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Craft Beer Stops on a Wine Tour

So the other day, I had this beautiful American couple on a wine tour through Rheingau and Rheinhessen. It didn’t take me long to realise that while she was very much into wine, he…well… he soon admitted to being a craft-beer fanatic. This lead us to an animated discussion of the status of craft-brewed beers in the USA (beer gods, little beer tradition) versus Germany (beginners, shedding a lot of traditions), and soon Mr. Craft-Beer had infected some of our co-travelers with a craving for a glass of craft beer.

I reckoned there was nothing wrong with oenophiles longing for a fresh beer; after all some of the best wine critics have been known to finish off a day of tasting Bordeaux wines with a glass of beer. But as much as I’d have loved to take a detour and stop over at a brewery, I didn’t know of one in the area. So instead I made a mental note to research craft-beer breweries that would make for a nice final stop on a day tour though a wine region. After all, Germany is as famous for beers as it is for Rieslings.

 

Now, let me share with you some of my findings: German Craft Beer Breweries by Wine Region + recommended Wineries nearby.

 

 

In the Mittelrhein/Mosel (Moselle) Region:

I couldn’t find many craft breweries around Moselle. This is perhaps due to the region’s lack of major cities with younger crowds interested in craft beers. The best shot is close to the city of Koblenz in the famous river valleys of Mosel and Mittelrhein.

 

Lahnsteiner Brauerei

Sandgasse 1 - 56112 Lahnstein

Why visit?

The Lahnsteiner brewery has a wide selection of traditional beers, award winning craft-beers, and some beer-based specialty products (beer-wine anybody?). They offer English-language tours and tastings, too. Also, the estate includes a tower build in 1411.

Recommended wineries to visit close by:

Heynan Loewenstein in Winningen (Moselle) and Matthias Müller in Spay (Mittelrhein).

 

 

In the Rheingau Region:

Rheingau, worldwide known for its Rieslings, sports a couple of craft-beer breweries. This likely is because of its vicinity not only to adventurous crowds in Wiesbaden, Mainz, and Frankfurt, but also because it is very nearby to the Geisenheim University which is world-famous for its specialisation in wine and beer production. In the neighbourhood of the University one will find a brew-inery…:

 

Werk2weine

Behlstraße 2 - 65366 Geisenheim

Why visit?

It’s a winery that about two years ago decided to spin off into producing craft-beer. Werk2weine produces two pale ales. Their MonkeyX is crafted with yeasts used in the fermentation of Riesling wine. And Euphoria, fermented with Sauvignon Blanc yeasts, has been finished in white American oak. To continue with the theme of its vinous origins, the beer is filled in bottles typically used for sparkling wines, and it’s recommended to drink it from wine glasses.

Recommended wineries to visit close by:

So many, I won’t start listing them. But in the same village, sparkling wine producer Sektkellerei Bardong makes great, great sparkling wines.

 

 

In the Nahe region:

We love, love, love the Nahe river region. Possibly because it offers gorgeous sights, fantastic wines, and a craft-beer brewery in the region’s only major town, Bad Kreuznach. 

 

Brauwerk

Saline Karlshalle 11 – 55543 Bad Kreuznach

Why visit?

Brauwerk brewery offers three regular craft beers and one seasonal brew. It features a nice beer garden as well. The entire brewery is built on stilts. All of this is located in the middle of a spa area famous for its healthy air.

Recommended wineries to visit close by:

Weingut Hermannsberg and Weingut Jakob Schneider are both up the Nahe river in Niederhausen.

 

In the Pfalz (Palatinate) Region:

The Pfalz with its rolling hills and gorgeous villages is a must-see for lovers of dry, juicy, fruity, and mouth-watering Rieslings. Given its rather mild climate, red wines especially Pinot Noirs and Merlots perform very well here too. A good place to start or end a wine tour is in the town of Bad Dürkheim at Brau Haardt Brewery.

 

Brau Haardt Brewers

Why Haardt?

Haardt is one of the newest breweries in the region, but it is already well represented in restaurants and retail locations. Look for their Wit Noir (a dark wheat beer), their Breakfast Stout (with hints of coffee), or their Red Hot Chili Lager (with, you guessed it, Chili).

Where: Amongst others Haardt beers are offered at Cha-Cha bar in Bad Dürkheim.

Recommended wineries to visit close by:

Throw a stone in any village of the Pfalz, and you’ll hit a winery. But Weingut Bürklin-Wolf is one of the best.

 

 

In the Rheinhessen Region:

Rheinhessen’s wines have stirred up a buzz amongst wine insiders in the last couple of years, and more and more visitors arrive and leave via the region’s quaint ‘Great Wine Capital’ Mainz. While they’ve come to check out highly-acclaimed young winemakers, there are also beer brewers making a comeback in Mainz. I particularly like the beers from Eulchen.

 

Eulchen Bier

from April 2018 at Kupferbergterasse, Mainz

Why visit?

Founded by two students, the Eulchen Brewery has been around for a couple of years now. It is well on its way to establishing itself as one of the craft-beer breweries in Mainz. Check out their Märzen, their wheat beer, or their Helles. Even hardcore oenophiles will find a favourite one.

Interestingly Eulchen is currently moving its brewing facilities into the building of a former sparkling wine manufacturer. Also, starting from May , you can enjoy Eulchen Beers at their outdoor joint—a beer garden with a vintage 20th century atmosphere.

 

Recommended wineries to visit close by:

Weingut Eva Vollmer  is one of my favourites in Mainz.

 

 

With that, I need a beer now... Enjoy your tour through Germany. If you need assistance in planning, reach out anytime!

 

Picture credits:  cover: werk2 | above: eulchen bier

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