Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Wednesday, February 27: Hirschbrauerei Flözlingen

Yesterday: Waldhaus Privatbrauerei (Waldhaus-Weilheim)

Missed the first cheap-ticket-train — the 8:38 — by ten minutes. The next one comes in two hours. I need to find an Internet connection so I can rewrite my schedules for the rest of the week. So I walked around Konstanz (again), finding that the Internet cafes don't generally open until 10:00am.

Credit card operated cigarette machine

Something you don't see in America much: a credit-card-operated cigarette machine at a train station

The town of Singen is a major hub for the trains in these parts, and I come through here just about every day. The town is dominated by the Hohentwiel, the remnants of an ancient volcano. Hohentwiel is also the name of the massive fortress built upon the summit.

Hohentwiel bei Singen

Note to whiny American drivers: gasoline here is 1.40€ per liter. That's $8.10 per gallon.

At Rottweil, I changed from the train to the bus. The bus schedule seemed to indicate that the bus I was looking for could be found on nearby Eisenbahnstraße, which was at the top of these stairs:

67 steps to Eisenbahnstraße

So I climbed those steps, and checked the schedule posted there, and looked back down, and saw my bus leaving from the stop I was just at. But there was some entertainment while I waited: a real-live authentic Black Forest cuckoo bird that nobody had made a clock out of yet.

Eventually, I caught a bus that dropped me off right in front of Hirschbrauerei Flözlingen. (Damned convenient, I'd say.)

Hirschbrauerei Flözlingen
Hirschbrauerei Flözlingen
Hirschbrauerei Flözlingen

Braumeister-Mälzmeister-Owner Rolf Schittenhelm is, as all Flözlinger brewers have been since 1793, a member of the family that founded the brewery. He says the family name has changed three times over the years, when there were no sons to carry on the business, and the daughters had to find brewers to marry.

Rolf Schittenhelm of Hirschbrauerei Flözlingen

Rolf said that he's not photogenic, but agreed when I pointed out that very few of us brewers are

Rolf brews one beer, a Helles Lager called "Spezial", year-round. The draft version is unfiltered; filtered beer goes into bottles.

Flözlinger Spezial
Flözlinger Spezial

He also distills a very tasty Dunkles Bockbierlikör from "an old family recipe", as well as an 80-proof "Hopfentröpfle".

Flözlinger's still

Flözlinger's still

Even though he had appointments to keep that afternoon, Rolf took the time to give me a very friendly and thorough — and quite bilingual! — tour of his antique 200-hectoliter-per-year brewery.

The malt mill
I stand by to feed the wood-fired kettle
The wood-fired kettle, with the lauter tun above
The lauter tun above the kettle, with mixers driven by a single shaft, was Rolf's great-grandfather's invention
One of the two fermenters
Three of the six lagering tanks
The filter
This bottle filler is used for short runs; for bigger batches, he hires a friend who has a bigger filler in his brewery.
Rolf pours a sample of his excellent Bockbier from the lagering tank

Sadly, it was time to catch the bus back to Rottweil. But Rolf told me that he has relatives in Denver, and a friend who lives in a small Nebraska town only 100 miles or so from Columbus, so it's just possible he'll repay the visit sometime!

I had an hour and a half to kill at the Rottweil train station, so I enjoyed a couple of Paulaner Hefeweizen at the Hauptbahnhof bar. Turns out the bartender, Jürgen, is a native of Konstanz, and is quite familiar with Olaf and zur steinernen Kugel! "Er singt, und spielt mit Gitarre," he said.

I got back to the hotel around 7:15pm, and that's where my notes end.

Tomorrow: Gasthaus Brauerei Sonne, Herrenzimmern


Anonymous said...

nice wood . . .

Richard Stueven said...

yeah, you say that to all the guys.

Anonymous said...

2008-02-27 Besuch aus Amerika ...

Richard Stueven, aus Columbus, Nebraska, machte eine Besuch in der Hirschbrauerei.
Er macht sich spersönlich ein Bild über alle Bierbrauereien der Welt (so scheint es seine
interessante Homepage zu vermitteln). Da durfte natürlich die berühmte Hirschbrauerei
in Flözlingen nicht fehlen. Nachfolgend sein Bericht über die Brauerei und alles, was er
auf der Strecke nach Flözlingen interessant fand. Viel Spaß.