Monday, December 4, 2006


(Yesterday: Here we go again)

Cool and cloudy with a light rain, but much warmer than home. (Which is good, because I brought neither jacket nor sweater.) Our flight arrived at 6:45am, an hour ahead of schedule. Paris' taxi hadn't arrived two hours later — I had to leave her waiting so I could catch my train. Forty-five minutes to kill in Lindau: long enough to find a much-needed Geldautomat, but not long enough for a beer afterward. Passed the Meckatzer brewery on the way to Röthenbach. Another 45-minute layover; this time there's time for a beer, but there's none to be found. Montag is Ruhetag here in Röthenbach, both at the Bahnhof Stüble and at the "Devil's Home" across the street. And so it begins.

But the Bräustatt Gold in Simmerberg was well worth the wait! The first beer of the trip is a good one. The Gold and the Pils here are both fairly hazy, and remembering the beers from last month's trip, it appears that the majority of the small brewers around here serve unfiltered (but not necessarily ungespundet) beers. Gala the bartender says I speak very good German, and even asked if I was born here! (I get that every so often, but I always find it hard to believe.) A huge steaming plate of roast duck, Rotkraut, and a potato dumpling should fix this jet-lag problem. It tastes so good, I nearly fall off my barstool.

Simmerberg Bräustätt und Taferne, SimmerbergGala brings a beer
Simmerberg Weizen

This small (30-hl) brewhouse has an automated control panel; that's another thing I saw a lot of on the last trip. Franz the brewer gave me an up-close look. The computer holds programs for each of his recipes. The Weizen, for example, is an infusion mash involving SIX temperature steps. Franz says the automatic system makes the job easy, but if the computers go down, everything stops. There's no manual backup.

Simmerberg's brewhouseSimmerberg's brewhouse
Brewer Franz

I spent a few minutes talking to Franz more than I meant to, and I missed my bus back to Röthenbach, but another one came by in a few minutes. It was full of schoolkids on their way home, but I made my train connection, so "alles OK".

When I got back to Konstanz this evening, the plan was to get a quick bite to eat, then have a few beers at the very fun Bierstube zur steinernen Kugel, which we had enjoyed on our previous trip. But the place was dark as we approached; owner Olaf Dietrich (who lives upstairs) was just coming out and told us he's closed on Mondays.

Bierstube zur steinernen Kugel, Konstanz

So we told him we'd see him later this week, and we headed over to Haus zum Salzbüchsle, which serves a fine glass of Andechser beer. And after a few of those, who should show up but Herr Dietrich himself! We and a few other locals had a great time knocking them back.

Haus zum Salzbüchsle, Konstanz"Josh", some guy, and Guido at Salzbüchsle

All of a sudden, it was 1:00 in the morning, and we had to tear ourselves away for some much-needed sleep. The alarm will go off at 7:00am tomorrow, and I'll have more breweries to visit.

(Tomorrow: Tettnang-Ravensburg)

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