Saturday 18th May 2013
This is an odd place when one takes in the general concept of the typical Zoigl house, which is normally a private residence that has been partially converted to serve as a small pub serving the public once a month or so. This was a semi-derelict farmstead that has been made into a pub, presumably to take advantage of the boom in the consumption of Zoigl beer and the fact that the premises can be supplied from the village's Kommunbrauhaus (Commune Brew House) because of the ancient rights of the property.
There is a short cut to Windischeschenbach from Neuhaus that takes you past this place and I was amazed at the transformation that had taken place since I first walked past in the early 1990s. It is right next to the castle and was built around 1300 as the farmhouse of it. In 1515 the castle and farm came into the ownership of the Monastery of Waldnaab and stayed that way until 1799 with the secularisation of Bavaria. Thereafter it was under private ownership. It underwent restoration from 1998 and 2000. A wood-fired oven was installed in the 1920s and this is still used.
When I visited I found it very busy and discovered this was because there was a wedding reception being held there. Whilst researching this I learnt that the adjacent castle now has a parlour that is licensed for wedding ceremonies. Luckily the matrimonial party was taking place in the barn. This is new, as the original traditional wooden structure was destroyed by hurricane Cyril which wreaked mayhem through central Europe in 2007 and caused great flooding, although in this case it was force of the wind that finished the barn off. I hope the new structure will weather well, as it just looks like a big shed at the moment.
Very few people were inside the building so I joined most of the customers at the bench seats in the courtyard. Nevertheless I had a good look inside the building and thought it was very beautiful. It appeared to be comfortable with polished wood furniture and vaulted ceilings. I would be nice to drink here in the winter months, I think.
Despite it being a bit posher than the other Zoigl houses in the area, there was no increase in the cost of a half litre of beer. It must be remembered that this was in 2013, so prices will inevitably increase, but it was the same €1.70 as all the other Zoigl houses in the area.
Please note that Oberpfalz is the cheapest area for beer in Germany. The menu is very similar to the other houses being the usual cold meat / cheese / sausage / bread combinations.
Schafferhof-Zoigl, Burg 6, Neuhaus 92670. Tel: 09681 917930
Open: Friday 14.00-23.00; Saturday-Monday and holidays (where appropriate) 10.00-23.00
For actual dates of opening please see www.zoigl.de/neuhaus.
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.
On the way back, not recommended but possible going uphill, are a set of steps that descend from the castle, next to Schafferhof. Please be warned, they were very uneven when I used them last.