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Pub Visit - Germany

Sonne1Friday 21st October 2016

Bob Thompson

Bischberg is a village to the west of the beer capital of Bamberg. It is where the River Regnitz, that flows through Bamberg itself, joins the infant River Main. Despite it being the inferior partner at this confluence, it is the River Main from now on until it joins the mighty Rheine near Mainz. Of course, it will have become much larger by the time it flows through the city of Frankfurt.

Sonne2This village is located on the old main road from Bamberg to Schweinfurt and thus must have been an important stop for the stages and the post coaches. There were once five breweries here but the “Sun” is the last remaining. Its first reported existence was in 1587 yet I have been unable to find out much if any, of its early history, or even its latter for that matter.

However, one important year was 1856, when the Schuhmann family became the owners, and still are!

Sonne3Now in the fourth generation, the overall management is in the hands of Dieter Schuhmann. His son Christian is the brewer and the other, Peter is in charge of the kitchen.

The family have invested in the pub and brewery over the years. They installed a new warehouse and fermentation vessels in 2000 and around the same time increased the number of their letting rooms, as the “Sonne” is also a hotel. They now have thirty beds available in thirteen rooms, although some of these are not in the main building. In 2004, a modern kitchen was installed.

Sonne4The exteriors of the pub and brewery were redecorated in 2000 and later a cast iron hanging sign in traditional style was installed on the corner of the pub. It is very attractive yet I still prefer the stylised sun that forms the sign on the side of the brewery building on Hauptstrasse (Main Street). It looks like it dates from the 1960s.

The main bar room accommodates fifty patrons and there an overflow side room with a further thirty places.

Sonne5Over the winter of 2012 / 2013 a side room was renovated and is used to accommodate wedding receptions, birthdays and similar events, with places for a further eighty customers. Of course, there is a full menu but a special mention should be made of Sunday lunch when roast meat, goose breast and lamb are served.

The entrance to the pub is in Regnitz Strasse which leads down to the river of the same name. I rather liked the entrance lobby which has a wooden cabinet that houses various brewery items for sale, such as glasses, ceramic krugs, T-shirts and the like. I turned right into the main room which is located in the corner of the building at the junction of Regnitz Strasse and Hauptstrasse.

The service area with the beer founts is on the left of the entrance door. On the right, on the other side of the hat and coat stand, there begins a wooden bench type seat that runs around a four walls and culminates in a curve in front of the “bar”.

Sonne6There is a circular table in front of it and I presume this is the “Stammstich”, the area for the regular drinkers.

I took a seat on the next table, ordered a beer and looked around a bit further. There are wooden floorboards yet unusually, no wooden wall panelling. There are tables with scrubbed wood tops and loose varnished wooden chairs that are cushioned. Opposite my table the wall displayed the many diplomas and awards that have been won or achieved by the brewers over the years.

Sonne7Each table had a small tablecloth on which was a pot of growing plants. There were also other plants on the window shelves.

On one wall there is a painting depicting a scene of times past with a man seated at a table with the landlord carrying a wooden jug on one side and on the other side is a soldier wearing a metal helmet and carrying a pike. The significance of this is not clear.

Normally there are just two draught beers offered: Hell (4.8%) (the normal light lager beer) and Weisse (wheat) (5.2%). In the winter months there are two variations of Bockbier available. These are Weinachtsbock (6.5%) (Christmas Bock) from the end of October through to Lent and then for that period there is Fastenbock (Fasting Bock).

There are also some bottled beers: Zunft Trunk Dunkel (5.3%) (Dark); Pils (5.0%) and Diätbier.

There is a Biergarten known as Schumann’s Keller that hold 300 patrons and is located at Rothofweg 9, just south of the centre of Bischberg. It would take around ten minutes to walk from the pub. It is open from May to September from 16.00 in good weather only. Yet another good reason to visit Bischberg and drink the Sonne beers.

Important Information:

Brauerei Zur Sonne, Regnitzstrasse 2, Bischberg 96120. Tel: 0951 62571

Hours: Monday/Wednesday-Friday: 09.00-23.00; Saturday-Sunday: 09.30-23.00. Tuesday: Closed

The Bamberg city bus route 906 will get you from the city out to Bischberg. It runs quite frequently.
However not all of them go all the way to the town.

The Monday to Friday service departs from the ZOB (Zentral Omnibus Bahnhof - Central Bus Station)
at :15 and :45 minutes past the hour until 18:45 then at 19:30 and 20:20 (last journey).

The situation on Saturdays is similar with two an hour until 18.45, with a last bus at 19:30.
On Sunday there is one an hour at :45 minutes past until the last bus at 18:45.

Some other but infrequent bus routes pass through Bischberg. These start from the Bamberg station area.