If I said ‘German beer’ to you, what is the first place you would think of? For most people it is Munich, the Bavarian capital which is probably best known internationally for the famous beer festival; Oktoberfest. Despite Munich’s notoriety, the reality is that there are great local beers wherever you go in Germany. There aren’t, however, that many places where you can sooth your hangover the next morning with the knowledge that your holiday spends went to a good cause. In fact, the only one I know of is the beautiful medieval city of Regensburg, just 85km north of Munich.
Sat on the banks of the Danube, the former capital of Bavaria was founded by the Romans and is one of Germany’s oldest cities. It is also widely accepted as having the best preserved medieval old town in Germany, as well as one of the best in Europe. Over the millennia the city has been home to emperors, dukes and bishops and as you wander around the altstadt remarkably little has changed. In it’s heyday, under the rule of the Holy Roman Empire, Regensburg was granted the status of Free Imperial City making it one of the most important cities in the Empire. Yet despite all this, Regensburg didn’t receive UNESCO world heritage status until 2006.
So there is no doubt that the city is a cultural treasure, but didn’t I promise you guilt free beer? Like so many German cities Regensburg has its own breweries; three of them in fact. If you are looking for a good reason to sample their produce though, the first is owned by a charity. The second belongs to the church and the third finances and old people’s home. After spending your Euros on their beer the hangover will hurt just as much normal, but at least the halo will distract you from it!
When in Germany it would be rude not to accompany your beer with some hearty food and there is nowhere in town more suited to this than the local treasure that is the Historic Sausage Kitchen (German translation: Historische Wurstkuchl.) Thought to be the oldest sausage kitchen in the world, the house speciality is the Regensburg sausage. A plateful of these small pork sausages is served with sweet home made mustard and sauerkraut.