Günzburg, Bayern (Bavaria):
Brauerei Gastätte Zum Rad (Radbrauerei Bucher)
Sunday 22nd February 2015
In the late afternoon I walked through the bustling market place of Günzburg to get to this pub at its far end. As can be seen from the photograph the Rad (wheel) Brewery tap is to be found below the Lower Gate (Unterer Tor) of the Altstadt (Old Town).
The location is pure picture postcard and is I think, everybody’s idea of what Bavaria towns are like. To be fair, it often is like this, yet equally often not!
The brewery vaguely traces its origins to 1590 yet there seems to be little or no evidence of this. However, it is known that in 1810 it was sold to Johann Bucher.
In 1845 his daughter married Kasper Mack and his family took over the operations of the brewery for their next two generations.
In 1906 the brewery moved from the Marktplatz out to a location near to the castle, although the pub remained in the same location.
This brewery was badly damaged by Allied bombing in 1944 and ceased production. Had it not been damaged it is unlikely to been able to continue because of the lack of raw materials. It stayed unused until it was purchased by Georg and Rosa Bucher of the original 19th Century owning family from their cousin Karl Mack.
They managed to resume production in December 1950. This was only in limited form as they did not bottle any beers at this time and the only way to take home beer was to carry it away from the brewery tap in jugs.
In 1960 their son Hans came from the Brauerei Kaufmann and in 1962 another son, Georg Bucher, who was a graduate brew master, joined the family business and they progressed it enormously.
By 1984 the brewery was at full capacity and over the next 13 years it was moved, in four separate stages from its existing location to another in Donauried, another part of town. So, in 1997 they finally had a modern brewery that was efficient and was energy-saving. And that’s the way it has continued right up to now.
I entered up the few steps and then turned right in to the main room of the pub, on the way noticing an old piece of machinery that looked like a grain mill.
This room is typically Bavarian with 100% wooden furniture with fitted benches along the outside walls along with panelling above and loose scrubbed wooden tables, each of which had a a vase of flowers.
I sat down and ordered a Hell beer (5.1%). It was then that a light bulb flashed on and I saw the there was little blackboard on the table advertising that they had Zwickl bier on draught as a special. Well, needless to say that is what I had next and enjoyed it thoroughly. I have no idea what strength it was.
There was also Hefe-Weizen (5.1%) offered on draught but note that there is no dark (Dunkel) beer brewed by Rad.
The pub is lovely, the beers are good and I have no doubt the food is excellent, so it is just the place to visit if you are in this part of Bavaria.
Brauerei Gastätte zum Rad, Marktplatz 40, 89312 Günzburg. Tel: 08221 367677
Open: Tuesday 09.00-14.00, 17.00-23.00; Wednesday-Sunday 10.00-14.00, 17.00-23.00
From Günzburg railway station go directly opposite along Bahnhofstrasse to the major intersection with Dillinger Strasse. Turn right into this street and go up the slight hill.
At the end you will enter the Altstadt (Old Town) and find yourself at the top end of the Marktplatz (Market Place). Keep walking in the same direction passing the Brauerei Münz on the left and you will soon see the Brauerei Gastätte zum Rad on the right in front of the Unterer Tor (Lower Gate).
Günzburg station is on the main line from Munich and Augsburg to Ulm and is not far from the latter city. It is served frequently by RB (Regional local) and RE (Regional Express) trains. Every two hours an IC (Inter City) train calls.