The Bayerische Oberlandbahn, often referred to as “BOB” is a regional railway based in Holzkirchen, about 34 kilometers (20 miles) to the south of Munich. BOB Trains connect Munich with many alpine hamlets to the south of the city and there is plenty of great hiking to be found at pretty much every stop. Many of these hikes feature interesting beer and brewery stops along the way so beer hiking is a natural.
The name Bayerische Oberlandbahn translates roughly to the “Bavarian highlands railway” which is an apt description. The high mountains to the south are often the backdrop for hilly valleys separated by oh-so-green meadows, farmlands, and forest stands. I imagine the main customer base for the BOB is commuters between all of these small towns and Munich, but I couldn’t help but notice that there were always a bunch of people waiting on the platforms with me who were dressed for a hike and were carrying daypacks and walking sticks.
Out and Back Hike to Reutberg
My hike to Klosterbrauerei Reutberg started from the train stop in the sleepy little village of Schaftlach. i was the only person getting on or off the train at that particular place and time. there are multiple routes that can be used, but I chose one that dives into a stand of dense forest just on the edge of the village. The route follows a forest road before breaking out into a wide-open panorama of green fields. The route passes through the village of Sachsenkam before climbing a small hill to the brewery’s restaurant and terrace.
Klosterbrauerei Reutberg is next to a Franciscan convent. It dates back to the 1600’s when the monastery began brewing with their own barley and spring water. Pilgrims on a branch of the Jacobsweg (otherwise and elsewhere known as “The Way of St. James” and “Camino Santiago”) stopped and still stop here for nourishment and thirst quenching libation. The brewery was secularized and rebuilt during the 1800’s outside of the monasterey. The brewery struggled during the first world war but was resuscitated by community initiative. A brewery cooperative was set up and founded by 42 local residents. By 2017 the co-op membership had grown to more than 5000 and the annual output to 22,000 hl (18,450 bbl) of country beer.
Tegernsee Beer Hike
Tegernsee is the name of a beautiful mountain lake and a small town on its shore about 30 miles south of Munich where one of BOB’s routes ends. Tegernsee was once home to Tegernsee Abbey, a Benedictine monasterey, but is now known as a spa town and a tourist town. The former abbey now serves as a residence for Bavarian nobility — members of the House of Wittelsbach and part of it houses the Herzoglich Bayerischer Brauhaus Tegernsee, a brewery managed by the family.
My hike was a loop between the town and Berggasthof Neureuth that pieced together segments of several trails including Westerhofweg, Sonnenweg, and Maximilianweg. The route features both densely forested hillsides and open meadows with big views. Neureuth is a pleasant restaurant and beer garden that is about half way.
The brewery in town dates back to the late 1600’s when the abbey was in its heyday. The “Bräustüberl”, the pub and terrace outside the brewery is a bustling place in a pleasant setting. Tegernsee brews a traditional range that features six styles year-round and a couple of seaonals during bock time. Their Helles is well distributed in Bavaria and beyond. It seemed to me yhat an increasing number of places in Munich feature it.