Photos: Yvonne Hartmann
Beer, hiking, mountians. The key to any perfect trip in Bavaria. And in Mittenwald, all three are present in abundance. Read on to the perfect guide to hiking and drinking in southern Bavaria.
Kranzberg-Sessellift, Mittenwald – Brauereigaststätte
Recently we profiled the excellent book Beer Hiking Bavaria, written by Munich-local Rich Carbonara. The guidebook lists a multitude of one-day hikes where you can discover regional breweries and their beers. We were so inspired by the book, we decided to test-drive the publication by going down to southern Bavaria and putting one particular journey in to action.
Journeying down to the very southernly tip of Germany, we lodged ourselves up on the foot of the Alps to explore the beautiful mountain area.
Mittenwald is a quaint, and very German Alpine town that sits on the border of Austria, surrounded by mountains in each direction.
Sitting on the footsteps of the Karwendel mountain range, the hike takes you up and around Hoher Kranzberg and goes straight to to the source of the Mittenwald Beer – the crisp, locally produced brew that everyone craves for after a hard days trekking.
The Mittenwald Beer Loop is a short three-hour trek that takes you round the lowest summit in the area, through lush-green forests, and to the actual water-source of Mittenwald Beer. The walk begins at the Kranzberg chairlift, located on the western side of the village, about 15 minutes walk from the train station. The chairlift skips the dogged-trek up the mountain and is very classic in style providing an open view on all sides all the way to the top.
From the Top to the Bottom
At the end of the chairlift ride it’s a short walk straight up the summit of Hoher Kranzberg where you can get some magnificent views of the village and surrounding countryside. Stretch your neck a little and you’ll even catch a glimpse of Zugspitze, Germany’s highest mountain.
From then on it’s a simple walk through the woodlands following the signs to Ferchensee, a gorgeous clear Alpine lake with an amazing backdrop of mountains on its side flank. Along this walk we crossed a whole load of migratory toads on the path, so watch your step if you’re ever on this trail so as not to squish any.
Soon after and you’re greeted with another gorgeous lake, where a nearby spring provides the Brauerei Mittenwald with its water. Of course, all good breweries and distillers rely on the best and clearest water to make their drinks, and nothing comes purer than Alpine ground water!
From here on in it’s a simple stretch through pristine woods, forest churches, and alpine huts back into town and to the Brauereigaststätte Postkeller, the official bar attached to the Brauerei Mittenwald. The Postkeller is a great, traditional bar where you can even see the beer being made on the spot.
Here you can get all manner of Brauerei Mittenwald beers, as well as seasonal brews and merch. Favoured brews of ours include the unfiltered and freshly served Keller Helles, and the fine crisp taste of the Posthalter special. As you might expect, it’s a very clean beer, not too hoppy with a very delicate flavour. If you’re going in for some food too (which you must), definitely go for the beer soup, a mix of garlic, cream, and lots of beer!
Mittenwald is a pristine little Alpine ski village, with a classic old church and lots of monuments dedicated to its former time as an area that made violins. It’s within ease of reach from Munich, with a direct train taking only one-hour-fifty, passing through Garmisch Partenkirchen.
The village sits on the very border of Austria, and if you climb the mountain facing the opposite side of Hoher Kranzberg, up to the Karwendelspitze, you’ll actually sees signs designated to each countrys’ side.
Whilst there, we did some incredible walks and hikes, including the up to the Karwendelspitze via the Dammkarhütte, up to Brunnsteinhütte, around Eibsee. and much more, with lots of other options for you to check out.