White Beer Travels. What's in a Name?  All is revealed about this Speciality/Craft/Specialty Beer website on its Home Page, which can be reached by clicking here! Schneider Weisse, a well-travelled, classic Wheat/White Beer, brewed in Bavaria by Schneider.  Click on the image to go to their website This is a 'White Beer Travels' Web page covering Zoigl, a beer brewed in a Kommunbrauerei (Communal Brewery), in the Oberpfalz region of Bavaria (Bayern), in Germany (Deutschland). Other non-Zoigl beers brewed in and around the region are also covered. Click here to go to the official Zoigl website
Belgian Beer, German Beer, British Real Ale, North American Craft Beer and Speciality Beer and Specialty Beer from around the world, are all covered in this White Beer Travels website This White Beer Travels website has been in operation since March, 2002.  It promotes Speciality/Craft Beer from around the world: Belgian Beer, German Beer, Craft Beer from the USA and Canada, Real Ale from the UK, etc
 
Click here  to reach the "White Beer Travels" Home PageClick here for Speciality Beer and Brewery News.  Also check out the "Archives" for "old" news!Click to find details of Beer Hunts that you can joinClick here to get information on Past Beer Hunts organised by White Beer TravelsClick here for information on what to expect on a typical Beer Hunt organised by White Beer TravelsYou are on a page of a White Beer Travels "Pub of the Month".  For the current "Pub of the Month" click hereClick here for John White's Beer CV (Curriculum Vitae, Résumé) Click here for past Pubs of the Month, News, etcClick here for downloadable guides to places, breweries and barsClick here for "Links" to other websites. There are many on the other pages of the site, as well!Click here for full details on how to contact White Beer TravelsClick here for information on how the site was built, including acknowledgement of any help receivedClick here for details of the French to English Translation Service offered by White Beer Travels, & for the contact details of organisations that can provide the reverse
Belgian Beer and other great Speciality/Craft Beers, these including Real Ale from the UK and Craft Beers from the USA and Canada, are promoted on this, the White Beer Travels website.  It is a big site, so to get an outline idea of the contents, click here to go to the site's Contents page
  Würzburg, in Germany, is world-renowned for its "Franken" wines. However, White (Wheat) Beers have certainly travelled to the city.  The three different ones shown here are excellent examples. All are brewed in the city's Würzburger Hofbräu Brewery. Click on the glasses to go to the brewery's website, from which the image was pasted

Your cursor is on a photo of a plaque that is displayed by outlets that have 'Echter Zoigl vom Kommunbrauer' (Real Zoigl from a Communal Brewer)

"Echter Zoigl vom Kommunbrauer"
means
"Real Zoigl from a Communal Brewer"

 

If you are after genuine Zoigl Beer that has been brewed in a Kommunbrauhaus (Communal Brew House), in a specific part of Germany, detailed in this Web page, then make sure that a plaque as per the one in John White's October, 2006 photo above, is attached to its door or wherever; only producers of genuine Zoigl are allowed to use this "Mark". Since outlets that are entitled to use it produce Zoigl on a rotating basis, to actually taste some Zoigl, at a place owned by a communal brewer, one also needs to look out for a Zoigl Star (Zoiglstern) hanging outside, similar to the one between "Echter Zoigl" above. There is more information on this sign below.

Your cursor is on a photo of the Communal Brewery (Kommunbrauerei, Kommunbrauhaus), in Windischeschenbach, in the Oberpfalz (Upper Palatinate) region of NE Bavaria (Bayern), in Germany (Deutschland). Click on the photo to see the plaque on its wall, which gives a brief history of the brewery
Your cursor is on a photo of the Communal Brewery (Kommunbrauerei, Kommunbrauhaus), in Neuhaus/Waldnaab, in the Oberpfalz (Upper Palatinate) region of NE Bavaria (Bayern), in Germany (Deutschland). Click on the photo to see the plaque on its wall, which gives a brief history of the brewery

Communal Breweries in Windischeschenbach & Neuhaus

 

The twin towns of Windischeschenbach (www.windischeschenbach.de) and Neuhaus an der Waldnaab (Neuhaus bei Windischeschenbach) are famous for producing Zoigl, a beer that is brewed by Communal Brewers, and thus also called Communbier. The above two photos of the Communal Breweries in Windischeschenbach and Neuhaus, were taken by John White, in October, 2006. Click on them to see the historical information plaques on their walls. These plaques state that the right to brew (Braurecht) has been in force since 1455 in Windischeschenbach, and since 1415 in Neuhaus; their current brewing equipment respectively dates from 1928 and 1993. I understand that around thirty-two properties in Windischeschenbach, and sixteen in Neuhaus have brewing rights, but by no means all exercise these rights; those that do are covered in this Web page.

 

Es lebe der Zoigl.   Long live Zoigl.
Hunting for der Zoigl (the Zoigl) and other Communal Brews

Zoigl is a beer style, or rather a concept, relating to the time when brewing rights were granted to individuals living in certain, defined places in a town. Most beer books state that Zoigl is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to find, although a couple of websites, that are covered later, which have calendars giving its changing availability, mean that this is no longer the case. This White Beer Travels Web page is largely based on an October, 2006 White Beer Travels Beer Hunt (Zoigl Hunt) in the places where there is a very high probability of finding it: the neighbouring towns of Windischeschenbach and Neuhaus an der Waldnaab. They are situated in a region of Bavaria (Bayern), in Germany (Deutschland), called the Oberpfalz (Upper Palatinate) (www.oberpfalz.de) (principal city Regensburg). The Oberpfalz adjoins the famous German beer (and wine) region of Franconia (Franken). It is in the NE of Bavaria, close to the border with the Plzeòský kraj (Pilsen Region) of The Czech Republic (Èeská republika). Full details of how to get to Windischeschenbach and Neuhaus by train are given below. Instructions on how to get to the Zoigl outlets from the station, are also provided.

Your cursor is on a photo taken inside 'Beim Gloser', a genuine Zoigl outlet, in Windischeschenbach, in the Oberpfalz (Upper Palatinate) region of NE Bavaria, in Germany. Click on it, to go to Beim Gloser's website

Once in Windischeschenbach, on the October, 2006 Zoigl Hunt, we headed for the nearest communal brewer's place to the town's railway station that was scheduled to have Zoigl; we were very soon sampling our first glass of Zoigl, this being featured in the photo to the left, which was taken in Beim Gloser (details later), by John White. From left to right, around the table are: Stuart Lowe, Tony Sibson, Mike Robinson, Bob Critchley and Jez (rauchbier) Blake. Also on the Hunt was Chris Marchbanks, who was hunting for the lagering vessels in the place's cellar. We received a most friendly welcome here, and everywhere else we visited on the Zoigl Hunt; people were genuinely pleased that we were interested in their beer; for more on this theme, click here.

As can be seen at the top of this Web page, Windischeschenbach and Neuhaus both have a Kommunbrauerei (Kommunbrauhaus) (Communal Brewery/Brew House). The one in Windischeschenbach is to be found at Braugasse 1 (GPS: 49.801793o N, 12.155485o E), which, in English is 1 Brew Alley. The Communal Brewery in Neuhaus is on Wurzer Strasse (near the corner with Marktplatz (GPS: 49.800966o N, 12.166784o E); Wort is Würze in German, but Wurzer Straße is not derived from this; it is the road that leads to Wurz, a village 4 kilometres (2½ miles) from Neuhaus. Beers that originate from these breweries, are available in a number of genuine Zoigl outlets in the two towns, on a sort of rotating basis, and in a small number of other places.

There are some towns in the region of Franconia (Franken), adjoining the Oberpfalz, that claim, or are said, to produce Zoigl, but the genuine article only comes from five towns in the Oberpfalz - the two already named, plus Mitterteich, Falkenberg and Eslarn - this being stated unequivocally on the "official" Zoigl website, Zoigl-Heimat (Zoigl Homeland), www.zoigl.de, which has English pages; it is maintained by Michael Schwab. www.zoiglschanktermine.info.ms provides a good deal of information on Zoigl Termine (Outlets). The Zoigl entry in the German version of the on-line Dictionary, Wikipedia, can be reached by clicking here. There is an excellent book on Zoigl, by Adolf H. Hahn: Der Zoigl. Eine echte Oberpfälzer Spezialität (The Zoigl. A Real Oberpfalz Speciality) (Hans Carl, Nürnberg (www.hanscarl.com); August 2006; 192 Pages; ISBN 3-418-00103-3).

Windischeschenbach (roughly pronounced in English "Vindish Eshenback") (GPS: 49.802875o N, 12.154346o E) and Neuhaus (pronounced "Noy House") (GPS: 49.800343o N, 12.167480o E) are particularly renowned for having genuine Zoigl; they have the most outlets, and the other three towns cited above do not have railway stations; click here to go down this page for more information on these three places.

Your cursor is on a sign for the town of Neuhaus an der Waldnaab, in the Oberpfalz region of Bavaria (Bayern), in Germany Deutschland)

The above photo of the sign for Neuhaus, seen after crossing the river bridge from Windischeschenbach, was taken by John White, in October, 2006. Click here for a photo of the river.

The Neuhaus featured in the early part of this Web page should not be confused with the Franconian town of Neuhaus an der Pegnitz, which is covered below; Neuhaus/Pegnitz does have communal brewers, but they do not produce Zoigl. Windischeschenbach and the Zoigl Neuhaus (joint population 5,803), are separated by the River Waldnaab, Windischeschenbach being on the left (West) bank; the Waldnaab, after joining the Naab, joins the Danube (Donau), just upstream of Regensburg. Also possible confusing is that Windischeschenbach and Neuhaus an der Waldnaab are both in the District (Landkreis) of Neustadt an der Waldnaab, this bigger town being downstream of the Zoigl places, see the sign to the left. In recent years, Neuhaus has administratively become part of Windischeschenbach, as the sign states, but Neuhaus locals, still say they are from Neuhaus and not Windischeschenbach.

Apart from being famous for Zoigl, Windischeschenbach (Eschawecka to the locals) is the gateway to the Waldnaabtal (Waldnaab Valley) (www.waldnaab.de), a most pleasant area, that is well-known for its cycling and walking paths. The Castle (Burg) in Neuhaus, which is close to the bridge from Windischeschenbach, houses the Waldnaabtalmuseum; click here to see a photo featuring the castle. The Tourist Information office (Tourismusbüro) for the two towns is to be found in Windischeschenbach, at Hauptstraße 34 (GPS: 49.800790o N, 12.156533o E). It is open on Monday to Friday from 8am to Noon, and on Wednesday from 2pm to 4pm, although on Sundays and on National Holidays, the door is open for those who want to pick up information leaflets, etc. In the scientific world, Windischeschenbach is known for the Geo-Zentrum / Kontinentale Tiefbohrung (KTB) (Continental Deep Drilling), this being a hole that has been drilled to a depth of 9,101 metres (29,859 feet, 5.7 miles). Its large drilling derrick can readily be seen on the right, when approaching the town from the North by train, and can also be seen in the town itself. Click here for more information on this most deep of holes. The KTB visitor centre is open from 10am to 6pm (4pm in November to April). At 3pm, between the 15th of June and the 15th of September, there are guided tours of the drilling derrick (Bohrturmführungen).

When walking from the station to the centre of Windischeschenbach, you will pass one of its more conventional tourist attractions, the Stützelvilla, at Bahnhofstrasse 29. This is a splendid building, inside and out, which was built in 1890 in Jugendstil (Art Nouveau) style. The Pfarrkirche (Parish Church), in Windischeschenbach, and the Agathakirche (St Agatha Church), in Neuhaus, are both worth checking out; they are very close to the Zoigl outlets in the two places.

Windischeschenbach/Neuhaus have their own Zoigl website, www.zoiglbier.de, this being different to the main Zoigl one, cited above. The website concentrating on Windischeschenbach/Neuhaus provides details of the changing availability of Zoigl in the two towns; if you select each town in turn and then click on Kalender, you get information on when Zoigl is available in the towns' outlets; clicking on the entries provides further details of them. Note that the Calendars state that Zoigl is only available in their communal brewers' establishments from July to December. Should you be in the Oberpfalz, and do not have access to the Internet, then you will find the information on genuine Zoigl availability in regional newspapers: the Oberpfälzer Nachrichten (www.oberpfaelzer-nachrichten.de); and Der Neue Tag (www.oberpfalznetz.de). On the Windischeschenbach/Neuhaus Zoigl website, there are interactive maps of the two towns, which pinpoint the location of the Zoigl outlets; click here for the Windischeschenbach one, and here for the Neuhaus one. For a map of Windischeschenbach/Neuhaus, from the town's official website, click here. The White Beer Travels Zoigl Hunt map of Windischeschenbach/Neuhaus is available from the Downloads page; it is best printed out at ~A4/Letter size.

In the Zoigl towns, there is normally only one of the communal brewers' outlets at a time selling genuine Zoigl from a Communal Brewer (Echter Zoigl vom Kommunbrauer). Zoigl is typically sharp in taste, cloudy (unfiltered), very hoppy, around 5% ABV and absolutely marvellous. It can be pale (Hell), or dark (Dunkel), or shades in between. In a particular town, the recipe used is generally always the same, but with differences in fermentation and lagering time and temperatures, and technique, etc, etc, each Zoigl tends to be different from producer to producer and from brew to brew.

What does Zoigl Mean?         What is a Zoigl Star?

The word Zoigl derives from "Zeichen", which means Sign. From Zeichen is derives Zeiger (Indicator or Pointer), i.e. the Zoigl Stars hanging outside places in Windischeschenbach/Neuhaus are pointing out those that currently have Zoigl available. The Zoigl Star is a Hexagram (Das Hexagramm) (two overlapping triangles), which is commonly called the Star of David (Davidstern) or Magen David.

Your cursor is on a photo of the splendid sign for the world-class Schlenkerla tavern, in Bamberg, in Franconia (Franken), in Germany (Deutschland). Click on the photo to go to the Schlenkerla's website (English pages), which also covers 'Heller-Bräu' - Trum (Heller-Trum Brewery), the Schlenkerla being its tap

This Star sign is not peculiar to Zoigl brewers; it is very commonly used as a sign outside taverns, albeit ones that brewed or once brewed, or were the brewery's principal outlet, the Tap. An example can be seen in the top left of the photo above, which was taken by John White, in July, 2004; it is the elaborate sign (Ausschankzeichen, Tap Sign) for the Heller Brewery's justly world famous Schlenkerla tavern, in the Franconian city of Bamberg (www.schlenkerla.de (www.smokebeer.com for its English pages), White Beer Travels Web page). Interestingly, Matthias Trum of the Schlenkerla carried out research into the origins of The Brewer's Star (Der Brauerstern) for the thesis he produced whilst attending Weihenstephan Brewing School; click here to see the chapter covering the Star, in English, or here to see it in German; click here to see the whole thesis, in English, or here for the German version.

Your cursor is on a reduced-sized reproduction of a  miniature depicting someone brewing beer, that appears in Mendel's Chronicle (Das Hausbuch der Mendel) (1425).  It was obtained from the thesis of Matthias Trum, of Heller/Schlenkerla, in Bamberg, Germany

Referenced in Matthias's thesis and reproduced in it, is the earliest known depiction of a brewer in Germany, this appearing in Mendel's Chronicle (Das Hausbuch der Mendelschen Zwölfbrüderstiftung zu Nürnberg (The House Book of Mendel's Twelve Brothers Foundation in Nuremberg)), which is often shortened to Hausbuch der Mendel; the depiction is a 1425 miniature, which is often stated in English to be entitled "The Brewer Monk", although it does not actually depict a monk, but Herttel Pyrprew ("Herttel, The Beer Brewer", in an old form of German) (the 46th brother), one of the men in the house, founded in 1388, by businessman Konrad Mendel, in Nuremberg. As can be seen, the miniature features a Brewer's Star, and is thus the earliest known German representation of this famous symbol. A reproduction of the miniature, which was obtained from Matthias's thesis can be seen to the left. The original book containing it is in the Stadtsbibliothek Nürnberg (www.stadtbibliothek.nuernberg.de), i.e. in Nuremberg's City Library. The book is famous for depicting a number of crafts, in addition to brewing. Modern reproductions of the book can be purchased. Interestingly, another of the miniatures depicts Jorg, the Prewmaister (Master Brewer) (the 124th brother), this indicating that, even in the Middle Ages, there was a hierarchy in the brewing "profession".

Genuine Zoigl in Windischeschenbach & its Neighbour, Neuhaus

Your cursor is on a scan of a beer mat (coaster) for the Zoigl Beer from 'Beim Gloser', in Windischeschenbach, in the Oberpfalz (Upper Palatinate) region of NE Bavaria, in Germany. Click on it, to go to Beim Gloser's website
Your cursor is on a scan of a beer mat (coaster) for the Zoigl Beer from 'Beim Bahler, in Neuhaus/Waldnaab, in the Oberpfalz (Upper Palatinate) region of NE Bavaria, in Germany

From www.zoiglbier.de, the following places are Communal Brewer-run outlets for Zoigl, in Windischeschenbach, their Zoigl being available on a rotating basis: the Popp family's Beim Gloser (Lehnerberg 2, www.beimgloser.de, GPS: 49.802610o N, 12.155635o E); the Heindl family's Da Roude (Stadtplatz 3); Martin Sperber's, Zoigl-Stube Zum Fiedlschneider (Stadtplatz 15); Robert Sperber's Beim Binner (Kleiau 3, www.binnergeist.de, GPS: 49.803270o N, 12.155923o E); Günter & Manuela Zimmermann's Zoigl Zum Posterer (An der Alten Post 5, www.zum-posterer.de); the Weiß family's Schloßhof Zoigl (Schlosshof 13, schlosshof.zoigl.info); and the Lindner family's Beim Stern (Neustädter Straße 24).

In Neuhaus an der Waldnaab, the Communal Brewer-run outlets for Zoigl are: Otto Punzmann's family's Teicher-Zoigl (Marktplatz 4); Thomas Witt's Beim Bahler (Zoiglstube Witt) (Marktplatz 10-12); the Schönberger family's Beim Käck'n (Marktplatz 18); Manfred Punzmann's family's Schoilmichl's Zoigl (Marktplatz 20, on the corner of Wurzer Strasse, very close to Neuhaus's communal brewery, GPS: 49.800932o N, 12.166836o E); and the Fütterer family's Schafferhof-Zoigl (Burgstrasse 6, www.schafferhof-zoigl.de), see below.

Each of the people who exercise their right to brew, gets wort from the Communal Brewery, and takes it, using a vessel with wheels, to their home or pub, and converts it into beer. The fermentation takes place using a bottom-fermenting Lager yeast, rather than an Ale yeast; Zoigl is an untergäriges Bier (bottom-fermented beer). In genuine Zoigl outlets, the Zoigl is most often served using a font on the servery in the ground floor bar, connected directly to the lagering/maturation vessel (Lagertank) in the cellar of the place in question. In some outlets, it is tapped direct from the Lagertank in the cellar in the place in question, as per a Zwickel Beer, Zwickel, meaning tap, i.e. the tap that a brewer usually keeps in his/her pocket to take a sample from the vessel for quality control purposes, or just plain drinking it, or whatever.

Schoilmichl's Zoigl, Neuhaus
Beim Binner, Windischeschenbach

Some of the outlets in the two places are quite pub-like, such as the place featured in the photo, above left, whereas others just look like private houses, as per the one in the photo to its right (both were taken by John White, in October, 2006). A number have food (mainly snacks, but at least one has more substantial fayre, see below) and other offerings, such as their own Beer Schnapps, and some even have bottled Zoigl. It was not scheduled to be open at the time of our October, 2006 visit, but Schoilmichl had a menu card in the window that had Zoigl at €1.40 for the normal 50cl measure (just under a pint, so it is around £1 a pint), but also at €0.70 for a Pfiff, which is 25cl, served in a 50cl glass, this sometimes being called a Schnitt (Cut) in some places that offer it, but it more often means a generous half in a 50cl glass, so is charged accordingly; one is often ordered as the last drink of a session, and then you may only pay half the 50cl price for it. Also on the menu, was Zoigi-Weizen (Hefe) at €1.50, a cloudy Wheat Zoigl, that I need to make some enquiries about, especially since Wheat Beer is an obergäriges Bier (top-fermented beer)! The snacks on Schoilmichl's menu card are similar in scope and price to those listed for other places in Windischeschenbach and Neuhaus covered in this Web page. Note that some of the genuine outlets open when they are not scheduled to sell their own Zoigl, but they have other drinks on offer; one, Schafferhof-Zoigl, in Neuhaus, offers regular live entertainment when it is not selling Zoigl.

On the day of the White Beer Travels October, 2006 Zoigl Hunt, Beim Gloser, in Windischeschenbach, and Beim Bahler (Zoiglstube Witt), in Neuhaus, were the two outlets, owned by communal brewers, that were scheduled to be selling Zoigl.

Your cursor is on a photo of the exterior of 'Beim Gloser', a genuine Zoigl outlet, in Windischeschenbach, in the Oberpfalz (Upper Palatinate) region of NE Bavaria, in Germany. Click on it, to go to Beim Gloser's website
Your cursor is on a photo featuring a glass of Zoigl in 'Beim Gloser', in Windischeschenbach, in the Oberpfalz (Upper Palatinate) region of NE Bavaria, in Germany. Click on it, to go to Beim Gloser's website

Beim Gloser, Windischeschenbach

The above two photos were taken by John White, in October, 2006. In the one on the left, White Beer Travels Beer Hunt regular, Mike Robinson, is just leaving Beim Gloser, in Windischeschenbach; note the Zoigl Star on its pole, in the top left corner. In the photo on the right, is the glass of Zoigl that I had in Beim Gloser on the day of the visit. It initially came with a blank beer mat (coaster), but when the proprietor, Martin Popp, realised that we were very interested in his beer, he produced some of his rare beer mats, as per the one leaning against the glass, and top left, at the head of this section.

Your cursor is on a photo featuring a glass being filled with Zoigl in 'Beim Gloser', in Windischeschenbach, in the Oberpfalz (Upper Palatinate) region of NE Bavaria (Bayern), in Germany (Deutschland). Click on it, to go to Beim Gloser's website
Your cursor is on a photo taken inside 'Beim Gloser', a genuine Zoigl outlet, in Windischeschenbach, in the Oberpfalz (Upper Palatinate) region of NE Bavaria (Bayern), in Germany (Deutschland). Click on it, to go to Beim Gloser's website

Beim Gloser, Windischeschenbach

The above photos were taken in October, 2006. In the one on the left, which was taken by John White, Martin Popp is filling a glass with Zoigl, and in the one on the right, which was taken by White Beer Travels Beer Hunt regular, Chris Marchbanks, yours truly, John White, is with Martin. We drank our wonderful Zoigls at a table close to the servery. In an adjoining room, there is some marvellous stained glass, produced by the Glaserei Popp, i.e. by Martin. One can also sit in the pleasant courtyard at the back. The Zoigl is very cheap, i.e. €1.40 for 50cl (around £1 a pint), this being the price in all the outlets in both towns for genuine Zoigl. Note that, at the time of our visit, Martin did not have his own fermentation facilities; his Zoigl came from Beim Binner. However, a few weeks after our visit, he installed his own fermentation vessels, which thus allows him to now produce his own Zoigl. Other drinks include Schnapps in the range €1.40/1.80. Food available in Beim Gloser includes: Erdäpfelsuppe (Potato Soup, but also contains Sausage) at €2; Zoiglburger (seemingly a normal Burger) at €2.50; Brez'n mit Käse oder Obatzdn (Pretzel with Hard or Soft Cheese) at €2; Preßack mit Musik (Brawn or Black Pudding with Vinaigrette, Onion and Black Bread) at €3; and (from 5pm) Warmer Leberkäs mit Kartoffelsalat (Hot Liver Sausage with Potato Salad) at €3.50. To take out, there are three flavours of Hausgemachte Marmeladen (Home Made Jam) at €3.50.

Your cursor is on a photo taken inside Beim Bahler, an outlet for authentic Zoigl Beer, in Neuhaus an der Waldnaab, in the Oberpfalz (Upper Palatinate) region of Bavaria (Bayern)
Your cursor is on a photo taken in the fermentation/lagering cellar below Beim Bahler, an outlet for authentic Zoigl Beer, in Neuhaus/Waldnaab, in the Oberpfalz (Upper Palatinate) region of the German State of Bavaria (Bayern)
Beim Bahler (Zoiglstube Witt), Neuhaus an der Waldnaab

The above photos were taken in Thomas Witt's Beim Bahler, in October, 2006. In the photo, on the left, which was taken by John White, is the marvellous glass of Zoigl (€0.80/1.40 (25/50cl)) that I had in the place at this time; in the background is the White Beer Travels Zoigl Hunt map of Windischeschenbach/Neuhaus, see above. Beim Bahler Zoigl is also available to take out in one litre bottles, and in 5 litre to 50 litre Partyfässern (Party Barrels). The photo on the right was taken by White Beer Travels Beer Hunt regular, Jez Blake. In it, I am with Thomas Witt in the fermentation/lagering cellar below Beim Bahler. As you can see, fermentation is carried out in traditional open fermenters.

Your cursor is on a photo of the exterior of Thomas Witt's Beim Bahler, an outlet for authentic Zoigl Beer, in Neuhaus/Waldnaab, in the Oberpfalz (Upper Palatinate) region of the German State of Bavaria (Bayern)

Your cursor is on a photo, taken in the bar of Thomas Witt's Beim Bahler, an outlet for authentic Zoigl Beer, in Neuhaus an der Waldnaab, in the Oberpfalz (Upper Palatinate) region of Bavaria (Bayern), in Germany (Deutschland)

Beim Bahler (Zoiglstube Witt), Neuhaus/Waldnaab

The above photos, taken outside and inside Beim Bahler, were taken by John White, in October, 2006. The room where we had the Beim Bahler Zoigl was once a cow shed. White Beer Travels Zoigl Hunters, Jez Blake and Chris Marchbanks, can be seen in the photo.

Beim Bahler is an outlet for a hoppy Schnapps, Hallertauer Hopfen Gold (www.hallertauer-hopfengold.de), which is produced in Mainburg, in the heart of the famous Hallertau Hop region of Bavaria; it costs €1.60 (2cl). Food available in Beim Bahler includes: Pressack mit Musik (Brawn or Black Pudding with Vinaigrette, Onion and Black Bread) at €3; Port. Geräuchertes (Smoked Pork) at €3.50; 1 Paar Weißwürste mit Breze (Two White Sausages with Pretzel) at €2.60; 1 Paar Knacker mit Kraut (Two "Knackwurst", Frankfurter-like Sausages with Sauerkraut) at €3.20; Sulz (Brawn) at €3.20; Port. Kräuterquark (Soft Cheese, flavoured with Herbs) at €1.50; Schmalzbrot (Bread and Dripping) at €1.40; Makrelen (Mackerel) at €5.50; Echter Norwegischer Lachs (Real Norwegian Salmon) at €6.50; and Salzhering (Salt Herring) at €3.80. During its allocated Zoigl selling weekends, Beim Bahler is open from 10am to 1am.

Your cursor is on a photo of a Zoiglstern (Zoigl Star), hanging outside 'Bahler' in Neuhaus an der Waldnaab, in the Oberpfalz (Upper Palatinate) region of the German State of Bavaria. The star denotes that 'Zoigl' beer, which is brewed in a communal brewery, is available inside
Your cursor is on a photo of a Zoiglstern (Zoigl Star), outside 'Beim Gloser', in Windischeschenbach, in the Oberpfalz (Upper Palatinate) region of Bavaria (Bayern). The star denotes that 'Zoigl' beer, which is brewed in a communal brewery, is currently available inside. Click on the photo, to go to Beim Gloser's website
Beim Bahler
Beim Gloser
 
Your cursor is on a photo of a Zoiglstern (Zoigl Star), pushed against the wall outside 'Schoilmichl' in Neuhaus an der Waldnaab, in the Oberpfalz (Upper Palatinate) region of the German State of Bavaria. The star denotes that 'Zoigl' beer, which is brewed in a communal brewery, is available inside, but not on the day that the photo was taken
Your cursor is on a photo of a pub sign incorporating a Zoiglstern (Zoigl Star), outside the Wolframstub'n Brewery, in Windischeschenbach, in the Oberpfalz (Upper Palatinate) region of the State of Bavaria (Bayern), in Germany. The star generally denotes that 'Zoigl' beer, which is brewed in a communal brewery, is currently available inside, although the Wolframstub'n Zoiglbrauerei is not a communal brewery
Shoilmichl
Wolframstub'n

As already stated, Zoigl availability in a communal brewer's outlet is denoted by a Zoigl Star (Zoiglstern) hanging outside, as per those featured in the top pair of the above photos, all of which were taken by John White, in October, 2006. The top photos were respectively taken outside Beim Bahler, in Neuhaus, and Beim Gloser, in Windischeschenbach, on a day when the Zoigl calendars said that they should have Zoigl available, which they duly did. The photo, bottom left, was taken outside 'Schoilmichl' in Neuhaus, an outlet for genuine Zoigl, but none was available on the day that the photo was taken, so its Zoigl Star was pushed against the wall. Other establishments just take the star down on such occasions. The photo, bottom right, is of the sign outside the "Wolframstub'n Zoiglbrauerei" and its tap, in Windischeschenbach. As can be seen, the sign incorporates a Zoigl Star, although the Wolframstub'n Zoigl Brewery is not a communal brewery, see below, and therefore, does not display the "Real Zoigl from a Communal Brewer" plaque, seen at the top of this Web page.

Your cursor is on a photo of the Oberpfälzer Hof Hotel-Restaurant, in Windischeschenbach, in the Oberpfalz (Upper Palatinate) region of NE Bavaria. Click on the photo, to go to the place's website
Your cursor is on a photo of the Weißer Schwan Gasthof und Metzgerei (White Swan Inn & Butchers), in Windischeschenbach, in the Oberpfalz (Upper Palatinate) region of NE Bavaria

There are three conventional places in Windischeschenbach that sell genuine Zoigl produced by one or more of the communal brewers: the Kulmbacher Brewery-badged Oberpfälzer Hof Hotel-Restaurant (Hauptstrasse 1 (corner of Stadtplatz), www.oberpfaelzer-hof-windischeschenbach.de), which is closed on Wednesdays and opens on other days between 11am and 2pm, and from 4pm until 9.30pm (its photo, above left, was taken by John White, in October, 2006); the Zoiglschänke Loistl (Neustädter Straße 8), which is open on Monday to Friday from 5pm; and the Schrembs family's Gasthof-Metzgerei zum Weißen Schwan (White Swan Inn & Butchers) (Zoigl beim Schwanerer), Pfarrplatz 1, www.schwanerer.de, which is closed on Saturdays, but opens on other days from 7am to Midnight (its photo, above right, was taken by John White, in October, 2006); in February, 2007, Zoigl in The White Swan was €1.50. Most visitors to Windischeschenbach go straight to the atmospheric places owned by the communal brewers, but these places are also all well worth visiting. The Kulmbacher (www.kulmbacher.de) beers available in the Oberpfälzer Hof's bar include: Kulmbacher Reichelbräu at €1.10/1.80 (25/50cl); Edelherb Pils at €1.10/1.80 (25/40cl); and Schwarze and Kapuziner Hefeweizen Hell, both at €2.10. The Oberpfälzer Hof's restaurant is a good choice for a meal. Example dishes include: Schnitzel "Wiener Art" (Pork Escalope) at €6.90; Jägerschnitzel (Hunter's Escalope) at €7.90; Rumpsteak at €10.90; and vegetarian options, such as Gemüseteller mit Bratkartoffeln und Ei (Vegetable Platter with Fried Potatoes and Egg) at €6.90.

Clearly, the Oberpfälzer Hof and the Weißer Schwan (tel 09681 3963) are accommodation options. Other possibilities include: the Gasthof-Pension Zum Waldnaabtal, at Marktplatz 1 (tel 09681 3711); and Monika Köllner's Pension Anker, on the Hauptstrasse (tel 09681 3963). Close to the latter place, is an attractive Krombacher outlet, the Cafe Baumgärtel (Hauptstrasse 27).

Your cursor is on a photo taken in Neuhaus an der Waldnaab, a famous Zoigl Beer place

Your cursor is on a photo of Schafferhof-Zoigl, a genuine Zoigl outlet, in Neuhaus an der Waldnaab, in the Oberpfalz region of NE Bavaria (Bayern). Click on it, to go to the place's website

During the October, 2006 Zoigl Hunt in Windischeschenbach and Neuhaus, we met up with local Zoigl enthusiast, Ludwig Lindner, who proved to be an excellent source of information and drinking companion. The photo, above left, of yours truly with Ludwig, was taken in Neuhaus, by Jez Blake, in October, 2006. As can be seen, we are at the point where Marktplatz (Market Place) and Burgstrasse (Castle Street) meet. Four of Neuhaus's five genuine Zoigl outlets are close together on one side of Marktplatz, and the other is on Burgstrasse. The photo, above right, of the very smart Burgstrasse establishment, the Fütterer family's Schafferhof-Zoigl (Burgstrasse 6, www.schafferhof-zoigl.de), was taken by Mike Robinson, in October, 2006. Its "main meal" food offerings include Carp (Karpfen), which are plentiful in the Oberpfalz; there is a fountain in the place's beer garden, which features an upturned naked women, with a Carp between her legs; the fountain's water comes out of the Carp's mouth. There are a couple of photos of the fountain on the place's website; it is the work of Adolf Kraft, who is based in Kastl/Oberpfalz.

Non-communally Brewed "Zoigl" in Windischeschenbach

There are two breweries in Windischeschenbach that produce "Zoigl" Beers, but they are not produced in communal breweries.

Brauerei Würth, Bahnhofstrasse 7-9, Windischeschenbach, GPS: 49.797758o N, 12.159250o E, www.brauerei-wuerth.de.

Your cursor is on a photo of the Brauerei Würth (Wuerth Brewery), in Windischeschenbach, a small town in the Oberpfalz (Upper Palatinate) region of NE Bavaria, in Germany. Click on it, to go to the brewery's website
Your cursor is on a photo of theTap for the Brauerei Würth (Wuerth Brewery), in Windischeschenbach, a small town in the Oberpfalz (Upper Palatinate) region of NE Bavaria, in Germany. Click on it, to go to the brewery's website

The above photos were taken by John White, in October, 2006. The brewery's splendid copper brew house vessels can be seen through the window at the front of the building, in the photo, above left. The brewery is just behind its tap, "beim Brandl", the subject of the photo, above right. This brewery, in Windischeschenbach, produces a number of different beers, including two "Zoigls"! The full names of the Zoigls from their swing-top bottle labels, which are both declared to be 5.3%, are respectively: Würth Windischeschenbacher Zoigl; and Würth Windischeschenbacher Dunkles Zoiglbier. They were both €1.80. Other Würth beers available at the time of the visit were: Hell (Pale) on draught at €1.80; Pils on draught at €1.80 (40cl); and bottled Perlweizen (a slightly cloudy Wheat Beer) at €1.80. There are other beers listed on the brewery's website: Lagerbier; Märzen; and Würth Windischeschenbacher Weihnachtsbier (Christmas Beer). The last two beers named are seasonal ones. Also listed on the menu are a couple of bottled beers from other breweries: Maisel Kristallweizen at €1.90; and Fried. Dunkeles Weizen at €1.90. Food includes: Currywurst (Curry Sausage); Schnitzel mit Pommes Frites (Pork Escalope and French Fries) at €5; a portion of Pommes Frites at €1.90; and Käsbrot (Cheese Bread) at €2.60.

The brewery is owned by Ludwig Würth, and Ludwig Würth junior is the Master Brewer. As the Zoigls are not produced in a Communal Brewery, they are not genuine Zoigls, but they are very good beers, as I found out on my October, 2006 visit.

The Würth Brewery's tap is open from 9am to 11pm, every day except Wednesday. The brewery has a shop.

Where Hauptstrasse, the extension of the brewery's street, going towards the town centre, Tees with Stadtplatz (by a tall pole), there are two places that share a large "Würth Pils on draught" sign: Sparta, a Greek Restaurant, at Stadtplatz 7; and Ricardo, an Italian Restaurant and Bar.

Wolframstub'n Zoiglbrauerei, Braugasse, Windischeschenbach, GPS: 49.801997o N, 12.155098o E, www.zoiglbrauerei.de

Your cursor is on a photo of the Wolframstub'n Zoiglbrauerei (Wolframstub'n Zoigl Brewery), in Windischeschenbach, a small town in the Oberpfalz (Upper Palatinate) region of NE Bavaria (Bayern), in Germany (Deutschland). Click on the photo, to go to the brewery's website

Your cursor is on a photo of the Brew House in the Wolframstub'n Zoiglbrauerei (Wolframstub'n Zoigl Brewery), in Windischeschenbach, a small town in the Oberpfalz (Upper Palatinate) region of NE Bavaria (Bayern), in Germany (Deutschland). Click on the photo, to go to the brewery's website

When Georg Forster's "Wolframstub'n Zoigl Brewery" was set up in 1977 by Alfons Würth, it became one of the producers of genuine Zoigl, getting its wort from the communal brewery on Braugasse (about 100 yards/metres away around a corner). However, in 1994, Alfons added a brew house, to augment the fermentation and lagering facilities in the cellar, to make it a self-contained brewery, producing just one beer, "Wolframstub'n Zoigl", which is technically not a Zoigl, although on the October, 2006 visit, it proved to be similar to the genuine Zoigls tasted on the same day; it was the same price: €1.40. The photo, above left of the exterior of the brewery was taken by John White, in October, 2006, and, the one to its right, of its brew house vessels, was taken on the same day, by Chris Marchbanks. The brew house is behind a curtain in the brewery's integral tap.

The Wolframstub'n Zoiglbrauerei's tap, Den Siedlern, is integral with the brewery building. Apart from the "Zoigl", snacks are available in the tap, such as: Brotzeitteller (Snack Plate, mainly cold meat) at €3; Gulaschsuppe (Goulash Soup) at €2; and Wurstkipferl (a very local name for something sausage-based) at €1.40. On Sunday afternoons, there are Torten und Kuchen (Tarts and Cakes).

How to get to Windischeschenbach & Neighbouring Neuhaus

Windischeschenbach railway station (GPS: 49.794753o N, 12.164955o E) is reached using a private railway company, the Vogtlandbahn (www.vogtlandbahn.de), on its line between Hof and Regensburg, the Oberpfalzlinie (VB3). Coming from Hof, one passes through Marktredwitz, and when coming from Regensburg, through Weiden in der Oberpfalz, all these stations and a couple of others on the route having connections with the German National Railway, Deutsche Bahn (DB) (www.bahn.de, www.bahn.co.uk (English pages)). From Marktredwitz, there are trains to The Czech Republic; from Hof there is a direct train to Bamberg via Kulmbach (home to the Kulmbacher Brauerei, of EKU 28 and EKU Kulminator fame, and the Bayerisches Brauereimuseum (Bavarian Brewery Museum) (www.bayerisches-brauereimuseum.de)), and from Weiden, there is a direct train to Nuremberg (Nürnberg).

For Belgian Beer and German Beer completists (anoraks), it is worth noting that after getting on a train in Marktredwitz, in 2003, Steve Thomas, who was considering making a book of all the information he had gathered on German Breweries, had a chance meeting with Tim Webb, the author of CAMRA's Good Beer Guide Belgium (www.booksaboutbeer.com, White Beer Travels Web page). Tim persuaded Steve to approach CAMRA with a view to them publishing his information, which led to the CAMRA Good Beer Guide Germany (www.german-breweries.com, White Beer Travels Web page) coming out in May, 2006, this being the first ever book to cover all the breweries of Germany. You would have expected that such a book would be written in German, by a German, but it is in English, written by a Welshman! It really is a wonderful, don't-enter-Germany-without book, which has been much dipped into in the preparation of this White Beer Travels Zoigl page. CAMRA (www.camra.org.uk), the CAMpaign for Real Ale, is the UK's premier beer consumers' organisation.

Windischeschenbach and Neuhaus are both about a mile (1.6 kilometres) from Windischeschenbach railway station (Bahnhof). To reach them, turn right up the hill outside the station, to join Hermann-Hofbauer-Strasse, this running into Bahnhofstrasse, on which the Würth Brewery and its tap are to be found on the right, about half a mile (800 Metres) from the station. The tap is just beyond the entrance to the brewery. Before the brewery is reached, on the left, there is a shop with a good selection of beers, the Franken Getränke Markt (GPS: 49.796608o N, 12.160777o E). Carrying on further along Bahnhofstrasse, one soon reaches the junction with Neuhauser Strasse, which one can take to get to Neuhaus, or carry on straight, to join Windischeschenbach's main street, Hauptstrasse. This Tees with Stadtplatz. In this area, Windischeschenbach's genuine Zoigl outlets are to be found, fairly close to each other. As already stated, Neuhaus's genuine Zoigl outlets are all on Marktplatz or its extension, Burgstrasse.

Your cursor is on a photo of the river Waldnaab, taken from the bridge that links Windischeschenbach to Neuhaus an der Waldnaab (New House on the Waldnaab), these being two small towns in the Oberpfalz (Upper Palatinate) region of NE Bavaria
Your cursor is on a photo of Neuhaus Castle (Burg), taken from the bridge that links Windischeschenbach to Neuhaus an der Waldnaab, these being two small towns in the Oberpfalz (Upper Palatinate) region of NE Bavaria
River Waldnaab
Neuhaus Castle

Neuhaus bei Windischeschenbach is walking distance of Windischeschenbach: just cross the river Waldnaab, by taking Neuhauser Strasse, in an easterly direction, off the southern end of the Hauptstrasse, and go up the steep hill, until one reaches the path that leads to the village centre on the right, Kirchensteig; on reaching a Tee, turn left and one quickly reaches the Zoigl-rich Marktplatz. There are alternative routes using paths that lead to the castle above the river. The above two photos of the river and the castle, were taken by John White, in October, 2006.

Genuine Zoigl in Mitterteich, Falkenberg & Eslarn

As already stated, genuine Zoigl can be found in these three Oberpfalz towns, although there are not as many outlets as the two towns extensively covered already, and these three towns are harder to get to by public transport, but if you get the Zoigl bug, you might just want to visit them! Details of buses for getting to Falkenberg and Mitterteich can be found from www.bahn.co.uk, this railway site offering buses, when places are not served by trains. Note that, after putting in the departure point and destination, one is taken to a page where you may have to clarify the information that you initially put in. For example, there are a number of Falkenbergs; you have to select the Falkenberg (Oberpfalz) one.

Of these three towns, Mitterteich (www.mitterteich.de) should provide the best chance of finding the famously elusive Zoigl, as it has three outlets, and it can be reached by a regular bus from a town served by a train. The municipality-owned Kommunbrauerei, at Kirchplatz 12, supplies Zoigl to: Hartwich-Zoigl, at Angergasse 1; the Zoiglstube Lugert, at Bachstrasse 12; and Wilhelm Oppl's Zoiglstube, at Oberer Markt 11. On the town's website, click on Zoiglkalender, for details of availability in the outlets. Note that the calendar gives the dates for Mitterteich's annual Zoigl Beer Festival, Zoiglfest, these being Saturday, the 7th, and Sunday, the 8th of July, in 2007. Mitterteich has a conventional brewery: Privatbrauerei Hösl (www.hoeslbier.de), at Bahnhofstrasse 1 (1 Railway Street), which is an infuriating address considering that there is no operational station in the town; the nearest one is Wiesau in der Oberpfalz, eight kilometres (five miles) away. Wiesau is two stops North of Windischeschenbach, on the Vogtlandbahn private railway, see above. On Monday to Saturday, one can get a number 6776 bus from Wiesau to Mitterteich. Hösl's bar/restaurant, "Mitterteich Schmalzl" (www.brauereigasthof-mitterteich.de), does not open on Saturdays.

In Falkenberg (www.markt-falkenberg.de), the town itself owns the Kommunbrauerei Markt Falkenberg, at In der Schwaige 1. Beim Kramer (Zoigl Kramer Wolf) (www.zoigl-kramer-wolf.de), at Tirschenreuther Strasse 4, is its outlet. Falkenberg is six kilometres (four miles) from the nearest railway station: Wiesau in der Oberpfalz. Zoigl is only available intermittently, typically one weekend (Friday to Sunday) in three; the dates can be found after entering the website, under the heading "Die nächsten Zoigl Termine". Note that the number 6267 buses to Falkenberg from Wiesau are infrequent, and they do not run at all at weekends.

In Eslarn (www.eslarn.de), there is one Communal Brewery: the Kommunbrauerei, at Brennerstrasse 30. This supplies Zoigl to the Grießl family's Eslarner Zoigl Stum ("beim Ströhern"), at Tillystrasse 4, www.zoiglstum.de. Its opening hours can be found by clicking on Zoiglkalender on its website. There is a conventional brewery in Eslarn: Bauriedl, at Ludwig-Müller-Straße 21. Its pub is open every day except Wednesday, from 10am to 11pm. Eslarn is thirty-five kilometres (twenty-two miles) from the nearest railway station: Weiden in der Oberpfalz.

Other Breweries in the Oberpfalz

There are a number of other breweries in the Oberpfalz, some having beers called Zoigl, but they are not produced in Communal Breweries. When going to Windischeschenbach the main Zoigl town, one often changes trains in Weiden in der Oberpfalz, so I provide details of its two breweries. Bräuwirt (www.braeuwirt.de), at Unterer Markt 9, in Weiden, has a bar that is open every day from 10am to 1am. Two of its three regular beers have Zoigl in their name: Bräuwirt St. Georgs Zoigl Hell; and Bräuwirt St. Georgs Zoigl Dunkel. Gambrinus (www.gambrinus-weiden.de), is North of the railway station, away from the centre of Weiden, at Kepplerstrasse 15-23. It has a bigger beer portfolio than Bräuwirt, but does not produce a beer called Zoigl. Its tap is open every day from 8am to Midnight.

In the Oberpfalz, the wonderful city of Regensburg (www.regensburg.de, White Beer Travels Web page) (five brewing establishments), and the town of Amberg (www.amberg.de, White Beer Travels Web page) (six brewing establishments), are both well worth visiting, both by the general tourist and by the seasoned Beer Hunter. In Amberg, the Hausbrauerei (House Brewery) "Am Sudhang" (www.sudhang.de/sudhang-braeu), produces a number of excellent beers, one of which is called Sudhang Zoigl.

Non-Zoigl Communal Breweries,
close to the Oberpfalz, the "Genuine Article" Region

As stated above, Neuhaus an der Pegnitz (Neuhaus on the [river] Pegnitz, which is often written as Neuhaus/Pegnitz (www.neuhaus-pegnitz.de), is frequently said to be a producer of Zoigl, but this is not the case; it did have a Communal Brewery, but it is rumoured that its beers are now brewed by Kaiser-Bräu (www.kaiser-braeu.de), in the town; they have a very nice tap in the town's prominent castle. Neuhaus/Pegnitz, and the town of Pegnitz itself, which is further upstream, can both be easily reached by train from Nuremberg, and are both well worth visiting. The Franconian town of Pegnitz has two breweries which produce a beer called Flindererbier, which is often incorrectly stated to be a genuine Zoigl beer, but this is not the case. Pegnitz and its Flindererbier are covered in a White Beer Travels Web page covering Pegnitz, which can be reached by clicking here.

Non-German "Zoigl"

Your cursor is on a reproduction of the label of Zoigl Star Lager, which is brewed by outlets of the Appalachian Brewing Company (ABC), in the US State of Pennsylvania. Click on it, to go to the ABC website

Champagne only comes from the Champagne region of France, and Zoigl only comes from the Oberpfalz region of the State of Bavaria, although it has its imitators, for example, there is Zoigl Star Lager (5.9%), an unfiltered, bottom-fermented beer with a six-angular star on its label brewed by the Appalachian Brewing Company (ABC), in Harrisburg, Gettysburg and Camp Hill, in Pennsylvania, USA (www.abcbrew.com). Whether it is Zoigl-like or not, I do not know, but it is well regarded by most who report on it on the famous ratebeer website (www.ratebeer.com); click here to see its ratings.

I have not discovered whether there are beers brewed in communal breweries, outside of Germany, but the German Wikipedia entry for Zoigl, and the French one for Bière, both have a French word for Zoigl: Chaiguille. Communally brewed beers were certainly produced in the past, in France and Wallonia (Wallonie), the French-speaking part of Belgium, but I don't believe that they are today.

John White (1945-), Your cursor is on an image of John White's e-mail address. Click on it to send an e-mail to John, August, 2006, updated in June, 2007.

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