Bierkellering by numbers

What’s the difference between a Bierkeller and a Biergarten? A few acquaintances from Middle Franconia explained it all came down to the Bierkeller Equator. It seems if it is located above this imaginary line, it is called a Bierkeller. We were enjoying a beer in the Wettelsheimer Keller, evidently in Bierkeller territory just outside Teuchtlingen. According to them, Biergartens are something in the Munich area and points south.

the very practical & atmospheric beer cellar

As with most things, it’s not really that simple. The earliest ones in Munich like the Augustiner Keller and Hofbräukeller used Keller since they were in fact, beer cellars. These were used to keep beer cool in times before refrigeration and in the early 1800s became popular outlets to drink beer due to a variety of factors but mostly it was the discovery that the beer just tasted better than the less ideally stored and quite possibly spoiled beer in town. For the purposes of this ranking though, the Bierkeller Equator works just fine. Though I live in Munich and enjoy the Biergartens here, I am drawn to the simpler ones in Franconia. You really get the feeling of an informal gathering and the cellars are often still very much on display and at the best, still actually used.

smaller is often better

I have a list of about 50 Bierkellers in Franconia I’d like to visit in the next few years. I actually wanted to go to all of them this past summer but I found it’s not as easy to do as I’d imagined. Since they are often in the countryside, opening hours are more restricted. I did get to quite a few new ones and I also got back to some old favorites so I’ve decided to rank them for those thinking of doing the same. Please note that the ratings are solely my opinion and that the list is relegated to Bierkellers I have personally been to. As a small note and since food is a criteria in judging, I’ve put an * next to the few where I did not eat and assigned a value largely from looking at the food and from online reviews. I agree it’s not fair but rather than not include them, it seemed my only option until I can return to rectify this detail.

typical Bierkeller fare

One last note before explaining the rating criteria. To be on this list, it had to be an actual Bierkeller with at least the remnants of the beer cellar. Some of these are just fantastic to see and to me, add so much to the whole experience. While researching this, I visited some breweries with great outdoor seating areas with play grounds for the kids and self-service food and beer but they just weren’t Bierkellers. The latter are often on the outskirts of the town or village and distinct from the brewery itself.

The criteria: rated on scale of 1 to 10, highest sum wins.

Beer: quality, range, 10 points only if beer is gravity dispensed

Food: quality, range, general availability of hot food is a real bonus

Setting: trees, view, remoteness, top marks for being in the forest with a view

Accessibility/Route: all Bierkellers can be driven to but as a person without a car, I’m looking for ease of getting relatively close by public transport. The hiking route in is also considered. If you’re walking 5 km, is it worth doing in its own right. Factored in here also are the opening hours. Generally, during the week they tend to open around four or five in the afternoon. Oddly for the non-Franconian, they open earliest on Sundays, sadly when bus service is often at its worst. If a place is open more hours, they tended to do better in this rating. That said, if the walk in was very scenic, it often offset this.

Atmosphere/Facilities: while related to the setting, some places had a better feeling to them due to the arrangement of the seating and the friendliness of the people working there. In my experience, all Bierkellers have playgrounds for the kids and while I don’t have any, I did try to have a look at them. It’s also good if there are areas not too close to them for those seeking more solitude. Toilets are one of the weaknesses of these admittedly rustic places so points were given to any which had updated theirs. Shelters in case it rains are a big plus and many of them have this sorted out better than others. Last but not least for me, if they used mugs with the brewery logo on them, I gave points for this.

Please note that the link above the photos will open a tab for a more complete review of that particular Keller, including address and opening hours.  Below the photos are the criteria with point evaluations and ranking. All of these Bierkellers are great destinations and worth checking out.

Wettelsheimer Keller

Rank Bierkeller Beer Food Setting
Accessibility/

Route

Atmosphere/

Facilities
Total
   1 Wettelsheimer
Keller
10 9 10 9 9 46

Griess Keller

Rank Bierkeller Beer Food Setting
Accessibility/

Route

Atmosphere/

Facilities
Total
2 tie
Griess Keller
10 9 9 8 9 45

Roppelts Keller

Rank Bierkeller Beer Food Setting
Accessibility/

Route

Atmosphere/

Facilities
Total
 2 tie Roppelts Keller
9 10 8 9 9 45

Schmausenkeller

Rank Bierkeller Beer Food Setting Accessibility/
Route
Atmosphere/
Facilities
Total
2 tie

Schmausen

Keller

9 10 9 7 10 45

Senftenberger Felsenkeller

Rank Bierkeller Beer Food Setting
Accessibility/

Route

Atmosphere/

Facilities
Total
3 tie
Senftenberger
Felsenkeller
10 6* 10 9 9 44

Lieberth Dorfkeller

Rank Bierkeller Beer Food Setting
Accessibility/

Route

Atmosphere/

Facilities
Total
 3 tie Lieberths
Dorfkeller
10 9 8 9 8 44

St. Georgen Bräu Bierkeller

Rank Bierkeller Beer Food Setting
Accessibility/

Route

Atmosphere/

Facilities
Total
3 tie St. Georgen Bräu
Keller
8 8 10 9 9 44

Rossdorfer Felsenkeller

Rank Bierkeller Beer Food Setting
Accessibility/

Route

Atmosphere/

Facilities
Total
4 tie Rossdorfer
Felsenkeller
9 8 8 9 9 43

Spezial Keller

Rank Bierkeller Beer Food Setting
Accessibility/

Route

Atmosphere/

Facilities
Total
4 tie Spezial
Keller
8 8 10 9 8 43

Roppelts Bierkeller (Trossenfurt)

Rank Bierkeller Beer Food Setting
Accessibility/

Route

Atmosphere/

Facilities
Total
4 tie

Roppelts Bierkeller
(Trossenfurt)

9 8 9 7 10 43

Wilde Rose Keller

Rank Bierkeller Beer Food Setting
Accessibility/

Route

Atmosphere/

Facilities
Total
4 tie Wilde Rose Bräu Keller
9 7 9 9 9 43

Löwenbräu Felsenkeller (Neuhaus)

Rank Bierkeller Beer Food Setting
Accessibility/

Route

Atmosphere/

Facilities
Total
5 tie Löwenbräu
Felsenkeller
9 8 9 7 9 42

Wagner Bräu Keller

Rank Bierkeller Beer Food Setting
Accessibility/

Route

Atmosphere/

Facilities
Total
5 tie Wagner Bräu
Keller
10 9 8 8 7 42

Lieberth am Kreuzberg

Rank Bierkeller Beer Food Setting
Accessibility/

Route

Atmosphere/

Facilities
Total
5 tie

Lieberth Keller am Kreuzberg

10 8 7 9 8 42

Laufer Keller

Rank Bierkeller Beer Food Setting
Accessibility/

Route

Atmosphere/

Facilities
Total
6 tie Laufer Keller
7 7 10 8 9 41

Engelhardts Keller

Rank Bierkeller Beer Food Setting
Accessibility/

Route

Atmosphere/

Facilities
Total
6 tie Engelhardts Keller 8 6* 9 9 9 41

Schwana Keller

Rank Bierkeller Beer Food Setting


Accessibility/

Route


Atmosphere/

Facilities
Total
7 tie Schwana Keller
8 9 8 8 7 40

Rittmayer Keller

Rank Bierkeller Beer Food Setting
Accessibility/

Route

Atmosphere/

Facilities
Total
7 tie Rittmayer
Keller
7 10 7 9 7 40

Hannla Keller

Rank Bierkeller Beer Food Setting
Accessibility/

Route

Atmosphere/

Facilities
Total
8 tie Hannla
Keller
7 6* 9 9 8 39

Voggendorfer Keller

Rank Bierkeller Beer Food Setting
Accessibility/

Route

Atmosphere/

Facilities
Total
8 tie Voggendorfer
Keller
8 6 9 8 8 39

Schwanenbräu Keller

Rank Bierkeller Beer Food Setting
Accessibility/

Route

Atmosphere/

Facilities
Total
9 tie Schwanenbräu
Keller
7 8 6 9 8 38

Hermanns Keller

Rank Bierkeller Beer Food Setting
Accessibility/

Route

Atmosphere/

Facilities
Total
9 tie Hermanns
Keller
8 6* 9 7 8 38

Löwenbräu Keller

Rank Bierkeller Beer Food Setting
Accessibility/

Route

Atmosphere/

Facilities
Total
10 Löwenbräu
Keller
7 8 6 9 7 37

Hope you’ve enjoyed reading about some of the best Bierkellers in Franconia. Of course, once the weather cools down, they close and you’re still thirsty so please check out my brewpub listings.

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