Visited on: Sunday 29th April 2018
In the past with pub and brewery articles I have ran an imaginary competition entitled “is this the most beautiful pub in the world?” Well, I think I have another contender here. This former railway station certainly looked superb in the spring sunshine when Patrick and I visited. After being empty for a number of years it was purchased by a group of investors.
The official opening day was on 4th August 2015 after two weeks of trial operations. Husband and wife team Anne and Patrick Nau have leased the building as a restaurant and brew-pub.
They have previous experience in the hospitality business, having a restaurant in Burgberg and a wine bar in Kues old town. Following its use as a station it was developed into pub named Station Kues, but later closed.
The building was owned by the town council and they tried to figure out what to do with. It is a registered historical building so a use had to found that preserved its integrity.
Eventually it was sold for €200, 000 with of work to be done. That was in March 2014 and the work commenced. I must say that a marvellous job has been done as the interior and exterior are absolutely superb.
The station was the terminus of a short branch line from Wengerohr and was named Bernkastel-Kues representing its location in Kues and the town on the opposite side of the River Mosel (Moselle). The main line from Koblenz (then Coblence) to Cochem (later to Trier) opened in 1879.
Because the nature of the river, which looks like a labyrinth from the air, this main line had to be built high above the valley and had many tunnels and bridges.
However this bypassed the wine growing towns in the valley, so two branch lines were constructed. This first was from Bullay to the twin towns of Traben-Trabach and opened in March 1883. This was entirely alongside the river.
However, the branch line from Wengerohe to Kues was a different proposition as it descended down to the river, although the last section was parallel to it. It opened later in the same year, 1883. Lovers of Moselle wines will be familiar with all of these names.
The line closed on 2nd June 1984 to passenger trains, although experience of this line. By the time I made the journey the main service was operated by four-wheel railbuses freight traffic continued until 27th May 1989. It is now part of the Maare-Moselle cycle path. I have had a personal.
Yet, there was one train that was not. It came out of Trier in the early evening, descended the branch and later returned back up to the main line often with freight wagons on the back of its two coaches.
I visited in March 1971 and travelled on this train, which was steam locomotive hauled. To be precise it was 23 082, a modern 2-6-2 built in the 1950s. So this was the second time I had visited the station!
Although we could have sat outside it was very hot so we elected to go inside where it was cooler, with quicker service as a bonus!
We found it to be a very large pub indeed, with an upper level to supplement that downstairs. There are many rooms that are all decorated in a very traditional style. There is varnished wood furniture throughout with wood panelling on the lower half of the walls.
There are many old black and white photographs on the walls and fresh tulips in vases on every table. Alongside the service counter I could see the brewery surrounded by its own little wall with a green tiled frontage. The whole pub and restaurant are very well presented indeed.
For such a large pub it is a pity that not more beers are brewed. As far as I can ascertain there is but one. The regulars are Hell (4.7%), a light lager; Dunkel (5.0%), a dark larger and Weizen (4.8%), a wheat beer. The one seasonal beer comes at Christmas and is Weinachtsbock (7.0%), a doppelbockbier.
We had Hell and Dunkel with the edge going with the dark beer. The beers are known by the generic name of Cusanus Bräu.
Now you may have wondered why the town is sometimes Cues and also Kues. In the Rheinland Palatinate, Cues was the old spelling. This became Kues during the 1930s when the National Socialist Party (Nazi) thought C in place names were too Latin and K more Germanic, so the change was made. There were many other re-spellings at this time.
This was a very enjoyable visit and if you are ever in this famous wine area, possibly you might consider breaking off for beer or two?
Bahnhof Cues / Cusanus Bräu, Bahnhofstrasse 8, 54470 Bernkastel-Kues. Tel: 06531 917 4740
Hours: Monday-Sunday: 11.00-23.00
The nearest railway station to the pub is Wittlich Hbf (formerly Wengerohr) on the Moselle Valley line.
This runs between Trier and Koblenz. From this station there are two bus routes, the 300 and the 301.
Route 300 runs every two hours Monday to Sunday, finishing mid-evening.
Route 301 runs hourly Monday to Friday until 18.00, Saturday two-hourly till 18.00.
Sunday has three journeys. See the VRT web site for more details of these services.