What is Beer Hiking in Franconian Switzerland like?

Beer Hiking is becoming a hot topic and why not? If you like hiking and beer, it’s a natural. What is more refreshing after a hike than a beer? I was interviewed recently for my new book Beer Hiking Bavaria and the person asked if beer was really a sensible thing to drink while hiking. The person suggested that a non-alcoholic beer might be better and I said, if that’s what you want to drink, by all means enjoy it. Now, I certainly wouldn’t drink beer while doing a particularly tricky mountain traverse, nor if it were a super strenuous hike but many beer hikes do not fall into either category. Well, at least in Bavaria. One great place to find hikes that get you out in nature, work up a bit of a sweat and bring you by small brewpubs is Pottenstein.

some views of Pottenstein

Pottenstein is little known outside of Bavaria but it is one of the main gateway towns to Franconian Switzerland. This rugged patch of landscape features lots of rocky outcroppings packed into the otherwise rolling hills. Pottenstein is a cute little town with a fine collection of half-timbered houses and a few churches thrown in for good measure. An iconic hilltop castle stands sentry over the scenically set array of buildings.

scenes from various trails in Pottenstein

There is an assortment of trails of varying difficulty, many quite short if a bit steep due to the terrain. I returned after many years to gather some hiking data for my book and to reacquaint myself with the dark beer Pottenstein is noted for. It was a treat especially to get back to Brauerei Mager on the town’s main street. Housed in a half-timbered house that fits in well in this quaint town, their Dunkel is not to be missed.

a visit to Mager is a just reward after your beer hiking adventure

Pottenstein actually offers it all: a compact easy to navigate town set in beautiful setting with a couple breweries and other restaurants and trails to suit all hikers. You can do hikes and have a beer at the end or due to there being many short hikes, you can string a few together and have a beer and meal in between as the brewpubs are right on many of the most popular route.

It took me 20 years to sort all this out but an easier and certainly more time efficient method is to have a look at my book, Beer Hiking Bavaria oder auf Deutsch: Bierwandern Bayern.

beer hiking bavaria book coverbierwandern bayern buch

It details 50 hikes from all over Bavaria with turn-by-turn directions, historical insights and most importantly the breweries and beers along the routes. I think once you go beer hiking in Bavaria, you’ll think having a beer while hiking isn’t such a bad idea.




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