She looked so peaceful and unlikely to notice my taking a photo of her napping from the distance I stood. I’d taken more risky shots with an admittedly stronger zoom of an assortment of subjects across South America and Southeast Asia, including women clad in bowler hats in Bolivia but this somehow seemed more personal. I walked away from my napping nun remembering my wife’s words of wisdom to not be so worried about taking a photo of everything, ”to take some photos with your mind.” Of course, once I was back at the little shop to buy some beer to go, I was reminded of a photo a friend had sent me from that very spot, taken with the actual brewing Sister Doris who makes Klosterbrauerei Mallersdorf “famous.”
the convent church, brewery shot, Stu & his Sista
My sleepy and less noted sister soon sauntered over to sell me some of the brewery’s heralded Klosterbier. I was to be disappointed again on finding out they were out of their Maibock, which I’d just enjoyed over a meal at their Klosterbräustüberl. I’d have to suffice with their flagship Vollbier, bottle-only Zoigl and a seasonal Jubiläumbier.
a nice trio of Klosterbiers back home
The Klosterbrauerei in Mallersdorf had been on my radar for a long time though not as far back as its founding in 1107. Well, that was even before the sisters made their first appearance. The monastery was dissolved in 1803 and Franciscan nuns made it home in 1869. Perhaps most importantly to anyone reading this, they revived brewing in 1881. Sister Doris has been at the helm for well over 40 years. I’d had bottles found in Munich when I first moved here but hadn’t really looked into where it was located. With a focus on Franconia, it kind of fell by the wayside but resurfaced a few years ago when I happened upon some more bottles. As it turned out, it was incredibly close to Munich at under 90 minutes by local trains. The picture of Stu with the nun pushed it up in priority and off I finally set.
an empty local train & first view of Kloster Mallersdorf
I’d found a good looking hike that started and ended at the Kloster and kicked myself for not investigating it sooner to be included in Beer Hiking Bavaria. If there’s to be a second edition, it would certainly be included. The scenic stroll in from the little station was quite stunning it its own right.
a pretty stroll to the Kloster
When you travel with the Bavaria Ticket during the week, you can’t leave until after 9:00 am so even with the short trip, I arrived a bit too late to do the full hike I’d mapped out before lunch. Walking by the Klosterbräustüberl would prove too enticing and soon enough, I was sitting in their shady Biergarten out back with a draft Kloster Vollbier in front of me.
strolling back to the Kloster
The Schweinsbraten was exceptional. It’s one thing Bavaria does better than Franconia and this one really was about as good as it gets. It’s not, however, exactly the best hike preparation meal and once I found out there was a Maibock on tap, I knew my heading out to explore was in jeopardy. It would have been all to easy to stay put in the shady oasis but off I set to enjoy the beautiful nature surrounding the monastery. Well, enjoy might be a strong word as once out in the heat and heading even slightly uphill, all I could feel was the hot midday sun beating down on me. That and the strong Maibock undoubtedly now swirling around my brain, having left the general bloodstream with the exertion.
the scenic area around Kloster Mallersdorf
Though there were some shady forested sections, too much of the trail was exposed for me to do the whole thing on such a hot day. Beer hiking is best when the beer comes after the brunt of the hike. I decided to double back through an off-trail forested area. It was cooler and about half the distance. I was soon back at the Biergarten for one last beer before catching the train home.
taking the easy way out
Walking back to the station, I couldn’t get the images of the two sisters out of my mind, my napping sister and Stu’s brewing one. Where does the sista come in? When I first moved to Germany and my German was even worse than it is today, I used to try often in vain to understand conversations between my wife and her family. While my wife speaks high German at work and in Munich, once she’s home she naturally and quite unconsciously switches to the dialect of her native Saxony. One phrase she used especially with her Mom and sister was “siehst du.” It’s added to the end of a sentence as a way to emphasize or get confirmation of the statement. Literally, “do you see.” I may have caught this but when they said it, it was more like “siehs da” which sounded like sista to me. I thought it was an endearing thing between female family members. Great news, sister! They thought it was so funny when I told them how I’d heard it. At any rate, I never got a picture of either of the two sisters but I’m pretty sure those images will be in my brain for a long time. Sometimes your remember the pictures you didn’t take more than the ones you did, sista?
Beer Hiking Bavaria is available in both English and German: