Fall Beer Tour: Day-by-Day…
Chasing Delicious on the Beer Trail
YOUR “TOUR DE BEER” ITINERARY
IMMERSE YOURSELF in the delicious comforts of luscious beer and memorable food. Revel in dazzling scenery, history and culture. Get to know fascinating people and enjoy good times on the beer trail. Click the tabs below to see the day-by-day itinerary.
The Start of a Great Study Tour and Beer VacationRendezvous at Frankfurt airport. Then wend your way southward to Bavaria to the country town of Pyras. We’ll kick off the tour with a welcome hosted by the Bavarian Association of Private Breweries at Pyras Brewery. An official from the Association will be on hand to greet the group and tell us about their work. The afternoon will continue with a behind-the-scenes look at the brewery. We will be the guests of the Association for dinner. Hopefully, we’ll be able to meet owner Marlies Berneuther, who has been brewing outside the box and has fielded a line of new multigrain and aged beers that are very atypical for Germany
Rocking Out at the Kirchweih Festival in SpaltAs all beer wonks know, Spalt is the region where some of Germany’s best hops come from. We’ll spend the day in Spalt as the guests of the town — local officials graciously offered to put together a plan for our visit and will host the group. Major folk awesomeness awaits you as part of Spalt’s traditional Franconian Kirchweih festival with a decorated may pole, dancing, local music, piles of food and lots of beer.We’ll start the visit with a welcome, then witness the Kirchweih kick-off parade, continue with a tour through the hops museum and enjoy a tasting, including the local limited-edition festival brew. Then it’s Party Time, with two local bands. You’ll enjoy a slice of local life and culture that most visitors never have a chance to experience.
Freestyling in MunichEnjoy a yeoman breakfast at the hotel and then it’s a morning and afternoon of freestyling in this beautiful, invigorating city. Explore Munich on your own by foot. For the art-interested, we recommend one of the city’s stellar museums, such as the Lenbachhaus, Neue Pinakothek or the Alte Pinakothek. Learn about the rise of the Nazi movement and life in the city under Hitler at The Munich City Museum. There are many other options, too. We’ll help you find one you like. Time permitting, you should stop at the outdoor “Victuals Market” (Viktualienmarkt) where you can compose your own Slow Food picnic from local and regional farm products, fruit, charcuterie, regional cheeses and sausage. Say Auf Wiedersehen to Munich in the afternoon. Spend the night at an abbey north of Munich. – See more at: http://treasuresofeuropetours.com/pink-boots-society/#sthash.w6pEEnRa.LtCiSb6W.dpuf
Craft Beer Pioneers in Munich and Hops Awesomeness in the Hallertau RegionMunich is dominated by six breweries, including Augustiner, Hofbräu and Franziskaner, that produce beer on a massive industrial scale. It’s good beer. But it’s not great beer. Lucky for craft beer-lovers, Munich is slowly developing an alt-beer culture and a small band of upstarts is keeping the torch of craft beer torch burning in this city where Big Beer is king. We’ll steer clear of the megabrews and focus on one of Munich’s flavorful alternatives made at the Crew Republic brewery, which has developed a loyal local following and is setting new standards for craft beer in Germany. Then we’re off to Germany’s other fabled (and biggest) hops districts, the Hallertau. With the support of Sam Adams/Boston Beer senior brewer (and Pink Boots member) Jennifer Glanville, the Stanglmair family will host us for a private tour, briefing and tasting at their hops farm, which dates back to the Middle Ages. An expert from Barth-Haas will also help with the presentation. You’ll hear about trends, get an insider’s look at the selection process and be able to chill over a sampling of regional beers.
Bavaria’s Legendary Brewster Sister Doris and the Schneider Wheat Beer BreweryBreakfast. Then a short ride to Mallersdorf Abbey in the Bavarian hinterlands. You’ll be spending the morning with Sister Doris, the last beer-brewing nun in Germany. This lady rocks! Hear her stories, experience the brewery where she holds forth and sample the marvelous beer she produces for the nuns, visitors and a few lucky taps in the surrounding towns and villages. Wheat beer lovers will be in their element at Schneider Weisse, in Kelheim, which is our next stop. We will be greeted by sommelier Helga Frank , who will walk us through a private tasting of Schneider’s top treasures, including some new craft beers. Get ready for some serious Danube awesomeness on the way to the abbey inn where we’re staying tonight.
Weltenburg Abbey and Franconia, the Beer Mecca of GermanyPinch yourself when you wake up this morning. You’ve just spent the night in a monastery dating back to 1050! It also has a world-famous brewery, which you’re going to visit this morning. After a private tour and sampling we’re off to Franconia, in northern Bavaria. If the followers of Islam have Mecca, the Lutherans have Wittenberg and Catholics have the Vatican, then beer connoisseurs have Franconia. Until the early 19th century, it was a separate principality made up of duchies, church-controlled lands and free city-states. The people of Franconia are warm and welcoming — and they take their beer very seriously, which is why so many private, family-operated breweries are still operating there. We’ll visit some of the best of these small breweries during the rest of the study tour. The afternoon and evening are yours to explore the delights of Bamberg, where we’ll be staying for the next few days.
Northern Franconia Classics and a Zoigl LessonWe’re off to eastern Franconia and the Upper Palatinate today. About an hour away from Bamberg is the city of Hof, where a dynamic team of sisters Gisi and Moni Meinel have unleashed a revolution with a new line of craft beers for women. Well OK… the sisters are reaching out to women, but it’s not a girls-only movement — the new beers are for everybody. It’s not a spoof. It’s not a marketing ploy and it’s totally snark-free. The Meinels and their co-conspirators Yvonne Wernlein and Isabella Straub, are dead-serious, highly skilled and they know what they’re doing. They’re turning out intuitive beers with character that work as an aperitif, digestif or as a contemplative slow draw for a special evening. New batches sell out quickly when they come on line, but Gisi promised to save some for us to try. We’ll finish the day and early evening with a visit to a Zoigl brewhouse in the Mitterteich area. Zoigl is a luscious, communally-brewed beer that is available in only a few towns in this upper corner of Bavaria. It’s brewed on a rotating basis once a month in small batches by a select number of house brewers working cooperatively. Each brewer opens a special taproom for a week every month on a rotating basis when his beer has aged and is ready to drink. The beer is unpretentious and utterly genuine and the taproom atmosphere glows when things get going.
Bavaria’s “King of Bratwurst” and Pioneering Lady Brewers[/typography]Aafter a few hours of free time in the morning, we’ll switch gears from beer to food with a visit to master butcher Jürgen Reck, who was chosen Franconia’s “King of Bratwurst” in a serious competition, dubbed the Bratwurst Summit, that is held every year. If beer is the national drink of Franconia, Bratwurst is the national dish. Reck has elevated Bratwurst making to a high art form. In addition to Brats, Reck turns out a range of Slow Food-worthy hand-crafted charcuterie, fresh and smoked meat, other sausage and Franconian specialties. He’ll give us a close-up look at the family owned butchery. We’ll also have our own Bratwurst Workshop, followed by a meal. On tap for the rest of the day are brews crafted by Sigi and Barbara Friedmann, Elfriede Hofmann and Irene Brehmer-Stockum, who have broken through the industry’s glass ceiling and are making a name for themselves. They’re known for their wheats, Landbier, session beers, Festbier and spritzy blondes. These ladies labor in relative obscurity and their beer is only available in the region. Time permitting, we will explore also explore the Thuisbrunn Brewery. Happy tasting! We’ll stay at an inn withing striking distance of Frankfurt Airport tonight.
Auf Wiedersehen!We’ll gather for our last German breakfast at the hotel this morning, then it’s off to the airport and a round of farewells. The trip to the the airport is included in the program and we’ll be sure to get you there in time for your flight. Gute Reise! / Bon Voyage! / Happy Trails!