Brauerei Wolf would have surely been enough for one excursion. It was that good but Brauerei Bayer in Theinheim was the actual focus of the the road trip and we found ourselves there in no time. It’s amazing how things not connected by public transportation are so close when traveling by car. My wife was understandably tired, having driven to Rüdenhausen, eaten a big meal sans beer, done a hike and driven to Theinheim. (Note: I do not have a German driver’s license) Our host at Pension Oppelt was welcoming but obviously vigilant about the COVID-19 situation. We were ushered to our room with masks, where once removed, my wife collapsed on her comfy bed. I guess I could have done the same but it’s hard for me to relax on what had how now become a gorgeous day, with a reportedly amazing brewery just around the corner. Actually, there were some cold beers from the brewery in the honor system fridge downstairs and a really nice backyard with lounge chairs awaiting.
all that’s missing is my wife and I, oh and a couple of those Bayer beers
I couldn’t bring myself to have my first Bayer beer from a bottle. After all, an Ungespudetesbier should be on tap. So, after as long as I could wait, I started to make a little noise here and there and before I knew it, we were waltzing up the road towards Zum Grünen Baum. We got there just in time as the tables in their quaint little Biergarten were filling up fast. In fact, the one we wound up with had a reservation card on it for an hour later. We ordered two of their Landbiers, also described as an Ungespundetes Lager. Though we had a reservation for inside, we ordered a plate of their house-butchered mixed meats. With the hour dwindling quickly and no one in sight, we thought about asking to remain at our table but the sun was going down and you could already feel a chill in the air. Besides, we’d come all this way so why not check out the old cozy inn.
a home-butchered mixed meat plate & their renowned Landbier
Once inside, we settled into their “other” beer called Knörzla, a Kellerbier oddly served in a clear glass. It was more than up to the task of competing with their more popular brew. We were up for a session so ordered up some more substantial food and even dipped into their enticing dessert menu. The beer pana cotta went really well with their lovely Maibock. A house Zwetschgen (plum) Schnapps rounded things out. We were happy our pension was just up the road, though it was certainly up hill too!
lots of reasons to return to Zum Grünen Baum
I’d like to say the next morning was a little slow. We certainly were but there was no time to enjoy the backyard, despite it being a gorgeous day. After all, I was there to research not only beer in the area but also the hikes and the RAU1 beckoned. Our host apologized for the odd COVID-19 breakfast but we totally understood and appreciated her care in serving what is odd for a German pension, a non-buffet breakfast. Since she couldn’t keep anything we hadn’t eaten, she offered to let us take it for later but we already had lunch plans and no cooler. Since the trail went right by Pension Oppelt, we left our car there and started uphill.
the walk out of Theinheim begins the RAU1
Our host had mentioned there were some shorter walks when we said ours was 8km. We were enjoying the walk but the previous evening was also catching up with us. We noticed we were also on the Skupturenweg and both routes were very well-marked and it seemed totally mirrored each together. The route entered a dense forest and we soon saw the reason for the trail’s moniker.
The “skulptures” were actually trees carved into various figures, many relating to local mythology. It would be perfect if trying to get kids into hiking and it helped mark the time for us big kids too. It was nice, though, to emerge out into open farmland with fields of crops already making steady progress towards harvest time. We soon diverged from the evidently shorter Skulpturenweg.
pretty countryside views from the trail
Towards what I imagined to be the end of the trail, I spotted a Keller once used for cold storage before refrigeration and all I could think of was how great to finish the hike by walking past it. I was envisioning the brewery was right around the corner even though I knew it was too soon. The thought of a cold beer does those kinds of things. Of course, it wasn’t but we still rounded the bend and saw a bike path to Theinheim. We started on it, happy town was a mere 1 kilometer away but it didn’t jive with my GPS. We backtracked to see one of the few poorly marked turns of the hike. It was uphill and on a road but once atop, we veered off onto the last of the high country roads of the route. There were some fine views but if I weren’t doing research for updates to my book, I’ll have to admit I’d have likely taken that bike path back.
the Keller & the envisioned brewpub
Well, we were soon at that envisioned brewpub but as much as I’d have liked to drop in for a cold beer, it was time to leave and a well-oiled beer excursion does have schedule constraints. We went back up the hill one more time, retrieved the car and returned to Bayer just the same. I wasn’t about to leave empty-handed so I went in and picked up a case of their magic elixir. We could have stayed for lunch but I had some new beers on the horizon in a placed called End.
Beer Hiking Bavaria details 50 great hikes and features 50 great beers in Bavaria.