Forcheim Pub Guide
Bars - Beerhalls - Beer gardens

The town
Forchheim is a town of around 20,000 (lucky) people half way between Nuremburg and Bamberg. Why are the inhabitants so fortuitous? Because they've got four breweries.

This sort of thing impresses me. I grew up in a Midlands brewing town. We thought we were special with Hole's and Warwick's. And there were 25,000 of us. (Hole's occupies a special place in my heart - AK, AK, IPA, kegfiller.)

You could easily believe that Forchheim still has five beweries. Beer is sold under the Brauhaus Forchheim name, even though the brewery was closed several years ago by Wolfshöher Privatbrauerei.

Beer tourists have been well served by whatever intelligence controls the universe (don't want to upset any of you religious types), who has clumped together the breweries and their brauereigaststätte in the town centre.The station, however, was placed by a town planner and is an uncomfortable walk away.

Right on the edge of town is a wonderful place called the "Kellerberg". Basically it's a wooded hillside covered in "Sommerkeller". And the home of the Annafest.

Forchheim Pubs
Forchheim Pub Map

Bamberg Breweries
Bamberg Pubs
Bayreuth Pubs


Sommerkeller is a beer garden, usually out in a wood.

In the early days of bottom-fermenting natural rock cellars were needed to store the beer through the warm Summer months. Gradually breweries started placing a few tables around the entrance and selling their beer cellar-fresh.

Nowadays there is usually some sort of building - which may vary from a glorified shed to a full-scale pub - on the site.
Annafest KellerEvery July the "Kellerberg" is the site of the Annafest, when, in addition to the beer gardens, the hillside is also covered in a fairground. It's a very popular event. Not something I've seen anywhere else - a combination of beer, trees and rides.*

Many breweries brew a special Annafest beer. In total there are a couple of dozen Sommerkeller with beer from these breweries:
  • Brauerei Greif, Forchheim
  • Brauerei Hebendanz, Forchheim
  • Brauerei Eichhorn, Forchheim
  • Brauerei Neder, Forchheim
  • Wolfshöher Privatbrauerei, Neunkirchen am Sand
  • St.Georgen Bräu, Buttenheim
  • Löwenbräu, Buttenheim
  • Tucher Bräu, Nuremburg
  • Krug Bräu, Breitenlesau
This site gives full detailes of all the Forchheimer Keller.

Photos courtesy Andy of Beer-Mania!.
A personal note is in order here. Please be careful at the Annafest. The rips in my trousers and scars on my elbows bear witness to the hidden dangers of this event. They sell litre steins of around Märzen strength: 13º Plato 5.6 - 6% ABV. I have photographic evidence of my last two hours there, but no recall. The beers are stronger than you think ... and those litre glasses way too big..... Ask Andrew...

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Trips! (South)

Forchheim Pub Guide
Forchheim Pub Map

Map Index

Forchheim Pub Guide
Pub Listings

Brauerei Eichhorn
Bamberger Str. 9,
91301 Forchheim.
Tel. 09191 - 2379
Fax 09191 - 729944
Opening hours: 10:00 - 23:00
Number of draught beers: 2
Number of bottled beers:
Regular draught beers:
Food: Snacks, meals.
From the ouside Eichhorn looks like a classic German country pub, with its half-timbered facade and wrought-irn sign. Inside it's sadly more 1980's than 1880's. As soon as you spot the tablecloths you realise that this is more of a restaurant than a pub, which I always find odd in a brewery tap. You would expect beer to get top priority.

The hop vines hanging from the ceiling sort of make this point, but not all that strongly. The walls are cluttered with slightly too much old crap, most of which is around a rather obvious squirrel theme. Another pub where most of the charm and character has been modernised out in a disturbingly casual way.
Rating: *** Public transport:

Fränkische Bierstube
Hauptstr. 52,
Tel. 09191 - 65650
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 11:00 - 15:00 & 18:00 - 22:00
Sat-Sun 11:00 - 15:00
Number of draught beers: 1
Number of bottled beers:
Regular draught beers:
Food: Snacks, meals.
Fränkische Bierstube is an attractive old building on Forchheim's main pedestrianised shopping street. It has an unusual painted interior with decorated benches and chairs. There is an old-fashioned coal oven and leaded glass windows depicting scenes of Franconian life. On my visit, it was full of grannies, but perhaps that's just because it was a Sunday lunchtime.

Please note that the Brauhaus Forchheim Pils is actually brewed by the Wolfshöhe brewery.
Rating: *** Public transport:

Brauerei Greif
Sattlertorstrasse 18,
91301 Forchheim.
Tel. 09191 - 72 79 20
Fax: 09191 - 72 79 22
Brauerei Greif
Opening hours: Mon - Fri 08:30 - 22:00
Tue & Thu closed from 14:00
Sat 09:30 - 14:00
Sun 09:00 - 13:00
Number of draught beers: 1
Number of bottled beers:
Regular draught beers:
Food: Snacks, meals.
The Greif brewery tap is a rather dull-looking, plastered building of indeterminate age. You can bring your own food!

Note the weird opening times at the weekend.

**** CLOSED ****
Rating: *** Public transport:

Brauerei Hebendanz
Sattlertorstrasse 14,
91301 Forchheim.
Tel. 09191-60747
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 08:00 - 20:00
Fri 08:00 - 23:00
Sun 13:00 - 20:00
Number of draught beers: 1
Number of bottled beers:
Regular draught beers:
Food: Snacks, meals.
The Hebendanz brewery tap is in a half-timbered building with a very high roof (it has 3 floors of attics). It's the middle of the three brewery taps on Sattlertorstrasse and easily the most interesting-looking of them from the outside.

Inside it's a very simply decorated pub - tile floors, wooden furniture, plain white walls. It has a small beer garden. Be warned that it's a "smokers club". Which means they puff away like crazy inside and you have to pretend to join a club if you want a beer.

Being a hopeless obsessive, the first thing I noticed was the cask behind the bar. Gravity-served beer. It kept getting better and better. Only when we started looking for a seat did I realise:

1) it was pretty full
2) it was pretty full of the oddest set of characters I've seen in years

True to form I chose I seat facing the big daddy of weirdoes, a guy with the skin tone of a zombie. Though looking half-dead wasn't stopping him knocking back the booze at an alarming rate (a half litre and two schnapps in the 15 minutes we were there) or chatting away. The local-with-an-incomprehensible-accent is a character I recognise from my time in Leeds. There, it was usually someone Scottish or Irish. With Mr. White Ghost I had a better excuse - he was speaking a German dialect.

The other customers were a little more normal, but not very much. Most were keeping themselves to themselves. Or at least not talking to Mr. Ghost, which explains why he was so keen on chatting with me. Stonch was safe. He had his back to him. Why hadn't I chosen that seat?

For early Monday morning there was some serious drinking going on. My new mate wasn't the only one indulging in schnapps. A bloke in one corner had a litre of beer in front of him. There was someone not pretending about the level of his alcohol intake. The Hebendanz Export was tasty enough and, being gravity-served, I could sup it quickly. No, not so I could escape the nutter. I wanted to check out Neder, too.
Rating: **** Public transport:

Brauerei Neder
Sattlertorstrasse 10,
91301 Forchheim.
Tel. 09191 - 2400
Opening hours: Wed-Mon 09:00 - 19:00
Tuesday closed
Number of draught beers: 1
Number of bottled beers:
Regular draught beers:
Food: Snacks, meals.
With Neder the ouside of the pub does not deceive. It has quite a 1950's look and that's exactly what it's like inside, too. On entering the pub what immediately sprang into my mind was the Baker's Arms in Swindon's railway village. An unashamedly postwar look that, while being about as unfashinable as you can get outside of flairs and platform shoes, manages to win you over because its carried out with both consistency and integrity. In the right place even formica can be charming. So, the table tops are very charming, the chairs are wooden and the flooor is stone. The beamed ceiling is one original feature to have been retained.

The layout is typical of Franconian breweries: a corridor with a hatch to the bar in the taproom. Neder isn't exactly at the cutting edge of fashion, but the atmosphere is good and the beer comes straight from oak barrels.
Rating: ***** Public transport:

Gasthaus Schlößla
Bamberger Straße 49,
91301 Forchheim.
Tel: 09191 15149
Opening hours:
Number of draught beers:
Number of bottled beers:
Regular draught beers:
Food: Snacks €, meals €. Beer € for 0.5l.
Gasthaus Schlössla is on the main road leading North out of Forchheim. Just keep on going a coupl of hundred metres from Eichhorn. And stop when you get to the Greif brewery. Schlössla is directly opposit it.

All well and good. Then we saw the sign, "Smokers' club". Bum, bum, bum. Aah, but there was a beer garden at the back. We sat at a table with a couple of locals. “Are you tourists?” one asked. “Yes.” “Are you here for the Annafest?” It's about all that happens in Forchheim.

Our neighbours were a chummy bunch. Two hours slipped by in conversation. Cabbages, kings and giant pharmaceutical companies. Beer. Naturally, there was beer. Both as topic of conversation and refreshment. Hebendanz Export, Hebendanz Annafestbier. And my German was unexpectedly functional. It usually takes a while to get it warmed up. Until the day I'm due to leave, mostly.
Rating: ** Public transport:

Gasthaus "Schwane"
Hauptstr. 45,
91301 Forchheim.
Tel. 09191 - 703313
Fax 09191 - 66637
Opening hours: Mon - Sat 10:00 - 01:00
Sun 18:00 - 24:00
Market Sundays from 10:00
Number of draught beers: 3
Number of bottled beers:
Regular draught beers:
Food: Snacks, meals.
Prices: Beer 2 euros a half litre.
A traditional stone-built corner pub on the Paradeplatz. It has a small beergarden.

Photo courtesy Andy of Beer-Mania!.
Rating: *** Public transport:

Gasthaus Roter Ochs
Kirchplatz 3,
91301 Forchheim.
Tel: 091 - 914511
Opening hours: Mon Sat 17:30 - ,
Sun 11:30 - 14:00 & 17:30 -
Number of draught beers: 3
Number of bottled beers: 17
Regular draught beers:
Food: Snacks €, meals €. Beer €2.20 for 0.5l.
Roter Ochs is a small, traditional Gasthaus in a village suburb of Forchheim. It's both a hotel, pub and restaurant.

Unusually for Franconia, the beer doesn't some from a single brewery. The bottled selection includes beers from around a dozen small, local breweries.

No-one was at home when we arrived. Only a cyclist who, like us, was trying to check in. We stood in the bar for a good 10 minutes before the owner showed up. A friendly chap who, by the look of him, enjoys his beer as much as I do. “We have a tradition.” he said “Every guest gets a beer before going to their room.” Germany is such a civilised place. “What would you like: Helles, Dunkles, Weissbier?” I love the dark.

Thuisbrunner Elchbraeu, it was. “I have to fetch it myself.” the landlord told us. “It's a one-man business.” The beer was very pleasant. I was shocked to discover the brewery was only a couple of years old.

Worth the walk out of town.
Rating: **** Public transport:

Hotel-Gasthof Schweizer Grom
Röthenstraße 5,
91301 Forchheim.
Tel.: 09191 - 3955
Schweizer Grom, Forchheim
Opening hours: closed Friday
Number of draught beers: 1
Number of bottled beers:
Regular draught beers:
Food: Snacks €, meals €. Beer € for 0.5l.
Located in the same village suburb at Roter Ochs, Schweizergrom also offers the full set of hotel, restaurant, pub.

There's a single room, slightly overstuffed, as is Bavarian custom, with bits of old kack. But the atmosphere is cosy enough and mein hosts Mr. and Mrs. Eisgrub are a cheery pair of characters.

Schweizer Grom is a proper pub despite being a hotel. They even make their own sausage. There are plenty of non-resident drinkers in the bar. On draught they don't have a local Forchheim beer, but St Georgen Kellerbier from Buttenheim. That's miles away. It must be 10 kilometres, at least.
Rating: ** Public transport:

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