Unterzaunsbach is a small unremarkable village set in a very pretty valley with lush hills surrounding it. Besides the hiking opportunities, it’s also noted as home to one of Franconia’s brewing legends: Meister.

Brauerei Meister
brewery exterior
Unterzaunsbach 8
91362 Pretzfeld
Tel: 09194 91 26
(brewpub is no longer open, but the brewery is still making beer)

Pretzfeld Station 4.7 km/Forchheim Station 17 km/limited bus service

Founded in 1865, Meister is not only a long running family affair but also a brewing legend in an area where that doesn’t come easily.  Their famed Vollbier is a beer store standard in Franconia and you can find it on tap in Nürnberg and Bamberg.  Sadly, that may be where you have to get it as the brewpub is closed at this time.  Their website doesn’t say it’s closed forever but there also isn’t any hint as to when it might reopen, either. Though I’m happy they are still brewing, it’s sad to imagine I’ll never get to drop in for a great meal and beer again.  Let’s hope they decide to open their doors again soon.
I was only here once, in 2012, when we met a friend from Nürnberg for lunch. We’d managed to get there by bus on a cold winter day and were glad he gave us a ride back to Ebermannstadt. The inside was warm and cozy and it was obvious the server was none other than the brewer himself, Georg Meister.  The amber Vollbier was majestic in its dry fruity simplicity.

Meister Festbier & Vollbier at the Walberlafest

Even better was the massive Schäuferla (pork shoulder). We ordered two and he suggested getting the double one, which worked out a bit cheaper and was more than enough for both of us. It was also one of the best we’ve ever had.

pork shoulder with dumplings

Schäuferla for two

I walked to Unterzaunsbach two years later from Leutenbach via Hetzldorf. It was late in the afternoon and the sun was setting. I was waiting for my bus and the brewpub was open. I contemplated going in for a quick beer but decided against it as there was only one more bus for the day. I would have had to walk back to Pretzfeld if I missed it. I was happy when the bus showed up but if I’d known the brewpub might not ever be opened again, I would have gladly missed it for one more Vollbier within the Meister shrine.

two newer beers from Meister

I picked up a bottle of their Helles and must admit to generally being skeptical about this style in Franconia. I can safely say this one is quite good. I also was happy to see their Zwickel at the Fränkisches Bierfest and gave it a try too.

Beers: Vollbier

Beer calendar:
Hell is a new as of 2020 Helles
Unfiltered Zwicklbier from March to October
Festbier in November and December

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