Plan B: Essing

Essing will always be a little special for me. It was the first time my wife realized my knowledge of breweries in Bavaria was not only fairly extensive but more importantly, useful. My Dad was over from the US for an extended visit and was getting quite the tour of our new state. He was 85 at the time but was in great shape for his age. That said, we probably took him on some excursions via public transportation that we should have sprung for a rental car for. One was was a two-train, one-bus trip to Kelheim. It took about 2.5 hours and we arrived with the intention of taking him on the scenic boat trip to Kloster Weltenburg. I went up to get the tickets and the woman explained the boats weren’t going that day due to extremely low water levels.

the boat trip that was not meant to be that day

Disappointment was an understatement and only part of the problem. Turning around and doing the trip in reverse without reward wasn’t an option. We’d have to at least eat lunch. It was true that the noted Brauerei Schneider had a Weisses Bräuhaus right in the center of Kelheim and though it would have been more than adequate, it lacked adventure. I looked at the bus schedule and low and behold, I saw the bus we’d just jumped off of was headed towards Essing. I knew of a smaller, more local brewery also called Schneider there and it was reportedly really good. I told my comrades we’d just have to wait for the next hourly bus, now only 40 minutes away.  My wife didn’t say anything but I knew she thought going to the more noted Schneider just up the street was the prudent thing to do. We would, after all, at some point have to head back to Munich via our long journey.

the first time at Brauereigasthof Scheider

While not exactly an equal to the boat trip on the Danube, the bus ride was pretty scenic too and we were at Schneider in no time. I’d like to say I knew how amazing a setting it was in but I can say my wife and Dad were more than impressed!

 Essing was a stunning sight

The food and beer were every bit the equal to the setting. Everyone seemed to forget all about Weltenburg and as great as the more famous Schneider is, this smaller one was more than up to task to compete. The icing on the cake were the desserts. My wife was in heaven and as they say, happy wife=happy life.

 a round of great meals, desserts & beer

We liked it so much, we returned with my Dad the following year with a rental car. He was, after all, 86 and complained I treated him like he was 85. We also reserved rooms right at the Brauereigasthof Schneider to get a more complete experience. Dating back to 1640, the brewery has been in the Schneider family for three generations. They take great pride in everything they do and it shows. It was nice being able to enjoy their lovely Biergarten in the evening, after a day of sightseeing. Dad finally got to Weltenburg (and Riedenburg for good measure) too! I knew it wouldn’t be the last visit. Though I’d spotted the castle ruin up on the cliffs behind the brewery on our first visit, I got a better gander of it at sunset this time around. I accepted getting up there would have to wait till another time. My Dad was 86 after all.

 the overnight stay was a smashing success

When researching hikes to be included in Beer Hiking Bavaria, I knew my wife wouldn’t be able to accompany me on all of the trips. I had a small window to complete everything and she has a very full work schedule. Unsurprisingly, one of her choices was Essing. We used it as a base for hikes to Weltenburg and in Riedenburg too. So, we got to eat dinner at Brauereigasthof Schneiderand every evening after a hard day of beer hiking. I used their marvelously dry/chocolatey Dunkles as the featured beer in my book but quite enjoyed all of their beers. I found a great hike which took us up onto the cliffs behind the brewery and by the ruin which sparked my interest in hiking in the area in the first place. We got a marvelous day for it and much like Schneider, it didn’t disappoint.

a climb to the cliff top & views of the valley

Once the initial climb was over, it was a nice flat walk with lots of open spots to enjoy the sun and a pretty little chapel for good measure. We passed a cute little Biergarten but it was a bit early to stop.

pretty St. Bartholomä chapel

The reward for effort ratio on the hike was great and the lure of the little Biergarten about halfway through the circuit should get us back up there. The service, food and beer at the brewery is exemplary. We timed it well as it was Spargelzeit and unsurprisingly, they do that well too. Essing is one place I’m sure we’ll return to again and again. It’s no longer Plan B.

the rewards of the hike continue on your return

Essing lies in Lower Bavaria (Niederbayern in German). There are five hikes in this region in my book Beer Hiking Bavaria along with another 45 from all over Bavaria. Each includes detailed descriptions of the hikes as well as information on the breweries along the routes plus some tasting notes on my favorite beers at each establishment.

It’s available in both English and German:
beer hiking bavaria book coverbierwandern bayern buch


7 thoughts on “Plan B: Essing

  1. I’ve never been to Essing (or Markt Essing, as they proudly call it), but I see it is right in the Altmühl Valley / Main-Donau canal. Looks like a great place to visit.

  2. B becomes A! Reminds me of the Rotenfels which I lived across from. The cliffs are a little smaller, but all is made up for it with the beer!

    1. Funny how there are so many similarities between places all over the world. It’s a wonder people stray so far when often, something similar is closer at hand than they may think.

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