Mürsbach

Mürsbach is a charming village on the River Itz not far north of Bamberg in Franconia. Full of half-timbered architecture and home to a fine small rural brewery, it is set amongst rolling hills and most enjoyably reached via canoe.

Sonnen-Bräu
brewery sign
Zaugendorfer Straße 4
96179 Rattelsdorf
Tel: 09533 98 10 17
sonnen-braeu.de

Rentweinsdorf Station 4 km/Ebing Station 9 km/limited bus service

Output: 350 HL

Opening hours:
May to September
Tuesday from 3:00
Wednesday, Friday & Saturday from 12:00
Thursday from 1:00
Sunday & Holidays from 11:00
Closed Monday unless a holiday, then closed Tuesday

October to April
Wednesday & Thursday from 4:30
Friday & Saturday from 12:00
Sunday from 11:00
Closed Monday & Tuesday

Some opening hours, huh?  Well, we went on a Thursday in June but it was a holiday so I wrote a mail just to make sure and was told it would be open at 11:00!  So, it might pay to check in advance as they answered their e-mail promptly.

Founded in 1868 and in the Schmitt family ever since, this traditional old Inn has gone through some renovations in both the facility and brewing. It is not only aptly for its name solar-powered but is also now embracing many seasonals and an arsenal of craft beers.  The brewpub serves up excellent meals in both the restaurant and self-service Biergarten. None other than brewer Ralf Schmitt was ably manning the beer fonts.

brewery interior
self-service area of Sonnen-Bräu

I must admit to not having super high expectations for Sonnen-Bräu, having read perhaps old unenthusiastic reviews. I couldn’t have been won over more strongly after one stop. The self-service area was clean, modern and very welcoming.  They had a large selection of hot meals but we both opted for Kalbsbraten (roast veal) mit Klöße (dumplings) served with a side of Wirsing (creamed savory cabbage). It was a fantastic meal and very large. I had to eat one of my wife’s slices of veal, she just couldn’t finish it. We washed it down with a surprisingly tasty Kellerbier. In old reviews, people mentioned Helles and Lagerbier so perhaps the brewer has infused some of his love of craft beer into his regular line-up.

food on tray with beer

Kalbsbraten & Klöße, Wirsing and Kellerbier

It was hard to not have another Kellerbier but the craft beer offering sounded good and we decided to try his Hopfenblümla, a fine Pale Ale. He really spent his time pouring it and it looks fantastic when I brought it back to the table. The taste more than lived up to its visual appeal. I’m sure if we hadn’t been canoeing back to town, we would have had another.

Hopfenblümla & have canoe will paddle

I returned recently in winter and found the pub’s interior cozy and nearly as nice as their Biergarten. I went back to try their winter special Mürsbacher Dunkel and even though I had eaten lunch and it was early for dinner, I couldn’t resist their daily special of Biergulasch. It was excellent and considering they had quite a few beers to try, I was glad I had opted to get it. The Dunkel was lovely and went super well with there dark sauce, probably made with the same beer.

Biergulasch  & Mürsbacher Dunkel

I had come specifically for the Dunkel and their new Dopplebock but since it had taken me two years to return, I decided to try both their everyday Weizen and another seasonal winter beer, a Weizenbock. Sadly, the latter had just run out on tap but they graciously opened a liter bottle even though I was having a small size portion of it.

Weizen, Dopplebock & Weizenbock

I wasn’t disappointed by any of the beers but I was a bit rushed in drinking them. Thankfully, Sonnen-Bräu offers small samples (pictured in appropriate glassware!), a life saver when you have 90 minutes until the next bus. Service was friendly, quick and helpful.

Rooms are available and I’m looking forward to returning with my wife so she can enjoy all their great brews too.

I recently got back with my wife but unfortunately only for a quick lunch rather than a nice lingering overnight stay. We again got to enjoy their small but charming Biergarten and more importantly excellent food.

tasty food & charming Biergarten

My wife opted for a very tasty meal of spinach dumplings in a creamy mushroom sauce and I got Kartoffeln Baggers mit Räucherluchs. Baggers is Franconian dialect for potato pancakes and they were topped with smoke salmon with a side horseradish sauce. I was sorry to have just missed their Hopfenblümla Session IPA but was super happy with their Zwickel Pils, which shone pretty in the sun filtering in from the chestnut trees.

a fine seasonal Zwickel Pils & smoked salmon topped potato pancakes

We recently tried to redo our canoe trip of a few years prior but called to late to find all the vessels taken on our chosen day. So, with only one bus out to Mürsbach on Saturday, we jumped on it and walked back along the river. It was also quite nice and gave my wife a chance to drink more beer. Of course, we also ate some lovely food as well. They had a new Lager on, which appears to be joining their regular line-up.

some of the great reasons to visit Sonnen-Bräu

We had a nice plate of Zwetchgenbames and their Kellerbier was on gravity dispense after 17:00. We were happy to see it was the time of year for their tasty Zwickel Pils too. The Schnitzel was enormous with an equally big portion of Bratkartoffeln.

Beers: Kellerbier, Hefeweizen, Lager

Beer Calendar:
seasonals change every six weeks
Dopplebock in January to mid-February
Mürsbacher Dunkel in February & March
Laubender Märzen in March & April
Mürsbacher Rauch in May & June
Hopfenblümla “Session IPA” in June & July
Zwickel Pils in July & August
Hopfenblümla “Itz Coast” IPA in August & September
Mürsbacher Kräusen in September & October
Hopfenzupfer Sud mid-October through December
Hellerbock  mid-October through December
Weizenbock in October, November & December
1868er mid-December to mid-January
Kirchweih is the first Sunday in October
Bockbieranstich is the last Friday in October

Wow, what a line-up and that’s only the beers on tap. They also brew many bottle only special editions!

Back to towns.