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Pub Visit - Germany

Brauerei Alt 1Visited on: Thursday 26th July 2018

Bob Thompson

This is a pub in a tiny village which luckily has a good bus service. Like many others in Franconia it is very pretty and was showing itself off on my July visit as I sat in the small biergarten. Around the seating were planters full of geraniums and there were many more hanging from baskets on the side of the half timbered pub building. I had arrived on a bus at 16.37 so was waiting for the pub to open.

Brauerei Alt 2aI didn’t have to wait very long as a waitress soon appeared and took my order. I suppose they must get used to customers arriving off that particular bus. I could see that the brewery was housed in a separate building near to the yard and biergarten. One thing that I found rather odd was that the pub seem to have been built the wrong way round. The side facing the street has nothing other than a sign. Whereas the rear has a terrace and the entrance.

The pub building seems to be older than the 1886 opening of the Brauerei Alt. Quite possibly it was a pub before brewing commenced.

One thing that is known is that it is still in the ownership of the Alt family that gave it its name in the late 19th Century. The village is very old indeed being first mentioned in 1348 when it was in the fiefdom of knight Heinrich Neitstätter. Reference to it disappeared in the mid 15th century.

Brauerei Alt 3It is thought that the properties were destroyed in Hussite Wars at that time. However the name of Dietzhof crops up again in 1517 when it was stated that there was a moated castle located there. This was probably placed to deter Slavic invasion. From the late eighteenth century law students from Erlangen University would visit, mainly to visit the Walberlafest.

The Walberla, or to give it its proper name Ehrenbürg, is a hill with two summits north of the village of just over 500 metres height.

It has a small chapel on top which is dedicated to St Walburgis. Bare topped hills are often associated with witches in Germany such as the Brocken further north, and this is no exception as the Walberla has similar legends.

Brauerei Alt 4aAnd let’s not forget Mussorgsky’s magnificent piece “Night on the Bare Mountain” where the witches dance all night until the church bell peals in the morning.

On the top of this hill the aforementioned Walberlafest takes place over the first weekend in May. It is the oldest Spring festival in Germany. This attracted the students from Erlangen and the pub in Dietzhof was greatly favoured by them. Their practice of visiting continued from the late 18th century through to the 1950s and the 1960s.

Brauerei Alt 5aSome former students still come to the Brauerei Alt even though they are very old now.

It goes without saying that this pub is very traditional and its brewery produces just two beers: Vollbier Hell (4.5%) (Light) and Vollbier Dunkel (5.0%) (Dark). Both are very good with the Dunkel just edging it. As far as I am aware they don’t brew a beer for Christmas, very unusual. Their output is around 1,000 hl per year.

There is a good traditional Franconian menu. This pub is recommended.

Important Information:

Brauerei Alt, Haus Nr.8, Dietzhof 91359. Tel: +49 9199 267

Hours: Monday-Tuesday: Closed; Wednesday-Friday: 17.00-23.00;
Saturday: 16.00-23.30; Sunday: 11.30-23.30

The 223 bus route is very useful.
It operates from Forchheim ZOB (outside railway station) to Gräfenberg railway station.
ZOB = Zentral Omnibus Bahnhof (Central Bus Station). It also calls outside the railway stations at Wiesenthau, Igenstadt and Weissenohe. The route runs once an hour Monday to Friday to 22.00.
On Saturdays and Sundays it is every two hours up to 22.00. See VGN web site for full details.