Hausen is a small village in Lower Franconia most easily accessed from Schonungen, which is serviced by regular half-hour trains from Bamberg. There’s a bus from the station but it’s just as easy to walk the 2.5 km. There are a few more scenic if longer routes if you have the time and inclination. Of course, it’s not likely you’d be out this way if you weren’t going to enjoy the beers of Ulrich Martin but that in itself is a great reason to make the venture and beer always tastes better after a walk.
Privatbrauerei Ulrich Martin
Hausener Hauptstraße 5
97453 Schonungen (Hausen)
Tel: 09727 40 30 11
Schonungen station 2.5 km/limited bus service
Founded in 1850, the original brewery closed down after a successful 100-year run. Bought up by Brauerei Hiernickel, it was utilized as a restaurant by various tenants until going out of business in 2000, and falling into disrepair for a number of years. Thankfully, brewer Ulrich Martin saw promise in the abandoned property and after a loving restoration, opened its doors once again in 2008. The exterior looks largely unchanged and if you knew not of its history, you’d swear little has changed since 1850. The interior, while maintaining a traditional vibe, exudes some nice touches which brings it unobtrusively into the modern era. It’s amazing what some paint, wall furnishings and flowers will do.
the cozy interior of Brauerei Ulrich Martin & his lovely Spezial
While not far from Bamberg, I had come from Munich for my visit and had traveled for four hours by local transport, followed by a surprisingly scenic stroll on the Apfelweg to get there. So, it would have been easy to be disappointed but that I was not. It was a Monday afternoon so finding it empty was unsurprising but I soon noticed all of the tables were reserved for not long after my arrival. No worries, before long, the server had a gorgeous looking Spezial in front of me and my thirst and expectations were met.
G‘schnippelte Klöß & Martin UMtrunk
Though large roast meals are relegated to Sundays, not untypical for village pubs, they had some nice warm offerings to go with the more typical cold fare. I opted for fried dumplings with egg. You don’t see it so often anymore but basically, they fry left over dumplings and put either a fried egg or two on top, or in this case they scrambled some eggs in with them. It’s a simple but very tasty meal. I was just finishing up my Spezial so got the UMtrunk, an equally good Festbier.
Pils & Weizenbock
As it turned out, I was at the Stammtisch though there was no sign for it. The waiter had put me there probably figuring I’d have a beer and leave. The locals welcomed me warmly though probably a bit taken aback at my shooting multiple photos of everything that came my way. I explained I had a website, gave out cards and pulled out a copy of my book Beer Hiking Bavaria for good measure. I ordered the Pils and was happy for a slightly lighter beer, surely a great thirst quencher in summer. When it became apparent I wasn’t going to make my train, I opted for the Weizenbock as my final beer. It was another winner and it prompted me to get a bottle of their Dunkler Bock to bring home.
Ulrich Martin stopped to say hello as we’d exchanged a few e-mails prior to my visit. I hope to return for one of his Bockbieranstich events. The locals told me they were great fun. I also want to return in summer to check out the reportedly great Biergarten and do a longer hike in the countryside. This is one place worth the effort to get there!
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