The Pocket Guide to the Best Erlangen & its Countryside Breweries

While it’s unlikely the average visitor to Franconian would choose Erlangen as a base unless going to their noted Bergkirchweih, it’s a pleasant university town which you will invariably notice if traveling by train between Bamberg and Nürnberg. If you don’t have a seat, it’s a good place to grab one as lots of students will be getting off.

lovely Erlangen

Not as beerily blessed as Bamberg or even Forchheim, Erlangen nonetheless has enough for a night to keep your thirst quenched even before venturing out into its surrounding countryside. That said, it you’re time is limited, heading out is the thing to do as what is available in town is non-essential and with Kitzmann now bought up and brewed elsewhere, it’s lost its local charm even if still a great restaurant with super friendly opening hours.

Kitzmann BräuSchänke

Steinbach-Bräu

Erlangen’s Bierkeller comes into its own during the annual Bergkirchweih but otherwise pales in comparison to Forchheim’s Kellerwald. It’s easy enough to reach by bus if you’re hankering for a Bierkeller and Entla’s even brews its own beer now but to be honest two of the nearby Kellers in the countryside would make a more authentic experience.

Entla’s Keller
bierkelle images

I won’t lie, there’s not the plethora of countryside choices surrounding Erlangen as is the case with both Bamberg and Forchheim but there are a few gems, including two lovely traditional Bierkellers. Sadly, Brauerei Heller , an old favorite in the cute town of Herzogenaurach, closed in 2021.  Think of this Guide as pointing out the value of Erlangen as a transit hub as much as place to stay though its a laid back alternative to nearby Nürnberg if you’re planning on visiting there anyway. Though the more mainstream ones are reachable by train, the gems aforementioned mean taking a bus. I would point out that this is a list of places largely better in summer.

the pleasures awaiting you outside of town

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 February 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 Erlangen 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.

How to get around by train

How to get around by bus

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 Erlangen as a starting 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. I will put an asterisk next to ones I feel have more merit.  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. Please note, the ease of travel designation mostly is aimed at summer travelers.

 some gems

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.

Alterlangen (newish brewery)

Buttenheim (two breweries and two Bierkellers)

Forchheim (three breweries, many Bierkellers/a destination in itself) *

Hirschaid (brewery & Bierkeller)

Kosbach (brewery & fishery)
fish sign, half-timbered house, beer crate

Röttenbach bei Erlangen (restaurant with stork-top former brewery, beer brewed nearby by related brewer)
stork net, restaurant interior & exterior

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.

Aisch (brewery) *

Oberreichenbach (brewery & Bierkeller) *

Zeckern (Bierkeller) *

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.

Adelsdorf (brewery & Bierkeller) *

Uehlfeld (two breweries & Bierkeller) *


I hope The Pocket Guide to the Best Erlangen and its Countryside Breweries helps make your trip to 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.

Are you interested in the countryside breweries around Bamberg? Please enjoy The Pocket Guide to Bamberg’s Best Countryside Breweries.

Are you interested in Forchheim? The Pocket Guide to the Best Forchheim & its Countryside Breweries.

For a complete listing of all of the breweries I’ve visited in Franconia, with links to each brewery: Search for 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.

2 thoughts on “The Pocket Guide to the Best Erlangen & its Countryside Breweries

  1. Actually attended the Bergkirchweih in 2014. While large it pales in comparison to Oktoberfest but since I like a smaller crowd, I prefer it. I could not remember what beers I had or Kellers on the hill we went to but I zoomed in on some pictures and saw these on our Maß….

    Entla’s Keller
    Kitzmann
    Frankendorf (though it also says Kitsmann)

    I have no memory of what anything tasted like – ended up in a burger and bbq joint in Schwabach after via the train and got a ride to our rental apartment.

    On more than one occasion I purchased a VGN 30 day pass (all zones) which was good for the entire family (of 4) for like $90). Restricted to trains after 9am but that worked for us. Man, what a great deal. Even Rothenburg was in that group of zones.

    When we went, the festival was in June but now is in May which makes it tough for us. Erlangen seemed like a nice town.

    1. Thanks for enjoying, Matt. Just back from a long trip. Looking forward to getting back up to Franconia soon. Even a beer at the Chinese Tower yesterday tasted like a million bucks.

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