The sun's still pelting down rays when I can put off the walk to Hochstahl no longer. At least there's the occasional brow-cooling breath of breeze. Not that my brow's fevered. Just sweaty.
Past ther woods there's no respite from the relentless rays of the sun. Just as well it's not far - under 2 km in total. It would be a pleasant stroll. If it weren't boiling hot and I didn't have my luggage bumping over the gravel path behind me. Soon the the slate dome of Hochstahl's church comes into view. Not far to go now.
Brauerei Reichold, my destination and resting place for the night, is a doddle to find. It's on the village's only main road. The tables outside are already half-full with rosy-cheeked outdoor types. Florid describes my complexion better. Time to dump the bag and get knee-deep in beer. Metatphorically speaking. There's a spot in the shade with my name on it.
When a waitress drops by, I have my order all prepared: "Ein Dunkles, bitte." There's no Dark Lager in my guide. Must be a new beer. It's a pleasing shade of bovril brown. Much Like my gravy. It doesn't taste like my gravy. It's a sweetish assemblage of mint, nuts and more of the signature peppery hops of the region. I like it. I like it even more as my glass empties.
This spot is gorgeous. Only the distant sound of the firemen's brass band rehearsing over the way interrupts the gentle chirruping of birds. Except for when some prat powers past in a Porsche. Or a biker does a racing turn on the sharp bend next to the pub. I heard the leather knee guard of the last one scraping the tarmac. Keep in down will you? Can't you see someone's trying to get sozzled here? I need all my powers of concentration.
I try the Zwickl next. I've not had an unfiltered beer since, oh, yesterday evening. It's nice enough, if a tad bland. Yeast, tobacco and yet more spice are about all I get. I preferred the Dunkles. Odd it should be a new beer when several breweries in the area brew nothing else.
I eat inside. Calimari, if you're interested. Time to give the pork a rest. You can have too much of a good thing. Apart from beer, of course. You can never have too much of that. Which I try to prove while the colours distort and deepen as the sun ducks down its head. Time for bed.
Brauerei Gasthof Reichold
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