As it was, we were staying in the nice litle Gasthof Hörger, or to give it the full title, Hotel Hörger Biohotel und Tafernwirtschaft, a family-run hotel where all the food comes from certified organic sources and the owner is also the head chef. Very nice food it was too, all on a very Bavarian theme, which happens to appeal to me anyway, especially the likes of the wild boar (although maybe not the calf's head, though I was told the lips are a delicacy). Hohenbercha is a tiny place, but the restaurant seemed to do a good trade on both nights we stayed, so I got the impression that it is very well regarded locally. The hotel is mix of very traditional (with the old building and decor being pleasently old world) and very modern, with a new all-wood building in a very modern, minimalist style alongside an old orchard. It looked like we would be sleeping in large wooden boxes at first, but the details in the room were really cool. I don't know what the rooms are like in the older building.
With a couple of exceptions, the beers on offer were all from the Hofbrauhaus Freising (est. 1160). I didn't take very detailed notes as I was in company, but here a few notes.
Little cards on each table drew my attention to their Kirchweih Markt Fest Märzen, a light amber, low carbonated beer. This has a juicy sweet malt with toffee, dark bread and vegetable undertones and a slightly spicy finish. It's slightly chewy and rich, and quite satisfying. It was probably a mistake to start with this, but it had been a long day!
The Dunkel is a dark, dull, mahogany brown. It's sweet, but not overly so, leaning more towards fruit, figs, vanilla with a slight roasted accent. The finish is relatively dry considering the sweet fruity flavours. I wasn't sure if it was too fruity, but despite that it's reasonbably easy drinking. I managed a couple anyway!
The Hofbrauhaus Freising Graf Ignaz Pilsner, with its impressive whipped cream head that I can never get, is a bit more like the Pils of the north than the examples from Franken I have been trying recently, with a clean, prominent noble hop flavour, but with a mild bitterness. This is on top of a nice bready maltiness. A simple, refreshing beerwhich was a good palate cleanser.
The Helles, as I recall, is pretty much what you might expect from a Helles, with more prominence on the bready, biscuity malt flavours, but with a nice lemony twist. A good opener after another long day, and I could have had another couple but opted to return to the Dunkel for another test drive.
Being a biohotel they do of course offer eco-friendly beers. With the Bioland mark displayed on the bottle, in the same way as Pinkus Müller, the Viva Bavaria Festbier from Riedenburger was a flatish, dull, malty beer that I just couldn't take to. Sure, it started off ok (see the photo), but it quickly collapsed into a sweet watery soup. Maybe it was a dud bottle, as even a colleague commented that it looked more like cider, and it made no "pop" when the bottle was opened, but as it was, the flatness just made it too sticky and boring.
There were more beers on offer including the Hüber Weisse beers from Hofbrauhaus Freising (in Hell, Dunkel and alcohol free varieties), another fest beer, and a couple more alcohol free beers and radler.
Overall, a nice place to stay if you like it quiet and simple, and I look forward to my next visit. Oh, and I was told that there is an excellent beer shop in Kranzberg, where the office is. Another one for next time!