The 1st Annual Looking for Mr. Good Beers & Breweries Top 5 Awards

2022 was a breakout year for Beerwanderers with both locals and travelers trying to get back to normal after what seemed an eternity of COVID-induced hesitation. Germany ushered in a 9€ Ticket for each summer month and I took advantage of it to expand my horizons into a big chunk of Franconian Baden-Württemberg. Beerwanderers got to 26 new-for-us beer places (13 breweries, 6 restaurants featuring beers on tap from breweries with no pubs, 5 Bierkellers and two bars) and sampled 237 beers we’d not had before.These are strictly places in Franconia. I did a lot in Bavaria too. Obviously, there were lots of bottled beers in the mix. Some friends helped out with car excursions and bringing back beers from their beery exploration as well. I sure couldn’t have covered so much ground or tried so many new beers without them. To help make all this new information on Beerwanderers more easily found and to commemorate the momentous year, we’re giving out virtual awards to the best finds of the year. Please note, to be considered it has to be a beer or place we’ve not had or been to before 2022. In instances where a beer was had on tap when it had previously been only sampled in bottled form, it was considered a new “beer experience” and included. Links go to the entries on the site for further elaboration. Here goes:

Top 5 Restaurants (not a brewery but a pub featuring a particular brewery’s beer when that they have no pub of their own):

1. Manns Bräu (Becher Bräu brews a range of beers for a defunct brewery and great cozy pub)

2. Gasthof Zum Goldenen Lamm (alternate to Wettelsheimer Keller with full range of Strauss beers)

3. Zur Schleuse (unofficial tap of Stefansbräu and great little Biergarten)

4. Gasthaus Adler (unofficial tap of Brauerei Schmetzer in neighboring town)
5. Gasthaus Sindel Buckel (unofficial tap of Fischer Bräu in neighboring town)

Top 5 Bierkellers:

1. Geyer Felsenkeller

2. Zeckerner Keller

3. Gambrinus Keller

4. Höhnskeller (had been there in previous years but never took pics or added to BW)
5. Zum Einhornskeller (a former Keller for the Einhorn brewery, now more a restaurant with a contract beer)

Top 5 Breweries (ones with pubs next to or with official brewery taps/beer, food and pub all considered):

1. Forstquell
2. Den Wilden Mann
3. Spall Brauerei

4. Hofbräu Oberle
fish sign, half-timbered house, beer crate
5. (tie) Distelhäuser Brauhaus
5. (tie) Herbsthäuser Brauerei

Top 5 bottled beers:
1 Schüffer Fastenbock
amber beer in pewter lidded mug with swingtop bottle
2. Lindenbräu Fritzle

unfiltered golden beer in glass with swing top bottle
3 Schlenkerla unfiltered Märzen

dark beer in logo glass with bottle
4. Häberlen Gaildofer Dunkel

dark beer in pewter lidded mug with swing top bottle
5. Franken Bräu Festbier

golden beer in glass with huge head and bottle

Top 5 Weizens:

1. Forstquell Weiße

weissbier in logo glass

2. Weib’s Brauhaus Weißbier

weissbier in log glass

3. Stefansbräu Weizen

weissbier in logo glass with bottle

4. Haller Löwenbräu Hefeweizen

hefeweizen in logo glass

5. Herbsthäuser Weizen

wheat beer in logo glass

Top 5 Bocks:

1. Gradl Weihnachtsbock

dark beer in mug with logo
2. Griess Bockbier

beer in ceramic mug with coaster
3. Trunk Fastenbock

dark beer in logo glass with big head

4. Hofbräu Oberle Fastenschluck

dark amber beer in logo glass with fish

5. Grasser Weizenbock
unfiltered amber weizenbock in tall logo glass

Top 5 Best Looking Beers:

1. Haller Löwenbräu Meistergold

golden beer with hug head in logo mug

2. Hausbrauerei Altstadthof Das Rotbier

red beer with huge head in logo mug

3. Manns Bräu Helles

golden beer with massive head in logo mug

4. Hausbrauerei Altstadthof Das Schwarze

black beer with huge tan head in logo mug

5. Schlenkerla Heinzlein Helles

unfiltered golden beer in logo glass with bottle

Top 5 light colored beers:

1. Forstquell Gold

unfiltered golden beer in logo glass

2. Schmetzer Hefepils

unfiltered golden beer in logo stemmed glass

3. Geyer Kellerbier

beer in ceramic mug with logo and coaster

4. Spall Keller Pils

unfiltered golden beer in tulip glass

5. Göller Zwickel Pils

unfiltered golden beer in logo glass

Top 5 dark colored beers:

1. Forstquell Kupfer

unfiltered amber beer in logo glass

2. Elch-Bräu Nix Amore

unfiltered amber beer in moose logo glass

3. Manns Bräu Dunkel

dark beer with large head in logo mug

4. Fischer (Wieseth) Das Spezial

amber beer in logo mug

5. Stefansbräu Märzen

unfiltered amber beer in logo mug

Beerwanderers were busy not only exploring new beery locations but also showing people new to the area the wonders of our beer hiking paradise. I won’t even try to pick a Top 5 of the wonderful groups I’ve had the pleasure to get to know but I will post a few photos to show the good times we had:

Want to learn more about Franconian beer styles: Try ABeerC.

Heading to Bamberg. Don’t leave home without The Pocket Guide to Bamberg’s Best Beer.

Looking for someone to take you there? How about me?

11 thoughts on “The 1st Annual Looking for Mr. Good Beers & Breweries Top 5 Awards

  1. Rich, the Beer Wanderer is a role model for Thebeerchaser in the US. Congratulations for your ambitious exploits in 2022 and I hope 2023 is off to the same robust start.

    1. Thanks, Don. I try my best. I have had three new for me beers this year. I don’t see as robust a year in 2023 but I do see myself breaking the 1000 beers on Beerwanderers mark! Wish me luck.

  2. There are so many great beers out there, but I’ll stick with my usual Pils alkoholfrei, such as Krombacher or Bitburger.
    Do any of the smaller breweries produce alkoholfrei?

    1. They do, Don. That segment of the beer market seems to be growing steadily. I bought one by mistake in Forchheim and thought it was pretty good. I believe it was by Brauerei Greif. There are also more and more low alcohol beers popping up, in the 2.5% range. I’d like to see some around 3.5%, which seems a perfect strength for those who enjoy the feeling of alcohol but want to drink quite a few beers over the course of and day.

    1. Thanks, Franz. We’ll have to plan in advance on your next trip over. We should get as many in as we can and hopefully manage a hike. It’s been a long time since Pottenstein!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.