The Bierquellenwanderweg is one of the best marked of the Franconian beer walking circuits and offers a good variety in terrain from dense forest to open pastures with a fair amount of hills for good measure. There are many variations but the basic circuit is just over 18km with a combined gain/loss of elevation of close to 600m and is considered a middle level hike. While the landscape is very pretty, parts of the route run close to the Autobahn so you can sometimes hear it humming in the background. You also catch glimpses of it and even walk under it a couple times.
Breweries: 3 (Herold, Künsdörfer, Gradl) with one former brewery serving their still tasty contract brewed beer Übelhack in Weiglathal.
Starting Point: Trockau is probably the most accessible town and has two fair-sized guesthouses but I prefer Büchenbach as it is home to the Herold Brewery which has rooms. Staying at a brewery is always a plus in my eyes.
Stages 1: Büchenbach to Weiglathal (9km). If you are doing this as a circuit, it makes sense to get the big walk out of the way early and save your drinking for the end in clustered fashion. The initial route from Büchenbach is pretty and passes a small orchard before ducking under the Autobahn. Once on the other side, there is a mix of forest and open fields.
countryside around Büchenbach
The trail passes through Trockau so if hungry or thirsty, there are options there to satisfy both. There is a small castle which is private and cannot be visited but worth a quick peek through the gate.
varied trail around Trockau and its small castle
You will pass under the Autobahn again before reaching Weiglathal, a lovely spot and home to Zum Fichta, a former brewery that still has their beer contract brewed which they lager on the premises.
Zum Fichta is well worth a stop
Stage 2: Weiglathal to Lindenhardt (3.2km) is perhaps the most scenic section of trail, especially if you like dense lush forests. Within the Lindenhardt Forest lies one of the sources of the Main River. It’s called the Red Main Spring due to the reddish subsoil.
The forest en route to the Künsdörfer Brewery in Lindenhardt
There is also some pretty rural scenery around the small villages with open pastures and some horses grazing.
Stage 3: Lindenhardt to Leups (3km) is another pretty stretch that takes you into the countryside. The big attraction in Leups is the timeless Gradl Brewery.
Scenic pasture en route to Leups
Stage4: Leups to Büchenbach (3km) is a stretch that gives you some elevation for nice views of forests and farmland. The Herold Brewery awaits you there with a bed for the night if needed.
Take me home country roads to the Herold Brewery
Places to stay: Both Herold (Büchenbach) and Künsdörfer (Lindenhardt) have rooms. Trockau has two Inns, as well. There are also rooms/apartments along the trail.
How to get there? It’s close to the Autobahn so easily accessible by car but less so by public transportation. That said, it is not particularly hard to get to and with some planning can be done by a combination of train and bus (or taxi when the bus is not running). I recently accessed it by walking from Pegnitz, which is easy to reach by train. The trail was quite nice and only added an extra 5km. If you do, you can check out the Kleiner Klum outlook and walk through the Kreuzwegkapelle en route.
Kleiner Klum lookout & 1 Kreuz from the Kreuzwegkapelle
If you have any questions about access, please drop me a line.
If you’re not up to doing it on your own, I’m available for guided trips into this pretty valley with timeless breweries.
Not your kind of walk? How about the Brauereienwanderweg?
If you’d like to find out more about beer hiking around all of Bavaria, please consider consulting my book, Beer Hiking Bavaria oder auf Deutsch: Bierwandern Bayern.