In order to truly say that you’ve been on a beer tour, Upper Palatinate’s legendary Zoiglbier is something all beer connoisseurs must try. Brewed in communal breweries in only five villages (Neuhaus, Windischeschenbach, Mitterteich, Eslarn, and Falkenberg) located near the Czech border and about 1.5 hours car drive from Nuremberg, Zoigl is sold on a rotating basis by the various families who man the breweries. You can tell which house is selling it on a given day by looking for a Six-Pointed Brewers Star hanging in front of the house. Zoiglbier is a delicious malty beer with a deep amber color..

Zoiglbier has been brewed according to the same traditions for nearly 600 years. Add to that the fact that every brewer in these five Franconian villages has his own secret recipe and methodology and you have the makings of beer heaven on earth. If you’ve never had an unfiltered, German microbrew then you owe it to yourself and your taste buds to drink one (or more) real soon.

So how is Zoiglbier brewed?

Malt Grinder
First the barley has to be malted and then ground in a mill

 

a look inside the mash tun
A look inside at the mash in the mash tun where the malt is transformed into maltose (a form of sugar)

 

Cooked Mash
After the mash cooks it is filtered through the bottom of the mash tun in a process called lautering to create the wort

 

Draining Wort
A view of the wort draining from the bottom of the mash tun

 

Copper
This is the copper (in earlier times these vats were all made of copper). The wort is put into this vat along with hops and cooked at 176F

 

Heating The Copper
As tradition dictates, the copper is still heated with wood

 

Copper Cooling Bath
After cooling for 24 hours in the copper cooling bath the wort is transported to other area breweries to be made into beer

 

Beer Pitching
Here yeast is added and the fermentation process, known as pitching, begins. Afterwards, the “new beer” settles for 6 to 8 weeks

Franconian Village Beer Tour

The Grand Finale !

 

If you would like to visit some of these places and learn more about beer, please click here.