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Pub Visit - Germany

Barfusser1Sunday 22nd February 2015

Bob Thompson

Barfüsser are a small chain of brew-pubs found in the two southern German states, Baden-Wüttemburg and Bayern (Bavaria). This evening I was meeting fellow pub and beer enthusiast Steve in their Ulm outlet. The name of these pubs is not a reference to a bar but actually translates as a “barefoot”, thus someone who does not wear shoes.

This is relevant to the location of this pub is it is the site of a former monastery of the Baptist order and the monks here went around barefoot. Other monastic orders also had sections of barefoot monks and nuns. In reality very few were actually barefooted, most wore sandals or other soft-soled foot-ware. The pub is almost in the shadow of the enormous Ulm cathedral which has the tallest steeple in Europe.

Barfusser2This building became a pub in 1990, the first in the chain that by 2014 had expanded to nine, eight of which have breweries.

Please see other articles in BeerVisits on the operations in Leutkirch, Memmingen and Nürnberg. The latter now appears to be independent of the others, but retains the same name.

The pub without a brewery is in Butzental and the brewery in Ulm supplies it and its biergarten.

It was freezing cold that evening when I arrived in Ulm and the lights of the pub looked very welcoming as I approached. I settled in the small downstairs bar and Steve arrived shortly afterwards. After ordering a beer I looked around the room. I have been here before yet I didn’t recognise it. Then I went upstairs and the surroundings were familiar with a large room on two levels with the gleaming brewery at one end.

Barfusser3It appears that there is another entrance and you can come directly from the street up stairs to this part of the pub. Here the appearance is very traditional with carved wooden furniture and panelling to the ceiling which is also varnished wood. The walls are covered with paintings in a very traditional style. Back downstairs the decoration is similar but in a slightly more modern style. This room may be a later addition.

There were four draught beers available to us: Blonde (light), Schwarze (Black), Weise (Wheat) and Rotgold (unfiltered Pils). The first three are available in all of their pubs but I have not seen a Pils before. We tried all, except for the Wheat Beer and they were all good with the Schwarze being the stand-out beer. They also have their own beer-based schnapps but we passed on this occasion.

There is a full menu with many specialities of Schwabian and Bavarian cuisine. If you visit the ancient city of Ulm it is almost certain you will look at the cathedral, even if only from the outside. So why not pop around the corner and visit this pub?

Important Information:

Barfüsser Braugastätte Ulm, Lautenberg 1, 89073 Ulm. Tel: 0731 602 1110

Hours: Sunday-Thursday: 10.00-01.00; Friday-Saturday: 10.00-02.00
Food served 11.00-23.00

The pub is located in the heart of the old city a few steps from the cathedral. From the railway station, cross to the tram lines to the opposite side of Bahnhofsplatz and walk along Bahnhofstrasse. At a crossroads this becomes Hirschstrasse. Keep walking along this road until you arrive on the corner of the cathedral square with the city tourist office in front of you. Turn right and you find the pub on the right.

Ulm railway station is well-connected by Regional and Regional Express trains.
There are InterCity trains to cities all over the Germany and also Salzburg in Austria.
French Railway’s high speed TGV trains also run direct to Strasbourg and Paris.