I first heard about a ‘beer hike’ in 2017, when we were in Munich for a holiday and I was chatting with a local at a pub. The concept of walking to multiple breweries spread across a few villages over a couple of days sounded quite appealing so it was filed away in the long list of ‘must-do’ travel ideas. The idea finally became a reality in 2023 when a friend and I did the ’13 Brauereienweg’ beer hike. To be fair, calling it a hike is a stretch; it’s more of a walk, but a beer hike sounds much more appealing than a beer walk.
This trail originally had 13 breweries. A couple of them have closed down and, of the remaining, we were able to cover 10 across 7 villages. The walk was primarily along the regional roads (all roads here have well-separated walking/cycling paths) with some stretches through fields and forests. The weather was perfect in end-September and we met a few other groups doing the same walk and we kept bumping into each other from one brewery to the next.
At the outset, I must acknowledge the beerwanderers.com website, which was an invaluable resource in figuring out the various options, what to expect, where to go etc. If you are reading this and planning to do a beer hike in Franconia then I highly recommend beerwanderers.com as the starting point.
– Fly from Dublin, Ireland to Nuremberg, Germany; Train from Nuremberg to Bamberg; Bus from Bamberg to Memmelsdorf
Link to walking directions
1. Drei Kronen, Memmelsdorf
The first pint of the beer hike, at 10am!
2. Höhn, Memmelsdorf (<100m away)
A short stroll to Brauerei Höhn, almost next door
3. Wagner, Merkendorf (3km)
The first walking stretch of the beer hike, took us through some fields, along a regional road, and through small vllages with pretty houses
4. Hummel, Merkendorf (200m)
Another brewery just a short stroll away from the previous one with a warm and welcoming beer garden at the back
5. Göller, Memmelsdorf (2.5km)
A cool, tree-lined beer garden, perfect for an afternoon beer
6. Knoblach, Schammelsdorf (3.7km)
It was evening by the time we reached here. Had a filling dinner of currywurst with our beers. We were planning to take a bus to the next brewery on our list, which was also the village where we would stay for the night. But the bus came a few minutes early (!) and we missed it so had to walk 4.8km to burn off the beer and the currywurst.
Stay at Landhaus Lohntal in Lohndorf for the night. There was another brewery in Lohndorf (Hölzlein) that we couldn’t go to as we reached quite late in the evening and were quite tired by then. The hotel did have bottled beer from the Reh brewery that we tasted.
7. Hönig, Tiefenellern (2.2km)
First stop on day 2. Reached a bit early so walked around the village to while away the time.
8. Landgasthof-Hotel Büttel, Geisfeld (3.5km) – not a brewery on the circuit but a guesthouse with a lovely beer garden that sells beers from two local breweries – Grasser and Rittmayer. We had a 2h wait until the next brewery on the circuit opened so visited this place until then.
9. Griess, Geisfeld (just around the corner)
10. Sauer, Rossdorf (2.3km)
Another relaxing beer garden to enjoy our last beer of the beer hike.
This was the end of our beer hike. From Brauerei Sauer, we took a bus (bus stop just around the corner) to Bamberg, and from there a train to Munich, where we stayed at a tenting camp for the night and visited Oktoberfest the next day to finish the holiday with some more beer.