Visited on: Thursday 26th July 2018
I find it a strange that a brewery that is over 120 years old has virtually no history. Yet that is the case with Brauerei Hofmann. It was founded in 1897 and is now operated by the fifth generation of the same family. Well, that is its history. Obviously it has been modernised over the years and its pub redecorated several times, but that is about the full story.
It was only a short walk from the bus stop but on scorchingly hot day I was pleased to reach the cool sanctuary of the pub. It was another really beautiful room with sunshine pouring through the windows. Although the design of the furniture was traditional it was in light coloured varnished wood which implied to me that it was fairly new.
The entrance door is on the left side of the building. I found a large room with booths for four customers each on the left.
Then I turned to the right and saw the service counter on the right with a further booth just before it. Opposite, on the left, were many tables with fitted bench type seats facing away from the windows with loose tables and chairs in front (photograph right).
A notable feature is the number of potted plants that decorate the window shelves and elsewhere. Outside at the back is a biergarten on a raised terrace (photograph below left). This leads to what seems to be a park with grass lawns and benches.
I have to say that the building looks more recent than the 1897 date of founding.
The original brewery building is still intact yet strangely it is about fifty metres from the pub and is on the opposite side of the road. Maybe this was where the pub once was; pure speculation though.
The throughput of the brewery is about 1,500 hl annually. Interestingly, the copper is still wood-fired as it was when built (photograph below).
All beers are fermented in open vessels for a week before being transferred to tanks for lagering which takes four to six weeks depending on the beer.
The brewer is Elfriede Hofmann. As Hohenschwärz comes within the governance of Gräfenberg, all three of the town’s breweries have female brewers (Brauerin in German, Brewster in English).
The pub serves two of their beers on draught. These are Hoffmann’s Dropfen Export Dunkel (5.2%), their most popular beer. As the name implies it is dark and is made with entirely local materials. The other draught beer is Naturtrübes Helles (4.9%) which is unfiltered therefore cloudy. In November and December you can also obtain Festbier which is 5.5% abv.
The pub has a full menu and is well worth visiting. However the bus service is erratic, see below.
Brauerei Hofmann, Hohenschwärz 16, 91322 Gräfenberg. Tel: 091 92 251. Web: brauerei-hofmann.de
Hours: March to September: Monday-Tuesday: Closed; Wednesday-Sunday: 10.00-21.00.
January-February: Monday-Tuesday/Thursday: Closed;
Wednesday/Friday: 11.00-21.00; Saturday-Sunday: 10.00-21.00.
These are the directions from Nürnberg city centre.
Catch the U-Bahn (Underground/Metro) line U2 to Nürnberg Nordost station, the end of the line.
Then transfer to DB and travel on Regionalbahn train (RB) to the terminus at Gräfenberg.
Bus route 226 operates from the bus station at the front of the station. However, it is a bit of a challenge.
The timetable is at best described as variable. First you need to know whether it is a school day or not.
This information is to be found at the VGN web site, then plan according. Some buses are Rufbus.
This means you have to phone ahead to the number given on the timetable to be picked up.
That’s Monday to Friday. Saturday is all Rufbus. Yet Summer Sundays are the best days.
This is because the 229 Trubachtal Express runs. This serves several good pubs, including this one.
It operates from 1st May to 1st November and is every two hours. Look on the VGN web site for the details.