You’ve been to the beer Mecca Bamberg a few times. You’re jonesing for a Rauchbier. You’ve managed to get your significant other to agree to a three-day stay and you know you could have a great time just revisiting your old favorites but you’ve got this nagging feeling you really should explore some of the what you’ve heard is beautiful countryside. Let’s not forget there are a bunch of new-for-you breweries out there to check out. Though some are reachable by train, a few might mean taking a bus but you’re ready. You’ve been brushing up on your German. Ok, you haven’t tried it out on a bus. In fact, you haven’t been on a bus since 8th grade and that one was yellow and picked you up in front of your parents’ house. Don’t worry and ironically you might find yourself on a school bus once again. No worries, it’s okay in Germany. You just will likely be the oldest one on the bus. The biggest dilemma will be picking out which breweries to head out to as there are hundreds, even within striking distance of Bamberg. While there are some definite must-do’s, picking your destinations might be influenced on the days of the week you are traveling and how much adventure you want to include in your public transportation experience. You’re going to have to pick your breweries wisely. This guide will help you do just that.
the many hues of Franconian beer
All of this information is available in much more detail on Beerwanderers so to keep this guide compact and easier to use while there, I will use links in case you need more information than a list. Contact info/opening hours/links to brewery websites/food/tasting notes are conveniently on these linked pages. I re-checked the opening hours in January 2024 but it’s best to reconfirm these times on the breweries’ websites or social media pages. When in doubt and if going to a village which is hard to reach, it’s always best to call.
trains, buses & automobiles
Before listing my suggestions for Bamberg area countryside breweries, I would like to suggest your having a look at my how to get around pages below. The German transportation Apps (DB & VGN) are invaluable for not only your planning but also purchasing tickets. They are not data or battery hogs and are about as non-obtrusive as you will find.
The list of breweries will be split into three groups, determined solely by me as to the ease to reach them. (Please note, this post is about reaching the destinations without a car and with minimal walking. If you are driving or a beer hiker or biker, you can disregard this grouping and look at it as one big list.) Within each group, I will list them by town/village as occasionally there is more than one venue in a given village. Also, the name of the village will be important in finding your transportation route. I’m not providing bus routes or numbers as they change. With Bamberg as a start point and the destination provided, you can easily sort it out with the VGN App. I will do it alphabetically rather than by my personal favorites. If it’s listed here, you can assume I like it. I am also only listing places that I have personally been to as I can’t recommend something I haven’t personally experienced. The links will go to my reviews of the places which includes beers I’ve had along with food. Though my focus is beer, food plays a big part in my beery travels. The list grew much larger than I’d originally envisioned with 48 towns listed. So, I’ve decided to put an asterisk next to ones I would recommend more highly. That said, I do feel all of them deserve mention, even those which have perhaps dropped in quality since I first visited them.
some cozy places
1) Easy Peasy: Places which you have no excuse for not checking out providing you have time. Travel time is minimal with generally no connections involved. Perhaps most importantly, they have friendly opening hours which work with public transportation.
Bayreuth (three breweries)
Bischberg (brewery & Bierkeller) *
Buttenheim (two breweries and two Bierkellers)
DrosendorfForchheim (many breweries, Bierkellers, pubs/a destination in itself)
Hirschaid (brewery & Bierkeller)Memmelsdorf (two breweries & a Bierkeller)Merkendorf (two breweries) *Oberhaid (brewery & Bierkeller)Reckendorf (two breweries)SchweinfurtZeil am Main *
A little more elbow grease: Places where you need to make multiple connections or opening hours aren’t so friendly or both. You can get there but it takes some forethought, especially if you want to get back the same day. You might have to do some walking, especially if you don’t plan well.
Ebing *FreudeneckGeisfeld (brewery & Bierkeller) *Grasmannsdorf *Hausen (bei Schonungen) * Höfen (Rattelsdorf)Kemmern (brewery & Bierkeller) *LoffeldLohndorf *Mühlendorf (brewery & Bierkeller) Mürsbach *Priesendorf *Rossdorf am Forst (brewery & Bierkeller) *ScheßlitzSesslach (communal brewery with two pubs/more a destination in itself)Stettfeld *Stublang (two breweries)Tiefenellern *UetzingVierzehnheiligen *
Not easy, the best things rarely are: Places which require a lot of planning due to very limited public transportation. Some require an overnight stay due to that or limited opening hours. Generally speaking, it’s well worth staying in these areas and you won’t regret it when drinking at any one of them, knowing you are sleeping nearby. Some might otherwise require some walking to get back to your starting point.
Ampferbach (brewery & two Bierkellers) *Burgebrach (brewery & Bierkeller) *Huppendorf *Maroldsweisach *Mönchsambach *NedensdorfSambach *
Schlüsselfeld (two breweries, contract brewery & Bierkeller) *Theinheim *Trossenfurt (brewery & Bierkeller) *Wattendorf (two breweries) *WeiherWiesen (two breweries)
I hope The Pocket Guide to Bamberg’s Best Countryside Breweries helps make your trip to Bamberg and Franconia a great one. If it’s helped you find some new places, please consider buying me a beer 🍺!
Going to Bamberg for the first time? Don’t leave home without The Pocket Guide to Bamberg’s Best Beer.
For a complete listing of all of the breweries I’ve visited in Franconian, with links to each brewery: Search or a brewery by name or enjoy my interactive map of Franconian breweries:
Heading to Bamberg in the warmer months, don’t leave home without A Guide to Bamberg’s Best Beergardens.
Going to the Bierkeller is a true Franconian cultural institution. Which are the best? Check out Bierkellering by Numbers.
If going to Bamberg during Bock season, check out The Bocks of Bamberg.
Want to know more about beer styles in Franconia? Enjoy ABeerC.
In Franconia, the food is as good as the beer: The ABCs of Franconian Food.
Prefer a guided beer experience in Bamberg.