I play monkey in the middle with my niece and nephew quite a lot and as you might guess, neither likes being in the middle much. I tell them that’s where all the action is to no avail. No stranger to the middle, I was a middle child. Most agree, it’s the place to be when it comes to siblings. Being a country in the middle certainly has its advantages too. There’s no need to look any further than Germany to see that. So I wonder why Falkenberg doesn’t get any respect. When it comes to Zoigl, it seems Windischeschenbach gets all the attention.
the Zoigl star & an atmospheric Zoiglstube in Windisceschenbach
Not taking anything away from Windischeschenbach as it’s certainly the epicenter of Zoigl, but Falkenberg is the more scenically set and closest to the heart of the lush Waldnaabtal. It also has the more iconic looking hilltop castle and its Kommunbrahaus just happens to be right at its base.
the wonders of the Falkenberg area are many
If looking to explore the Echter Zoigl area on foot, the hike from Mitterteich to Neuhaus is essential. Though doable in a day, it’s more pleasant to break your journey. Besides if you want to enjoy Zoigl along the way, you’ll want to and that’s where Falkenberg’s strategically central location comes into play. Not only is is it pretty much halfway along the route, it has a small but thriving Zoigl scene.
the walk from the pond-laden Mitterteich to Falkenberg
I’d used Falkenberg as my overnight stop a few times but when researching hikes for Beer Hiking Bavaria, I spent a bit more time and explored some of the hikes in the vicinity. I was surely going to use the hike through the Waldnaabtal to Neuhaus but I wanted a short loop people could do in under two hours as well. I found a well-signed one which took in the rural scenery, some dense forest sections and, best of all, some fine views of the castle and Falkenberg’s “skyline.”
a nice short loop with lovely views of Falkenberg
The weather was less than perfect but that made going to the Kramer-Wolf Zoiglstube that much cozier. With the extra time in town, I toured the Kommunbrauhaus with the mayor and even squeezed in an impromptu ride in a tractor. It was quite the full one-night stand.
more scenes from Falkenberg’s Zoigl scene
Hiking out of town on the famed Goldsteig, I was excited to be heading into the Waldnaabtal but I couldn’t help looking back whimsically at the Falkenberg “skyline.” There would be great Zoigl where I was to spend the next night and a couple more communal brew houses to tour to boot, but when you leave the middle, half your journey is over. Another night would have been nice. The middle, it seems, ain’t so bad after all.
the middle ain’t so bad after all
Falkenberg lies in the Upper Palatinate (Oberpfalz in German). There are three hikes in this region in my book Beer Hiking Bavaria along with another 47 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.