Saturday 18th May 2013
There are several towns and villages named Neuhaus in Bavaria so it is important to establish which one I am visiting as the subject of this piece. As can be seen from the top of the page this village is close by the town of Windischeschenbach. You'll find several other articles on pubs in that town in BeerVisits as it has a Kommunbrauhaus (Commune Brew House). Yet, just one kilometre away in the hilltop village of Neuhaus, there is another. Unfortunately that kilometre is almost all uphill, but I can assure you, it is worth it!
When I researched this trip to Neuhaus I was aware that I didn't recognise the name of Lingl and now I know why. It is a "new" Zoigl beer outlet. It was previously the Gastätte zum Heimgarten (Home Garden Restaurant). An old photograph shows as selling the beers of Kastner Bräu from Marktredwitz, which closed in 1978. As the premises were registered as being able to sell beer from the Commune Brewery, the right was reactivated by Klaus Bauer and his family in 2009. In 2011 it finished as a gastätte and after a refit it reopened as a plain Zoigl house.
Please allow me to tell you a little about the Neuhaus Kommunbrauhaus? Its origin was as long ago as 1415. The entitlement of certain households to sell the beer was enshrined in law on 25th September 1827. On 5th August 1839 the Police (then known as Gendarmen) were given the task of testing the beer to ensure that it was of the purest quality, an interesting fact.
On the brewery itself I noticed a coat of lime-green paint and new roof tiles since I last visited.
Although the brewery's building is relatively modern (please see photo below) the equipment inside is quite elderly, although improved insulation has been installed over the years. The Copper was constructed in 1876 and is still wood-fired. A maltings was built in the same year although I believe that malt is now bought in. The brewery survived a great fire in 1887 when a large part of the village was destroyed.
A new Mash Tun was installed in 1924 and a Cool Ship in 1930. Both are still in use. A Cool Ship is a large shallow open vessel used to cool the beer overnight before it goes through its first fermentation, no modern refrigeration methods here!
Brewing is done by a three mash method involving different amounts of hot and cold water being mixed with the malted barley and decanted to and from the copper from the mash tun. On the day following brewing the beer is distributed by tank to the cellar of the household. It is there that it receives its initial fermentation of ten days, followed by a second maturation of four to six weeks. I think I have got this info correct. Brewing is undertaken around 35 times a year.
In the village there are 17 households practicing their right to have beer brewed for them although only seven have the facilities to sell it to the public. Like all communities with a Kommunbrauhaus, very few of the outlets are open on a continuous basis, therefore it is important to plan ahead if you wish to visit a particular house. The brewery has the oft-seen statement engraved on the outside wall: "Hopfen und Malz Gott Erhalts". I would say the best translation is "God provides the hops and malt".
Back to the Lingl Zoiglstübe, I found that because of the fine weather, the biergarten was in use rather than the pub. This was fine although it was more of a patio than a fully-fledged beer garden.
The food is typical of a Zoigl pub consisting of cold meats or cheese with bread or pretzels. They also offer a sausage in the form of Sauer (sour, read pickled) bratwürst; not everyone's favourite German sausage! Yet it is a local favourite.
Inside I found a large room decorated in traditional style with wooden furniture and flowers on the tables.
The house is open from Friday to Monday once a month. For actual dates refer to www.zoigl.de/neuhaus.
Lingl-Zoigl, Burg 1, Neuhaus 92670. Tel: 09681 1313
Open: Not absolutely certain but guess it would be from about 14.00 on Friday and Monday, possibly earlier on Saturday and Sunday.
Buses are infrequent and usually run only Mondays to Fridays.
The station of Windischeschenbach is served by trains of Vogtlandbahn Railway Company and operate about every hour Monday to Friday, and two-hourly on Saturday and Sunday, running from Regensburg to Marktredwitz via Schwandorf and Weiden.
The station and town of Windischeschenbach are about a kilometre away but is severely uphill and can take up to 30 minutes.