THE BEER AND CASTLE ROUTE IS 500 KMS of THIRST-QUENCHING ENJOYMENT:
For beer-lovers and those who enjoy driving holidays, The Beer and Castle Route in Germany is a journey that’s enticing and exciting. This 500 km route promises plenty of amber fluid in cozy and sociable drinking towns, and it also lets you explore the sights, culture, history, art, nature and good food along the route.
Welcome to Beer Country!
The Beer and Castle Route is a 500 km journey along the B85 (Bundesstraße 85) from Bad Frankenhausen in Thuringia on the southern slope of the Kyffhäuser Mountains to Passau, the “City of the Three Rivers” in Bavaria. Of course you can travel in the opposite direction as well.
This well-signposted route goes through a wealth of attractions and branching off to the right and left of this highway are side roads leading to impressive fortresses and imposing castles. Thuringia is nicknamed “the green heart of Germany” whereas Bavaria has the Bavarian Forest and Bohemian Forest as well as the romantic Danube and Main rivers.
This drive will take you through unspoilt countryside, nature reserves and romantic rivers and valleys. In addition to the varied insight into German traditions, sagas, legends, modern life, art and architecture, the route also offers the chance to experience a piece of German history. So, as you can see, the Beer and Castle Route is not about boozing on beer, it is a journey of discovery filled with activities that combine fun, history and of course the stops at towns and villages to quench your thirst and appreciate the beers in the Thuringia and Bavarian regions of Germany.
Beer and Castle Route Attractions
If starting from the north of this route, the Kyffhäuser Mountains (Kyffhäusergebirge) is the jewel in the crown of the Beer and Castle Route. The Kyffhäuser is significant as it is linked to a traditional German mythology concerning the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. Although the emperor drowned in the Göksu River in 1190 during the Third Crusade, legend has it that Barbarossa is in fact not dead, but sleeps in the Barbarossa Cave (Barbarossahöhlen), a hidden chamber underneath the Kyffhäuser Mountains. For history fans, your lessons start here.
In addition to the spellbinding Barbarossa Cave, make sure to visit the Thuringian Forest and the famous Rennsteig Trail. The Thuringian Saaleland and Thuringian Highlands (Schiefergebirge) which so fascinated Goethe should not be missed.
Other Highlights Along the Route
- Bad Frankenhausen: salt water spa, leaning tower, Kyffhäuser monument
- Apolda – castle and museums
- Weimar – Goethe’s Garden House (Goethes Gartenhaus), National Museum, Duchess Anna Amalia Library (Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek)
- Rudolstadt – Heidecksburg Castle, palace
- Bad Blankenburg – Greifenstein Castle, Bird of Prey Centre (Adler- und Falkenhof)
- Ludwigstadt – Lauenstein Castle, Slate Museum
- Mitwitz – Moated Palace, Upper Palace, St. Jacob’s Church (Jakobskirche)
- Kronach – Heunischenburg fortress, Fortress Rosenberg
- Kulmbach – Plassenburg Castle, Bavarian Museum of Brewing and Baking. Kulmbach also has a week-long beer festival, usually held in the last week of July
- Bayreuth – UNESCO World Heritage Site, Festival Theatre, Maisel Brewery and Cooperage Museum. Bayreuth is Richard Wagner city.
- Amberg – old quarter, Theuern Castle, museums
- Regen – Weißenstein Castle, glass forest
- Passau – The City of the Three Rivers, Veste Oberhaus Fortress, Cathedral
Beer is firmly routed in the German culture
Along the beer route there are over a thousand beer brands, each with its own unique beer flavour. The extensive range of beers includes dark full-bodied beers, fine Pilsners, refreshing wheat beers and smooth bock beers. Each of the breweries along the route has its own secret brew and with the huge variety of beer available, you are sure to find something of interest.
Some Breweries along the Route
- Club Apolda
- Watzdorfer Traditional & Specialty Brewery
- Bürgerliches Brauhaus Saalfeld
- Brewery Kaiserhof Kronach
- Brewery Antla Kronach
- Gampertbräu Weissenbrunn
- Kulmbacher Brauerei AG
- Brewery Sperber-Bräu Sulzbach-Rosenberg
- Brewery Winkler Amberg
- Hofmark Brewery Loifling
Place to Stay
Hotels in Apolda and surrounds
Hotels in Weimar
Hotels in Bad Blankenburg and surrounds
Hotel in Saalfeld and surrounds
Hotels in Kronach and surrounds
Hotels in Kulmbach and surrounds
Hotels in Sulzbach-Rosenberg and surrounds
Hotels in Bayreuth
Hotels in Amberg and surrounds
Hotels in Passau
Cruise the Danube!
At the end of your 500 km drive, when you reach Passau, the City of Three Rivers, you may want to have a relaxing boat trip on the Danube and reflect on your Beer and Castle route experience.
For more information about the Beer and Castle Route, check out the Bier-und-Burgenstrasse website (www.bierundburgenstrasse.de).
Drink Responsibly and Drive Safely!