Saturday 22nd October 2016
This gasthaus certainly looks attractive from the outside with its half-timbered upper floors. It’s similar the many buildings along Pottenstein’s Hauptstrasse (High Street) that were built in the second half of the eighteenth century. Of particular note are its three signs that hang above the street. The first one is very small and depicts a man pouring beer into a mug that’s on a wooden table. The surround indicates that he might be a saint.
The second sign is the image this brewery likes to use on its advertising: bottle labels, beer mats and the like. It shows horses towing a large barrel mounted on a cart. In days of old the beer was carted to the Felsenkeller cellars at the Felsenkass hill (800 metres from the brewery) where naturally-made ice was used to keep the beer cool during the maturation process. This lasted for around six to eight weeks and then the beer was taken back to the brewery to be put into casks and bottles. The cart contained 4,000 litres of beer.
The last sign, which is illuminated, intrigues me the most. It is the sign of the type I would see sometimes around 45 years ago when I first visited Germany, although this example could be much older. It advertises guest rooms with cold and hot mains water.
I went through the entrance and turned left into the main bar-room. It is very typical of Franconia with lots of light varnished wood. At this time there were just a few diners finishing their lunches. I took a seat on the end of one of the tables and had a look around. The “bar”, really just a service counter, was on the right with the brewery name above it on a carved wooden sign.
After that there is a small alcove seating bay and then some double doors with stained glass. I guess this leads to the “nebenzimmer”, the side room. I would think this is open all the time during the summer months.
On another wall there were two fitted cabinets that contained a fine selection of old bottles and krugs. There was a red tablecloth and fresh flowers on each table. Also, there were pot plants on the window shelves. In all, it made a good impression.
The Mager family have been in from the start, 1774 to be precise. The brewery is on a lower level at the back of the pub, below a small terrace.
Three draught beers were on offer: Ur-Hell (4.9%) (light lager), Dunkel (5.0%) (dark) and Pils (4.8%). Märzen (5.1%) appears to be brewed year round but is only in bottle. There’s a similar situation with Pottensteiner Schlüggla (5.1%) which is sold in 0.33l bottle, so well beloved by “craft” beer drinkers. The brewery produces around 2,400 hl of beer per annum.
There are also a number of seasonal beers. Bartholomäusfestbier (5.3%) is brewed for the festival of St. Bartholomew’s church which is opposite the pub, held at the end of August.
There is Festbier (5.1%) for Oktoberfest season and Weinachtsbier (5.1%) for Christmas and New Year.
They also have a Bockbier (7.2%) which I presume is offered during the winter months, or possibly over Lent.
The pub is very pleasant and the food is solidly Franconian and they are noted for their Schweinshaxe (slow-cooked pork knuckle) and Rindaroulade (a beef stew).
Ally that to the good beer and there is no reason not to visit this excellent pub if you are in the area. Also, they have three letting rooms.
Brauereigasthof Mager, Hauptstrasse 15-17, 91278 Pottenstein. Tel: 09243 333
Hours: Summer (two weeks before Easter to 31st October) Monday-Sunday: 09.00-24.00
Also Christmas to Three Kings/Epiphany (6th January) Monday-Sunday: 09.00-24.00
Winter: 1st November to Christmas: Sunday-Friday: 09.00-24.00; Saturday: Closed
Also Three Kings/Epiphany to two weeks before Easter: Sunday-Friday: 09.00-24.00; Saturday: Closed
Bus 389 runs from Ebermannstadt (station at the end of a branch line from Forchheim) to
Pegnitz (station on the Pegnitz valley line from Nürnbeg to Bayreuth, Hof and Cheb (Czech Republic).
This bus route is not very frequent but can be easily used. There are five journeys on Monday to Friday.
Three each way operate on Saturday and Sunday. This is the Winter service, there are a more in summer.
The pub is around five minutes walk from the bus stop where there is a map of the town.