headed back to the village and had a beer in the Gasthof Friedrich, the main pub and hotel, see photo below.
Should you ever have to visit this area I think this would be a good place to stay. It has eleven double and seven single rooms. Like many traditional village pubs and hotels in Bavaria it is also the butcher's shop so, as long as you are not vegetarian, the breakfast is quality assured. The main draught beer here is Lager Hell, which was filtered. From here it was just two minutes walk to the station.
TREBGASTER ZUNFT-PILS (5.3%) - Light Hoppy Pilsener.
LAGER HELL (4.9%) - Most popular light lager.
HOPFEN BOCK (7.5%) - Hoppy Bock, which is not usually bitter.
AECHT'S HABERSTUMPF ZWICKL (5.3%) - Traditional, unfiltered.
DUNKEL FESTEN BOCK*# (6.5%) - Dark malt, medium bitter.
Landkrönla* (4.9%) - Hoppy organic lager.
Kellerkrönla * (4.9%) - Unfiltered version of Landkrönla.
Kupferkrönla * (4.9%) - Unfiltered dark, medium hop.
ANNO 1531 (5.1%) - Jubilee beer Maibock style.
* organic ingredients
# also known as Maibock
Some beers may be seasonal
Bergstrasse 31, Trebgast 95357. Tel: 0922 7351
HOCKERSTUBE (small pub in brewery)
Open: Monday to Friday 16.00 onwards; Saturday 10.00-13.00; Closed Sunday.
Biergarten open in fine weather on Monday to Friday from 16.00 and Sunday from 15.00.
About fifteen minutes walk (uphill) from Trebgast station which is served by RB (Regional local) trains between Bayreuth and Neuenmarkt-Wirsberg.