Tiefenellern, Bayern (Bavaria):
Brauerei Hönig / Gasthof zur Post
Visited on: Saturday 28th July 2018
Tiefenellern is a small village on the road from Bamberg to Hollfeld and on to Bayreuth. The hamlet has a population of around four hundred persons. It is under the administration of Linzenfeld; a larger town on the road towards Bamberg but has its own parish.
This is one of the oldest established breweries in Franconia and can trace its origins back to its foundation in 1478.
Why such a small hamlet should have such an ancient brewery lies in the topography of the district. This area is known as Fränkischen Toskana (Franconian Tuscany) and is very beautiful.
Heading eastwards on the aforementioned road is a very large hill known as Tiefenellerer Berg.
The Gasthof attached to the brewery is known as Zur Post. This was where the stagecoach carrying the mail stopped to change horses. No doubt they were doubled for the climb ahead.
The road zig-zags up the hill and is quite spectacular. When the stage was replaced by a postbus in 1911 this inn was where the driver spent the night before continuing his duties the following day.
In 1778 the brewery and inn were taken over by the Hönig family and so it is today. Truly remarkable actually. Imagine, generation after generation for well over two centuries. Just think that when they arrived the beer was a cloudy top-fermented ale served in ceramic krugs so the drinker could not see the murky contents.
Actually I jest a little because large scale industrial glass making hadn’t really started then. However, the krugs are still in use throughout Franconia today for Zwickl beers, which remain cloudy.
For this trip I was on a hired coach along with several friends. This was because the only service bus to the village is timed for schoolchildren, so this was the next best option, and I am grateful to the organiser Paul Lockwood for arranging it.
As we approached you could see that the Gasthof and the brewery were separate buildings, separated by a yard. Now, this was July so we was unable to enter the Gasthof because the order of the day was outside service in the biergarten.
This was quite large and beers was obtained from a kiosk on the right side. There were toilet facilities outside and there was also a reduced food menu, so there was actually no reason to go into the pub Nevertheless I would have liked to have gone in. Maybe another day.
Normally the only draught beer offered is Pils (4.8%) and this visit was no exception. Usually it is served directly from a wooden barrel in the pub but I think it was in a keg in the garden.
There are three other year round beers. Lager (4.8%), is an Ungespundet (unbunged) beer. This is unfiltered in the Zwickl style. Postillon Weisse (4.9%) is a top fermented wheat beer.
The list continues with Posthörnla Spezial (5.4%) is a rauchbier (smoked beer) in the Bamberg style.
In addition there are two seasonal offerings. Bockbier Hell (7.2%) a light (in colour only!) bock beer which is in the Märzen style. The other is Festbier (5.4%). I’m sure whether this is an Oktoberfest beer or a Christmas and New Year, or even both.
The brewery’s annual output is 6,500 hl and its beers can be found in pubs and supermarkets in the surrounding district including Bamberg. They also produce a range of soft drinks and table water under “Felsenquell” brand name.
I thought the Pils we had here was absolutely excellent and wholeheartedly recommend this pub.
Gasthof Zur Post / Brauerei Hönig, Ellerbergstrasse 15, 96123 Litzendorf 15 Tiefenellern. Tel: 09505 391
Hours: Monday-Wednesday: 15.00-22.00; Thursday: Closed; Friday-Sunday: Friday-Sunday: 10.00-22.00
The one bus a day (975) is on school days.
It leaves the village in the morning and returns in the afternoon.
So, you might just be able to use it to get to the pub, but not back, school days only but not on Thursday!