Brauerei Witzgall recently became known to a wider online audience when their Landbier overtook Mönchsambacher Lagerbier as the #1 Kellerbier on Ratebeer. In May of 2013, three Ratebeerians who frequently travel to Franconia finally sat down for a few rounds of Landbier and Vollbier courtesy the Witzgall Family in Schlammersdorf.
The brewery is in the center of town, with the Bier Keller a short distance east on Carl-Kreul-Straße, tucked in nicely under a thick green canopy of preserved forest.
Inside the Keller Haus a small, plainly-decorated interior is offered to visitors as an alternative to the long tables outside. Below the house is the old cellar where the Landbier used to lager. A Witzgall Mother happily took us under the house into the cellar, which was noticeably cooler stale-smelling, as they tend to be. Smaller than the stone-lined cold room we saw under theDorfkeller Lieberth in Hallerndorf.
The Landbier vom Fass at Witzgall Keller, in prime shape, is a gem of Franconia and a world class-level favorite of mine. It’s rare to find my opinion aligning with the Ratebeer consensus on German lager, but with Witzgall it’s hard not to enjoy such an expressive and juicy German hop showcase. German Pilsner malt toastiness with a touch of some cara or Munich for added body savoriness, it’s rich, just sweet enough, hoppy without being bitter, and naturally carbonated. Every facet of this Landbier is flawlessly expressed.
I recommend not just trying the Landbier from bottle, which is labelled Lagerbier for an unknown reason. To try both during a single visit, ask for take-away bottles at the brewery, not the Keller.
The brewery is located in the center of Schlammersdorf-Hallerndorf, easily reached by bike or on foot from Hallerndorf, Willersdorf, Brauhaus am Kreuzberg or Schnaid. Witzgall is also the closest of the many Hallerndorf-area breweries to Eggolsheim and the S-Bahn.
On tap at the brewery, and sometimes in bottle, the Vollbier presents the drinker with a superbly clean Pilsner malt base and mild Spalt hop floral-lemon accompanyment; it is a flavorful, balanced, quenching, quaffable, mineral-forward and toasty helles. It is not a flavor bomb for the young palate seeking extreme ingredient presentation. The Vollbier is small town old man beer made to perfection.