I arrived in Würzburg and I did exactly that – beer! Many of our groups have interest in going on beer tours which consist of tasting, eating, learning some history and visiting the breweries. My day started with a fabulous tour of “Wúrzburger Hofbráu” and the produce the most beer in Germany – quantity and variety that is. I can officially say I never wanted to leave! I had a very personalized guide, who also told me that he lived in Nebraska for a few years and the Cornhusker’s football team is “the best in the land”. I obviously had to disagree but it was fun because he had not given an English tour in over 6 years so he was rusty and I helped him learn some words and as did he me with German.
Anyways, I was able to see the beginning stages of production all the way to the final stage of bottling, labeling and placing in cartons for shipment or distribution. One very interesting aspect of German beer is that they reuse their bottles at most 10 times. They have a very thorough cleaning process and large production for that but this is what they consider their recycling system but actually more of a rinse and repeat system. At first, I was like gross – but then thinking about it, if in a restaurant or bar no one drinks right out of the bottle. It is very important to have a glass of the beer you are drinking and every one glass is different as it is made specifically for the beer. Only out on the streets have I seen people drinking from the bottles, but even then, I have seen some glasses, too. Very classy the Germans are with their beer.
After the tour my fabulous guide open their tasting room specifically for me and we tasted anything we wanted! I was very impressed with the variety of beers, flavors and packaging but there was one beer that absolutely blew me away. I never want to leave so I can drink this forever as I cannot get it in the states – well not yet anyways. It is called Sternla and it one of their most popular beers and I can see why. It is made with fresh lemons and lemon juice along side a light brew. Oh. my. goodness. I did not expect to like it so much! I was given a bottle and I have yet to drink it but have to by tomorrow as I leave for Madrid and cannot take it with me but I want to savor every single sip. My guide also mentioned if I take pictures with the bottle in all my destinations and at home I may get a shipment of it one day – consider that done! It was a very special experience and I tasted more than just the Sternla, but that left the biggest impression. It was nothing like I have ever tasted before.
Alongside the brewery is their Biergarten and they have a very nice restaurant there where I enjoyed another Sternla and fresh pretzels. Did you know you’re supposed to, at least here, but butter on the back of pretzels? I will enjoy here but probably won’t bring that home with me. I have heard calories do not count in Europe so I am enjoying that aspect.
I did a walk about Würzburg and it was beautiful – the newest buildings I have seen yet and that is due to that it was completely destroyed in World War II. Very sad, but they still have some pieces of the city that remained, but most had to be rebuilt. The churches, again, here are absolutely beautiful and I love the styles that they portray. We have a couple of these back at home but not so rich in history compared to here as America is such a baby when you look at it.
I enjoyed a unique dining experience for dinner as well. The restaurant is one, since I had never been, would never have seen it. It is a very locals type of place called “Backöfele” If you ever find yourself here, I highly recommend it. Of course, it was German, hearty meal full of meat, potatoes and mushrooms. The marketing director of Würzburg had invited me and he is a regular there. Their assistant manager visited our table and as we got talking found out she lived in Michigan for a year as she studied. Small world! They also have a dessert speciality, I am not sure the name of exactly what it is but it tasted like a funnel cake with apples, fresh vanilla ice cream, and fruit scattered throughout. It came in a beautiful cast iron skillet and it was the perfect way to end my stay in Würzburg.
Interestingly enough, with all the beer I had, Würzburg is actually known for their fabulous vineyards and wines. They make about 80% white wine and a very dry, whit wine that is. Visiting here you get the best of both worlds with beer and wine! I have enjoyed every place in their own unique way, but right now it has been hard to beat Heidelberg. It is a very romantic city with rich history, a beautiful castle and easy to get around in. Cannot wait to take you there next!