Zeil am Main is a charming small town nestled between the Main River and rolling green hills. There are some nice trails and one very fine brewery making it a wise choice for an overnight stay but with frequent trains from Bamberg, a day trip is an easy option, too.
97475 Zeil am Main
Tel: 09524/95 54
Zeil Station 900 meters/hourly 15 minute trains from Bamberg
Closed Tuesdays (September through May)
Daily from 9:30 with hot meals all day
Output: 50000 HL
Founded in 1514, the Göller family has quite a successful enterprise with a fair-sized brewery and bottling plant just on the outskirts of town. The brewpub is called “Zur Alten Freyung,” and is next to the Freyung Haus which was a designated safe place for people being sought for various transgressions. It’s a large traditional place with a real bustling atmosphere. They have hot meals all day and a large selection of beers on tap and in bottles. Along with their more typical Franconia beers, they are dabbling quite well in the craft beer market.
It took me longer to get out here than it should have considering it’s a short 15 minute train trip from Bamberg but I assure you, it won’t take me long to return. Not only was the brewpub great but the town is quite charming and the setting very pretty. My wife fell in love with the town and we both fell in love with the food. We both got Schäuferla and were quite glad we did. It was among the top three Schäuferlas we’ve ever had. Succulent meat and crispy skin all afloat in a very tasty fat-laden sauce.
one hell of a Schäuferla paied with Göller Dunkles & Rauchbier
The beer could have been awful and we’d have returned but it was anything but. With such a big assortment, we shared beers. We had a very nice Dunkles with some chocolate notes before a dryish bitter finish. Their Rauchbier was only in bottles but generally on tap and had a light smoky element, heading in the direction of Spezial Märzen.
Göller Kellerbier & Pils
Next up we gave both the Kellerbier and “Kellerfrisch” Pils a try. These are two styles I’d typically save for warmer months but with a Schäuferla and two heavier beers already down, they sounded like the right way to go. Both were quite good with the Pils being perhaps our favorite beer of the evening.
Göller Wiener Lager & their hop decorated cozy pub
While the Pils would have been a perfect ending, I couldn’t resist their craft beer offering of the month called Wiener Lager. A typical Vienna lager would have likely been a bit malty a finisher but this one sounded different, being dry hopped with Bravo. As it turned out, it was the perfect ending of our first visit to a brewery we left knowing we’d return to again.
We loved the restaurant but my understanding is the Biergarten is their real attraction so we’re looking forward to going back in summer!
round two at Göller was a resounding smash!
Well, I got back to Göller for a warm weather visit. I was there to do a hike in the area for my beer hiking book and timed it to coincide with their Frühlingsbier Anstich. The hike was fantastic as was the beer once again. Oh, the Schäuferla was as great as remembered too. Unfortunately, my wife couldn’t make it and she laments this fact every time she sees the above photos.
third visit was the charm
I recently got back with my wife during the Biergarten season and while we didn’t have time for the hike I’d done for the book, we did have a great day to sit outside and enjoy the culinary delights of this great brewpub. Since we’d learned their Schäuferla is very generous portion-wise, we split one and a salad that came with potato-filled pockets. Both were excellent and they also had a fantastic craft beer seasonal on tap, the lightly smoky, fruity Original 1514. We’re already looking forward to the next time we can stop by and we’ll make sure to allow enough time for the hike featured in Beer Hiking Bavaria.
a warming winter meal & lovely Stout
We finally managed a November visit largely to sample their Stout and must say we are very glad we did. It’s a fantastic one and with the style waning in the US Craft Beer scene, we were both happy to have one. We also had another great meal punctuated by Kohlrabi soup flavored with smoky meat and a dish called Glasmacherbraten, which was a rustic Schweinebraten over a mixture of winter vegetables and potatoes in a rich warming sauce. It was such a success, we’ll likely return in December for their Winter Festbier and another great lunch.
Schäuferla & Winter Festbier
We returned once again in December to try their seasonal Winter Festbier and enjoy another fine meal. We split a Schäuferla.
meat patties in a mustard sauce & Dunkler Bockbier
We also split an order of Fleischküchle in a mustard sauce and I finally got to try their Dunkles Bockbier on tap, which was much better than bottles I’ve had. It was another great meal and we enjoyed the new beers too.
Spring rolled around so fast, I missed the Frühlingsbier but an early tour in Bamberg meant I could finally sample their Zwickel Pils on tap. I’d skipped breakfast and was ready for their ample and excellent Schäuferla. I started with their Rauchbier as it was on tap and a better match to the meal and I’d previously only had it from a bottle. Everything was top notch, something I’ve come to expect and experience at this fine establishment.
a superb Schäuferla & Rauchbier followed by the seasonal Zwickel Pils
two recent pickups
Beers: “Kellerfrisch” Pils, Dunkles, Weizen, Rauchbier, Kellerbier (all on tap), Kaiser Heinrich Urstoff, Kaiser Heinrich Weizen Hell, Kaiser Heinrich Weizen Dunkel, Steinhauer Weisse, Lager in bottles.
Beer calendar (2021): Check their website for the current year’s offering as they mix things up!
Schottich Lager comes out on January 6th
IPA comes out February 6th
Helles Bockbier comes out March 6th
Zeiler Frühlingbier comes out April 10th
Zwickel Pils comes out May 8th
Hopfen-Weisse comes out June 6th
Summer Ale comes out July 3rd
Zeiler Abend Rot comes out July 30th
Original 1514 comes out September 4th
Dunkles Bockbier & Weizenbock come out October 9th (with Bockbieranstich)
Stout comes out November 6th
Winter Festbier comes out December 4th
Back to towns.