Oberstdorf, Bayern (Bavaria):
Saturday 21st February 2015
Oberstdorf is a small town of around 10,000 population in the foothills of the Alps. As such, being close to the mountains, it is a popular ski resort. Interestingly it is the most southerly brewery in Germany. Its name means Steam Brewery yet it doesn’t produce Steam Beer (Dampfbier), a specialised type, nor it driven by steam. It has normal pub-brewery equipment.
However, what is relevant to the name on this occasion is that we left the town by steam train, having been pulled here by a diesel locomotive.
I was with some usual suspects in the form of Russell, Steve, Patrick and Vaughan. We had no difficulty finding the pub as it is right outside the railway station, on the opposite side of the road.
We had around three hours here and I must say it passed very quickly. After trying the dark beer we all went on to the light offering (Hell). To minimise the amount of times we had to call over the waiter / waitress we ordered a metre of beer. That is one of those huge glass towers of beer with a tap at the bottom, it held five litres. We had another after and then had to cut down a bit so we finished on a three litre version!
Briefly, I made my excuses to my companions and went for a look around the pub. We had actually secured a table at the front of the pub, left of the entrance door. The room is quite long and I noticed the service area on the left, following by the copper brewing equipment. This produces around 2,500 hl of beer per annum. As I walked further I found the fermentation tanks (Gärkeller) in a refrigerated room on the right. There is room for 150 customers.
The walls are covered with enamel signs for household products, most of them British. There also some of the traditional deer heads. A lot of the seats are individually purpose-built and are made of wood. The table tops are traditional scrubbed pine. Alongside the fermentation area is a space for musicians to perform, live bands are a big thing here but most are of the accordion and brass variety.
There are three year-round beers: Hell (Light) (5.0%); Dunkel (Dark) (5.0%) and Hefeweizen (Wheat) (5.2%). There are also some seasonal / special beers but I’m not quite sure when they are available. They are: Festbier (5.5%), presumably available in the autumn; Bock (6.5%), possible for Christmas and finally, Kräusen-Pils (4.9%) which is brewed for the pub’s anniversary whenever that is.
Food is obviously a big thing here as the pub caters for a lot of visitors to the town. Their menu is traditional and they describe it as: Allgäuer specialities, Swabian delicacies and Bavarian classics.
Allgäu is the area of Bavarian we were in and it stretches down to the shores of the Bodensee (Lake Constance in English). The area is particularly noted for its cheeses.
They do brewery tours at opening time (11.00) on Wednesdays. This is free. So should you ever be in this part of the Alps please try to visit this pub, I think you’ll enjoy it.
Oberstdorfer Dampfbierbrauerei, Bahnhofsplatz 6-8 87561 Oberstdorf. Tel: 08322 8908
Hours: Monday-Tuesday Closed; Wednesday-Sunday 11.00-01.30
Food is served: Wednesday-Sunday 11.00-21.30
From the station platforms, turn left out of the station. You will then see the pub on the opposite side of the road. The town’s Bus Station is by the Railway Station.
The train service is operated by DB and ALEX. The trains run on an every two hours cycle. There is an Ulm to Oberstdorf Regional Express (DB) and an Augsburg to Oberstdorf Regional Express (DB). DB also operates the Immenstadt to Oberstdorf Regional local train. Finally there is a Region Express from Munich operated by ALEX. This pattern provides two trains an hour up the branch line from Immenstadt.