It's always a pleasure to receive your fine publication. A recent column that dealt with breweries was a special treat. My wife and I went on a great beer tour in late September/early October. We covered 3500 miles and seven countries - 35 breweries throughout Europe. We stayed at several of the brewery Gasthaus inns, two of which were truly memorable. We, too, traveled to Ceske Budejovice where, in the center of town, is a newly refurbished treasure called the Hotel Zvon. For less than $100 per night we had a palatial room that compared favorably to any five-star hotel we've seen. It even has free garage parking! The food was great with four restaurants to choose from.
This great experience was overshadowed about 10 days later outside Munich. We stayed at the Brewery Schloss Hotel Odelzhausen, room Number six in the tower. Someday, we'll go back and stay a week and do day-trips, just so we can enjoy the hotel. The hotel is family-owned and the brewery equipment is worth a trip in itself - the belt driven brew-kettle dates back to the turn of the century while the whole place is hundreds of years old.
Some readers might get a kick out of visiting the Pfungstadt Der Grosser Bier Markt der Wald store near Darmstadt. I can't verify it is the biggest beer store in the world, but when we were there they had 2,229 brands on the shelf!
Other notable stops included the Burghotel Auf Schönberg on the Rhein (Oberwesel); about 12 different five-star hotels in Madriana Lazne (Czech), an incredible secret in the northwestern part of this emerging country; the art deco bar of the Hotel Europa in Prague, worth a stop for a drink or two; Brauerei Gasthof Eck (Bobrach, Germany); Janka Brau's Gasthof Deutscher Rhein were excellent overnights too.
A most unusual treat is the brand new addition to the Hotel Grenzgasthof (Furt a. Berg - near Coburg and Neustadt). We stayed here several nights and did day-trips to the former East Germany. The hotel is built on the actual site of the Iron Curtain. They still have some of the barbed wire from the wall, etc.
Several years ago, I wrote to recommend the Hotel Grüner Baum. You subsequently visited this fine place and were equally pleased. I now encourage you to sample the hospitality of the Schlossbrauerei Odelzhausen, Family Eser (grandpa Eser is a fine old gentleman!). Make sure you try a room in the tower. It's only 20 miles west of Munich and just off the Autobahn to Augsburg.
We are now about to start another Great Beer Tour, heading your way via back roads and visiting micro-breweries on the way. Retirement is tough work but somebody has to do it.
(Ed. Note: Thanks for the brew-tour. When you get to the San Francisco Bay Area, you might find some of the Gemütlichkeit crew at Buffalo Bill's, in Hayward, one of California's first micro-breweries.)
(U.S. Dollar prices quoted in this issue of Gemütlichkeit may be inaccurate for these reasons:
* Prices in local currency have not been updated since the date of publication of this newsletter, and...
* The dollar prices shown were obtained by using exchange rates in effect at the time of publication.)