Der Bräu Heimat Seidla ‘s Laffer

Der Bräu Heimat Seidla s' Laffer is a rich malty Vollbier with a lingering semi-dry finish.

Kanone Zwickel

Kanone Zwickel is a malty/grainy example of the style with a lingering semi-dry finish

Rosenauer Hofbräu Helles Engela

Rosenauer Hofbräu is one of the smallest breweries in Franconia. Though a relative newcomer, it has some strong adherents and this unusual Helles is a good reason why. The Engela is rounded but nothing like a Munich Helles so if looking for that, you'll have to go elsewhere.

Rosenauer Hofbräu Saschi’s Weiße

Rosenauer Hofbräu is one of the smallest breweries in Franconia. Though a relative newcomer, it has some strong adherents and this Dunkleweizen called Saschi's Weiße is a lovely example of why this is the case, with a lingering dry moreish finish.

beer in logo mug with bottle, girl in dirndl, brewery

What’s in a name? A lot when it’s Dittmar

The Rhönbrauerei Dittmar is a great regional brewery located in Kaltennordheim, a Thuringian outpost of the Franconian Imperial Circle. Their Heiratsmarkt is the largest Folk Festival in the region and has been held annually since 1653.

Schlenkerla (Heller) unfiltered helles Lagerbier

Schlenkerla's unfiltered helles Lagerbier is a surprisingly light smokey offering with a crisp hoppy palate and dry bitter finish.

I feel fine on the Kösseine

The Kösseinhaus is a great rustic hut located on the Kösseine peak in the Fichtelbebirge Nature Park. It can only be reached on foot from numerous parking lots within the park or further afield on long distance hiking routes. The closest lots involve hiking 2-3 kilometers on fair but uphill paths. There has been a weatherproof hut in this place since 1805 but the current structure was built in 1898 and totally renovated for its 100th anniversary. The hut is surprisingly large and while rustic, quite cozy. Full warm meals are served every day, year round. Since the closure of the Ratsstuben in Wunsiedel, this is probably the best place to sample the local Hönicka Bräu beers on tap. It’s certainly the most scenic!

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. Going to new breweries is exciting so don't lose the sense of adventure. Lower Franconia is a great place to do it just that.

Ulrich Martin Josephi Bock from gravity barrel at Bockanstich

Ulrich Martin is a traditional brewery lovingly restored by the man himself. The Josephi Bock is fantastic bock full of rich malt and fine hops. The lingering finish is moreishly semi-dry, making for a dangerous 7% brew. Their Bockanstich is legendary and for good reason. Try to get to one if you are in the area at the right time. You won't regret it.

Weiherer Zapfenduster Hofzfassgelagert

Weiherer is a great brewery with both traditional and craft beer offerings. This oak barrel aged version of their already gorgeous Imperial Stout is a majestic example of how barrel aging can work. It’s a richly malty contemplative brew with a complex mix of oak, dried fruit, chocolate and coffee. It sounds like an odd combination but the flavors meld beautifully. The lingering finish is quite dry for 7.8% with a pleasant bitterness which makes it incredibly drinkable.