Framing Unterfranken in Frammersbach

When it comes to beer aficionados, Lower Franconia doesn’t get any respect. Before I get accused of playing the Rodney Dangerfield card, I fully understand its relative remoteness and lack of sheer numbers has a lot to do with that. While all of Franconia has been decimated by brewery closures, Unterfranken has been particularly so. That it’s more noted as a wine region only adds to its anonymity. That said, there are four that make many an expert’s top 20 (Bayer in Theinheim, Hartleb in Maroldsweich, Martin in Hausen and Roppelt in Trossenfurt).

 some Lower Franconian contenders

While even these stalwarts are often not visited due to logistical reasons or just lack of time, especially for those in the area for the first time, the repeat lover of Franconian beer generally makes their pilgrimages. Others further afield often get lost in the beery shuffle. After all, there is only so much time and why venture to uncertainty when there is a sure thing right in your neighborhood? For me, it’s the unadulterated sense of adventure. There’s just something about scouring the map in search of new places and then envisioning what they look like, what the beer might taste like and if they have something particular to an area to eat. Don’t get me wrong, it can and often does lead to disappointment but the initial excitement is tough to beat. At least for me. My wife is always amazed at how wound up I get before a trip into the unknown and she thinks it’s a good thing to not lose that passion.  That’s good for me as she’s often my driver. As much as I generally rely on public transportation, some places are just so much easier by car.

how to get there is often the problem

Our annual Easter trip to Saxony to visit family always includes a Franconian foray en route. I generally pick something nearly impossible to get to without a car as we rent one for the trip. Lower Franconia has been a focal point due to much of it being remote, especially from Munich where we live but even from Beer Mecca Bamberg. I’d done quite a few Spessart area breweries in 2023 but there were a couple further north on my list and Waldschloss Bräu became the focus to build the trip around. A good friend from Middle Franconia mentioned it a few years ago and while I had found a route just about there by train, its limited opening hours had kept me at bay. Even by car, it’s a good 3.5 hours away from Munich.  So, it’s always good to find a lunch stop to keep my driver happy. My choice from 2023’s excursion had been a salty failure so I opted for Marktbreit, a charming town I’d been in briefly a few years prior that I wanted Doreen to see.

a charming Marktbreit was our first stop

With no brewery in town and nearby Brauerei Düll not open during the day, Gasthaus Zur Goldenen Traube would have to do. With a chance to try Kesselring Pils on tap, why not.

some sustenance for the rest of the trip

After a quickened due to showers stroll through the old town, we were off. We always choose the least expensive rental as generally get an upgrade but this time around, it was a VW Polo. With the hilly terrain of the Spessart and a deadline to reach Wiesen (bei Aschaffenburg), my poor wife was lamenting the car’s lack of pickup. We arrived a little after closing but the woman in the office graciously threw together a mixed case of the Bürgerliches Brauhaus beers together. I’d noticed the brewery on that map scouring exercise when looking what was nearby Frammersbach. I’d had no expectations and the beers turned out to be surprisingly good. The two pubs in the village which had their beers on tap weren’t open until dinner but I stopped by to take some pictures to find one of them loading up supplies. The proprietor offered to sell me a Wiesener Pils but I declined knowing a tired wife sat in the car patiently waiting. She’s have said okay if I’d asked but sometimes discretion really is the better part of valor.

a quick stop in Wiesen to stock up

It was only 15 minutes down to Frammersbach so before checking into our hotel, we dropped by Waldschloss Bräu to pick up more beer. It’s a few kilometers out of the town proper and we wouldn’t have the car when we returned. Drivers need to drink too.

Walschoss Bräu & some of the loot later enjoyed in Saxony

After dropping the car off and D’s power nap, we made our way back up to the Waldschloss Bräustübl for dinner. It wasn’t the stunning afternoon hoped for but it wasn’t raining, always a factor when on foot. Needless to say, the Biergarten wasn’t open but we were happy to seek refuge in the cozy and surprisingly empty pub.

 a welcoming sight

We ordered our beers and my server, the same woman who had sold me the case earlier, was a little confused when I asked for a branded glass. I’d noticed when walking in that most didn’t have their logo. It took her awhile to find one so I thanked her profusely when she brought my Fuhrmanns Weisse out with one. D’s Kellerbier’s inconspicuously was sans.

a logo is worth a thousand words or at least a good tip

Everything was going according to Hoyle it seemed until the first sip. Anticipation and disappointment are often linked or so it sometimes seems. My Weizen was a little thin on flavor. My wife isn’t a complainer and rarely does but her face generally gives her hand away. I knew she wasn’t overwhelmed with her beer either but all hope seemed lost when she took a sip of mine and said she liked it better. To give you an idea of how this was going, Doreen is not a Weizen fan. Thankfully, I didn’t agree after trying hers. Well, there’s always food. The pub is generally only open Friday to Sunday evenings but this was Gründonnerstag and they’d decided to have an after work party. The woman I’d been emailing with (who likely had sold me the case and found me the logo glass) had explained it would be a small menu but I was saddened to not see the Bauernplatte offered. We now had an older woman as a server and I politely asked for it nonetheless as well as a Kellerbier with a branded glass just to make myself popular. My heart warmed when she returned from the kitchen saying they would do it and that someone was searching for an elusive branded mug.

most things go better with food & beer is one

I was happy to see both even if it was a Pils mug. I wasn’t about to look a gift horse in the mouth at this point. The place was really filling up and suddenly my making a reservation didn’t seem silly. It was bustling and everyone was really enjoying themselves. We ordered a Pils and Obazda. I didn’t even have to make another branded glass request. She said it right away. I guess the squeaky foreigner thing works.

a great evening out counts

A funny thing happened. The locals’ enjoyment was infectious. It was a beer drinking “after work” crowd and they obviously loved their local brews. Love might be a strong word but we really started enjoying it too. The Brotzeit was excellent, aided by very fresh, well-baked bread. We’re both of the mind that food enhances beer and that surely added to our newfound contact “love.” Suddenly, we were lost in a fun night out. We’d worked all week, driven all day. It felt good to just sit, relax, have something to eat, drink a beer, dammit. Not rate a beer, not talk about this hop, that hop, I-Hop. Beer was never really about that in the first place and none of the locals were taking notes. They were too busy having fun.

Epilogue: The next day was Karfreitag and we had an even longer drive to Saxony than we’d had the previous day but my wife is beyond understanding so we always hit a new place for lunch. Goikel-Bräu is relatively new and a stand alone brewery with no pub but I’d found what looked like a great restaurant up the road from it. Am Dorfbrunnen had the Goikel-Bräu Keller beer on tap and did not disappoint. Eating fish on Good Friday has become a newfound ritual for me and as long as I get a new-for-me beer with it, I am not only happy but excited. I try to not lose that sense of excitement over beer exploration and in the future, I’ll try not to let the perception of a beer’s worth get in the way of enjoying having a beer.

what’s so good about Good Friday? Fish & a new beer on the horizon

The list of breweries which Beerwanderers has visited is growing, check out out where the brews are!

I know I have a tough job but someone has to do it. It does cost money visiting the various breweries, especially as Beerwanderers goes further into Lower Franconia. Please consider buying me a beer 🍺!

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2 thoughts on “Framing Unterfranken in Frammersbach

  1. “The locals’ enjoyment was infectious. It was a beer drinking “after work” crowd and they obviously loved their local brews.” You captured perfectly, what keeps me exploring new bars and breweries, Rich.

    Retain that “unadulterated sense of adventure.” It may be contagious!

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