The communal brew house in Windischeschenbach was the first one I’d ever seen. As with most visitors to the area, the dual towns of Neuhaus and Eschawo are the first ports of call, and I wasn’t about to bust the protocol. The latter is Windischeschenbach, just in case you thought I was playing the shell game with you. Which is harder to say, I’ll leave to you but let it be understood that even if you do understand German, understanding all the dialects in the country is another matter altogether. My wife is German, has been living in Bavaria for nearly 20 years and she still doesn’t totally understand Bayrisch. The dialect from the Zoigl area is yet another can of worms and the only reason I’m opening it is I did a tour with a fine gentleman, who was surely doing his best to not speak in it but for an Auslander like me, it wasn’t what they tried to beat into my head in the few classes I took when I first moved to Munich.
the wood burning oven & a less than spic ‘n’ span cool ship in Windischeschenbach
It surely didn’t help that I’d had a bit of a party night my last evening in the Land of Zoigl. I’d hiked in from Falkenberg through the magnificent Waldnaabtal Nature Reserve to record a top hike for my book, Beer Hiking Bavaria. I had planned on doing the tour of the communal brew house in neighboring Neuhaus, where I was staying, that afternoon. A bit to my relief, my contact said we could do it the next morning before I left and we could meet for a few Zoigl that evening instead. That sounded great. After a long, hot hike, the last thing I really wanted to do was to tour another communal brew house. A cold Zoigl sounded infinitely better.
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I’d been to Beim Gloser and Schlosshof before, but was glad that in addition to Zum Roud’n, the former was open this time, too. I met up with Neuhaus local Hans, who works closely with the Schafferhof Zoiglstube there. He’d graciously agreed to do the tour last minute and on a Sunday morning no less. He explained some of the intricacies of the Zoig world at the atmospheric Beim Gloser before we called it a night. He also told me that the Zum Weißen Schwan was also not only part of the Echter Zoigl group but also a great place for a Sunday lunch so I planned on having lunch there after my two communal brew house tours in the morning.
the Kommunbrauhaus in Windischeschenbach
I was happy I didn’t have to check out of my room before the tour in Windischeschenbach. The breakfast at the hotel was fantastic and buffet style so I’d eaten more than my share. The walk between the twin towns of Zoigl is short but steep. I was there in plenty of time and waiting when Herr Mann arrived. Sandra Henkins, from the local tourism bureau, had explained that their English speaking guide, Ferdinand Schaml, was out of town my planned weekend. I knew this already as I’d befriended him through a shared contact. Funnily enough, he was in Munich when I was in Eschawo. Neither of us could change our plans so I’d agreed to doing a tour in German and by now, I knew the ins of outs of the communal brew house set up and process. So, really, I was mostly there to take some photos and it was a beauty, with a copper cooling ship. It was a bit marred by residue when we started but a brewer showed up and hosed it down just in time for to get a nice clean shot of it. My guide was funny and added some local color, though I’m sure I missed a joke or two. There wasn’t much time to dilly-dally. Herr Mann surely had better things to do on a Sunday morning and I had another tour in Neuhaus. Oh, and after lunch, I was taking a train and bus to the fifth Zoigl town of Eslarn.
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Next up, the last part of four Zoigl communal brew house tours: Hans Solo & the Cool Ship Mission Continues Part 4
Details on Zoigl and hiking in the area available in my book Beer Hiking Bavaria.