Somewhere over the Staffelberg

Loffeld is an unassuming village with an enviable view of the Staffelberg. This flattish peak is what largely draws visitors to the area. Well, those not in search of Franconian beer that is. I’d come here in 2003 with my then new girlfriend (and now wife) in search of the latter with little knowledge of the local trails. Loffeld and the surrounding villages were more charming than I’d envisioned and I made plans to return as soon as possible. As is the case with plans, they took some 16 years to materialize. The problem is there are so many amazing small rural breweries in Franconia, the next one seems to take precedence over the last one.

charming Loffeld

As luck would have it,  Swiss publisher Helvetiq took note of my Beerwanderers blog and asked me to write Beer Hiking Bavaria. While somewhat underestimating how much work it would be, I focused on the plus of getting to return to many of my old favorite small breweries and to investigate more thoroughly the hiking opportunities surrounding them.  Loffeld fell neatly into this category and with some effort I secured a room at Staffelberg-Bräu, very much the centerpiece of the well-situated village.  While 3 full days might sound like too much time in such a rural location, I can assure you there is plenty to do it its surroundings, including 10 breweries. The Loffeld brewpub has quite a range of beers and their food is every bit as good including local delicacies like Schäuferla.

you’ll not go hungry (or thirsty) at Staffelberg-Bräu

I arrived at the small brewpub on foot, no doubt the most scenic way to do so. There’s something about hiking down from the Staffelberg into Loffeld that makes that first Loffelder Dunkel taste that much better. The cozy brewpub has been family run for six generations and the Wehrfritz family is about as hands-on as it comes. It’s a pleasure to see a local brewery that looks to be able to withstand what has become an increasingly hard to navigate landscape. The key is a family willing to chip in with whatever it takes from a brewer/butcher husband to his everything else wife, this is one hard working family with their grown children very much in the fold.

cozy Staffelberg-Bräu in Loffeld

I found numerous trails to neighboring villages and over the Staffelberg. One could easily hike a different trail for even longer than I was privileged to spend here. The landscape is rolling and the iconic Staffelberg never seems far out of view, of course unless you’re standing on top of it, something I can highly recommend.

 click on views from the Staffelberg trails

Spring is a nice time to visit. I was lucky to pass by a herd of sheep with quite a few little lambs enjoying the sun.

cute lambs dot the landscape in spring

For details on the hiking trails, brewpubs and beers in this lovely area (and many more around all of Bavaria), please enjoy a copy of my book Beer Hiking Bavaria, available in both English and German.

beer hiking bavaria book cover

 

 

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