Sunday 6th April 2014
This was a first time visit for me. In fact, in my wanderings around this town in the past I must have walked past this house several times without realising that this was a Zoigl beer outlet. There was no doubt about it this time, as it was impossible to miss the star hanging above the entrance door. Actually, it didn't re-establish itself as an outlet and opened its doors until this century, which I guess explains why I haven't noticed it.
I entered through the large wooden entrance door into a corridor lined with wood panelling. There are a number of tables and chairs here. On the left there is a door that leads to a large room. A further doorway leads to yet another room that contains a piano that has two candlesticks affixed to the front, complete with candles. This room is even bigger than the first.
Furthermore there is a further doorway to right of this room leading to yet another! This one is considerably smaller and has an exit to the biergarten at the rear of the pub. I am beginning to realise that this house is a lot larger than the average Zoigl pub. So simply, I had taken the long route to the biergarten, I could have just walked out of the main corridor.
Although, Zoigl houses have been covered previously in BeerVisits, it is probably apposite at this moment to recap on how this old tradition operates.
Windischeschenbach is said to have been the location of one of the first Commune (Kommunbrauerei) breweries, established in 1455, although the procedure varies a little between the five towns and villages that still have commune breweries. Basically, private houses have ancient rights to sell the beer from the brewery.
The beer is brewed and undergoes a night cooling. The following day this wort is transferred to a tanker on rubber tyres which is towed by a tractor to the house that will sell it. Please look at the photograph of my visit to the Kommunbrauerei in Mitterteich to see what it looks like. At the destination house the non-alcoholic wort is pitched with yeast and hops added. After 8 to 10 days the almost fully-fermented beer is transferred to other tanks to undergo secondary fermentation for a further two weeks. It is then ready to serve.
Although there are exceptions to the rule, most of the Zoigl houses in Windischeschenbach open on an every five week-ends cycle, Friday to Monday. It is easy in this age of modern communications to locate which ones will be open when you make a visit. www.zoiglbier.de will provide the answers. There are ancient rights on each property as to whether they can sell the beer. It is interesting to note that this house only started selling the beer in May 2003 so I guess it must have reclaimed its rights and that's why I haven't visited before.
Although it was a bit cold I enjoyed sitting in the open air and was one of the few visitors not to be eating. The menu was the usual Zoigl house fare of local sausages, cold meats, cheeses etc., with one notable difference in that there were two main meals offered on Sunday lunchtimes: schweinebraten (roast pork) with dumplings and sauerkraut, also sauerbraten (beef marinated in wine vinegar) with dumplings and salad.
I thought their interpretation of Zoigl beer was very good having a fruity body and a nice bitter aftertaste. Commendably the beer is certified organic, the only Zoigl beer I have come across to be accredited.
I liked it so much that after my tour of Zoigl houses I came back for a nightcap as it was just around the corner from my hotel. They also have a small distillery and make a number of different schnapps of many varieties including beer, herbs and fruit versions. This house comes highly recommended.
Beim Gloser, Lehnerberg 2, 90670 Windischeschenbach. Tel: 09681 3170
Open (on the advertised weekends): Friday 14.00-23.00; Saturday-Monday 10.00-23.00
Buses to Windischeschenbach are infrequent and usually run only Mondays to Fridays.
The station is served by trains of Vogtlandbahn Railway Company and they operate about every hour Monday to Friday and two-hourly on Saturday and Sunday.
They run from Regensburg to Marktredwitz via Schwandorf and Weiden.