Beer Hiking in Winter has its rewards

I’ve always been a bit of a fair-weather hiker. I’m not going to lie. If I’m planning a day hike, I definitely keep a very close eye on the weather and while not proud, I’m not ashamed to say I’ve cancelled trips due to the weather. Since taking up beer hiking, this modus operandi has followed me. Don’t get me wrong, in either case, I’ve been on multi-day trips and have walked many miles and hours in the rain but when I can help it and perhaps due to these long wet slogs, I try to avoid it.  For some reason, I hadn’t given much thought about the snow and had kind of written it off as “bad weather,” well until recently.

Maisach on a gray winter day

I’ve done four winter hikes in the last four weeks, to varying levels of enjoyment with two truly rating as spectacular in the sense of their probably being better on those snowy days than they would have been on “nice weather” days. I hope to do both again this summer to find out but both my Ayinger and Geichburg winter hikes will have a tough time to be topped sans the atmospheric snow I was blessed with.

the walks in Aying & to the Geichburg were enhanced by the weather

Looking back at my first winter hike, I have to say it was more the power of will over the elements than actual enjoyment. To put it in perspective, I had heard one of my favorite local breweries outside Munich had a new dark Winter Bock on tap and it was likely to not last long. It was during the week but I had the day off and it had snowed quite a bit the night before. Munich was blanketed in a fair-for-the-inner-city layer of snow. I figured Maisach, being in the countryside, would have more. I asked around for fellow hikes but found no takers so decided to give it a go on my own. I’d devised a hike for an upcoming book on Bavarian Beer Hiking and wanted to check it out. I’d been to Maisach many times over the years but had never even given any thought to hiking there. When looking for hikes near some of my favorite breweries in the Munich vicinity, it appeared there was a nice forest just on the edge of Maisach.

 evidently, snowbirds like Maisach, too

Maisach is around 45 minutes from Munich on the S-Bahn and on that cold gray morning, I found myself on the familiar route to the the Maisach Brewery with a longish detour in mind. I must say, when I saw the brewery and felt the cold damp air, I was very tempted to abort the walk and head right in for a hot meal and beer but persevered, making a left I’d never made before. I soon found myself walking along a road flanked by open fields, surprisingly busy with birds ranging from waders to those of prey.  I even spotted a small deer looking awfully cold. I probably would have missed it if not for the snowy white background.

the route to the Fußbergmoos

The route to the Fußbergmoos wasn’t particularly scenic and there was surprisingly less snow than I’d seen at the bus stop in Munich but it was pleasant enough and the weather was holding up if a bit dull. The actual nature reserve area was somewhat disappointing but imagine it’s more a place to experience in warmer months. There had been more wildlife along the road.

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the scenic route back to Maisach

The trail back to town was actually the most scenic stretch of all but the weather had soured a bit and I found myself walking into steady if small snow flurries, hence few photos being taken on this stretch.  Once back on the main road to town, I picked up the pace: a hot meal and Bock firmly on my mind.

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Maisacher Winterbock, a beer worth the walk

I was happy to walk into the busy-for-during-the-week small town brewery and see their Winterbock proudly advertised on my table. Naturally, I ordered one before and with my well-deserved meal. Sure, I could have just come here like any other day, sans the hike, but I must admit, both the meal and beer tasted particularly good on this day. As with most things in life, if you have to work a bit for it, you appreciate it more. As for the beer, it was one worth the walk.

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