Marktredwitz, Bayern (Bavaria):
Brauerei Gastätte Am Strand (Brauerei Nothhaft)
Sunday 6th April 2014
Most commercial breweries in this part of Frankenland (Franconia) and the adjacent Oberpfalz have some early connection with their local Kommunbrauhaus (Commune Brewery). Normally they moved away from using it to establish their own self-standing companies but here it was a bit different as in 1882 Otto Nothhaft purchased it. It is recorded as being located at no 36 Ottostrasse, so I guess it was between what is now the pub and the river bank. Incidentally the pub's name "Am Strand" can translate as "on the bank / beach".
Otto Nothhaft instigated many changes and naturally the most important of these was the construction of a new brewery and fermentation cellar which was completed in 1898. In 1927 they started production of soft drinks which they still do to this day.
The business was handed on from generation to generation of the Nothhaft family through the years and the fifth dynasty is now in charge.
In 1988 they started brewing wheat beer as the revival of that style was in full swing at the time. By 1990 the old open fermentation vessels were replaced by sealed lager tanks. The demand for wheat beer soon outstripped the brewery's resources so in 1993 new storage vats for this were installed. Some new cellars were opened in 1995.
The Brauerei Gastätte Am Strand was rebuilt to its current form in 2005. In the brewery the method of cooling the beer was changed in 2006 when the cool ship was abandoned and a whirlpool with modern refrigeration equipment installed. By now daughter Carolin and her husband Andreas, a brewer, are in charge of the company. A development in 2014 is a new brand of bottled beers named Zwitscher; twitter or chirper in English. There is a picture of a Robin on the labels.
The brewery is located behind the pub and in front of that there is a small biergarten. Entering the main door I noticed the kitchen on the left and on the right I entered the main room. This is quite small and to be honest I didn't recognise it even though I had visited here at the end of the 1990s, although I remembered its location. But when I discovered that the pub was remodelled in 2005, I realised why.
I took a seat near the window facing the rest of the room. I doubt if it holds more than 30 customers and that is including the small side room on the right.
Between that and the service area there is a "kachelofen", the traditional tile-fronted stove found in so many Bavarian pubs. Somewhat unusually, this one is a light blue colour; they are normally green.
The wooden tables were covered with matching blue tablecloths and there were flowers on each. The chairs are also wood although there are cushions provided for every patron.
I guess that this pub is like so many others in the part of the world inasmuch that there are probably other public rooms in the building and these get opened up as demand increases.
The brewery is quite innovative and produces 14 different beers, although I think most are destined to be in bottle only. Like most small and medium sized breweries there is a very healthy trade in home deliveries, although they do also supply around 80 pubs and restaurants. They currently produce around 18,000 hl of beer per annum.
Beers produced under the Nothhaft name are: Ur-Hell (4.9%), their standard light beer; Edel-Pils (5.0%); Schankbier (2.9%), a light lager; Aloisuis Dunkel (4.9%), their standard dark beer; Antonius Starkbier Hell (7.5%); a light-coloured Doppelbock and Antonius Starkbier Dunkel (7.5%), a dark Doppelbock.
The new beer Zwitscher Hell is nothing more than the Ur-Hell re-branded and offered in 0.33cl bottle. There is one seasonal beer, Knecht Ruprecht (5.4%) offered from November to January. This is in the Exportbier style with an additional spicy malt flavour.
There are also a number of beers brewed under the Rawetzer name and these are: Premium (5.4%), an Export-style beer; Radler (2.6%), a pre-mixed shandy that is 55% Ur-Hell and 45% Lemonade; Zoigl (5.0%), a beer in the Zoigl style that is unfiltered; Weissbier (5.4%), an unfiltered wheat beer; Weissbier Dunkel (5.4%), a dark unfiltered wheat beer and Weissbier Leicht (3.0%), a light wheat beer.
In the pub they offer five of these on draught: Hell, Pils, Dunkel, Weiss and Zwickl. I had the Hell which I thought was an excellent example of the style. However it was eclipsed by Aloisuis Dunkel which was absolutely superb, one of the best I have ever tasted. My only reservation was that it would have been even better without any added gas, as there is a little bit.
Not only is this a good pub that is highly recommended for its food, it has some excellent beer as well. Which is after all, is the main reason for visiting.
Brauerei Gastätte Am Strand (Brauerei Nothhaft), Ottostrasse 32, 95615 Marktredwitz
Tel: 09231 2077
Open: Wednesday-Friday 10.00-14.00, 17.00-22.00; Saturday 10.00-18.00;
Sunday10.00-14.00, 17.00-21.00. These times are subject to alteration.
From the railway station it takes around fifteen minutes to get to the pub. The following is the simplest way to get there: From the station forecourt turn right, cross the road and turn left into Postrasse. At the bottom, turn right into Kraussoldstrasse.
Around a hundred metres along is a crossroads junction; continue across this and cross to the other side of the road. Then turn immediately left into Markt. After a few hundred metres, turn right into Ottostrasse. Continue down this street, crossing over the main road of Leopoldstrasse. The pub and brewery are on the right just before the river bridge.
Marktredwitz station is served by Regional Express and Alex Express trains linking Munich, Regensburg, Nürnberg, Hof, Dresden and Cheb in the Czech Republic.
Update January 2020. Hours: these are now: Monday/Wednesday-Sunday: 11.00-14.00/17.00-22.00.