How many thirteen brewery hikes are out there in the world? I guess it depends on how far you are willing to hike. The Bamberg area in northern Bavaria is undoubtedly a (if not the) premier destination in the world for beer and brewery hikes and a longstanding route nearby is called the “13 Brauerien Weg” or the 13 breweries path.
The route is just more than 20 miles in length (33 km) and figuring a mile and a half per brew it isn’t really practical to both walk it and enjoy much beer in a single day. It turns out to be a nice bike route as well but you still can’t enjoy too many beers if you only have a day. I spent several days on shorter segments and the large number of breweries along the way still made for quite a challenge to cover all the ground.
This is firmly in the area of Bavaria called Franconia. The local tourism organizations are trying to brand this area the “Franconian Tuscany” I guess as a counterpoint to the more rugged landscape to the south and east which is more widely known as the Franconian Switzerland. The Franconian Tuscany is an area of rolling hills – agricultural lands dotted by small forests and ancient scenic villages many with beautiful old churches. I hiked in August when the forests and fields were loaded with wildflowers.
The village of Strullendorf at one end of the route is served by train and many of the villages have Verkehrsverbund Großraum Nürnberg (VGN) bus service from Bamberg so there are a variety of ways to carve up the adventure using public transit. The 927 Bus Line serves Memmelsdorf, Drosendorf, Schammelsdorf, Melkendorf, and Litzendorf — a centrally located village. You will find that opening days and hours and vacation schedules for the various breweries are all over the board so pre-hike research is well-advised.
The beer at every stop was rewarding and the venues ranged from rustic to somewhat elegant. In addition to the 13 breweries, there are four bierkellers (beer gardens) along the route. Much of the walk is on paved or packed gravel pathways although some sections pop out onto rural roads and streets.
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The 13 Brewery Hike
Some Beers on the 13 Brewery Hike
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