While hiking to breweries is the focus of Beerwanderers, there are times when traveling by car really is the best if not only choice. Living in a big city like Munich and owning a car doesn’t make sense so we rent one when we need it and that is the case when visiting my wife’s family for a long weekend. We tend to drive up late afternoon and spend the night at a more remote brewery in Franconia en route. This breaks the journey in half, gets me to breweries difficult or impossible to access via public transportation and allows my wife to imbibe. Even in a COVID-restricted year we managed to visit Zum Grünen Baum in Theinheim, Roppelts in Trossenfurt and Geyer in Oberreichenbach in 2020.
some great overnight stops even in COVID-restricted 2020
On the return trip, we’re more in a rush so a stop for lunch is all the time we can spare. Generally speaking, returning via the A-93 while longer distance-wise is preferable to the A-9 with regard to traffic. The A-9 is more brewery rich but the ones close to the actual corridor have mostly been checked off my list and driving off the route in addition to the traffic is pushing the boundaries of my wife’s considerable good nature. Thankfully, the land of Zoigl is right off the A-93 so it has more than kept us busy the last three years. Still, its limited opening days and weekend scheduling often made it a convoluted stop. This coupled with mostly Brotzeit menus made it less than ideal and with COVID ravaging the area, much of it was closed to the general public in 2020.
Zoigl proved a great alternative
I found myself having to look for breweries not in Franconia or the Zoigl area and to be honest, I hadn’t a clue as to where to stop. I found myself relegated to scouring Google Maps to find places close to the A-93. One place that looked to be a in a pleasant location on a river was Berghammer, outside Bad Abbach just south of Regensburg. Conveniently enough, Google Maps has reviews of the restaurants and everyone seemed to rave about the food. They had hot meals all day, something which is not always the case in Bavaria. It was a bit off the autobahn but the ride there was scenic and provided a nice break for my tired driver/hungry wife. A bonus was a nice Biergarten and a sunny day.
surprisingly charming Berhammer
Founded around 1850, the brewery is not old by German standards but has a nice traditional feel to it and its interior was cozy if empty. Everyone was outside on a day like this and with COVID still a factor, we decided to sit in the Biergarten across the road rather than the busier and much less atmospheric patio area in front of the pub. The service window there was closed but the servers from the restaurant were working the Biergarten too so service was understandably on the slow side. I opted for a their unfiltered Helles while I perused a menu full of traditional but varied Bavarian dishes.
a tasty Helles in a pleasant Biergarten
We weren’t in the mood for anything heavy on this sunny day and were happy to find a few lighter fare meals. They had Geröstete Knödel, one of my wife’s favorites. It’s just leftover fried dumplings with fried eggs on top but it’s always a tasty dish. They also had fried Maultaschen, a ravioli type Schwäbisch dish. Both were quite good and I also tried their Spezial, an amber beer heading in the Märzen direction. I think I preferred it to the Helles. Neither was mind-blowing but both were well-made and went well with the food.
a fine meal at Berghammer
It would have been easy to have a third beer but their Weißbier would have to wait for another visit. We still had a good 90 minutes more driving and the car was due to be dropped off. I imagine the third beer would be much the same: well-made but not earth shattering. A friend who’s been living in Germany for some years said it well when he said there might not be so many amazing beers in Germany but there are even less bad ones. I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to stop at Berghammer again. Of course, no sooner had I found it and the second lockdown ensued so there’s no stopping to be done of any kind for now. Oh, if I had Berghammer….
Still thirsty, check out some breweries in Franconia.