Anyone who visits a brewery inn knows what they are in for: In Aying, you have a choice of 11 outstanding beers. The menu also includes creative Bavarian cuisine. Oh, and you can sleep here too, the hotel has four stars, while several quadrillion more sparkle in the night time sky above Bavaria
Brauereigasthof Hotel Aying
SPONSORED STORY Even at eighteen, Angela knew exactly what she wanted, namely the handsome Mr Inselkammer from the neighbouring village of Aying. She even gave up Konrad Lorenz and his grey geese for love. “Behavioural research fascinated me, and I imagined myself as the mother of a flock of grey geese romping across the meadows of the Seewiesen Research Institute,” she says with a smile and adds: “Now, we have ten grandchildren, about a hundred employees, a dog and guests around the clock. There’s all kinds of behaviour that you can study.”
The brewery and pub have existed in the tranquil village near Munich for 200 years, while the inn was first mentioned in a document in 1385. There used to be many family businesses like Inselkammers in Bavaria, but today international chains dominate the market.
The Ayingers have been holding their own against growing competition for seven generations, and their current recipe for success sounds very simple: sticking together is one thing, not going crazy but staying authentic is another. “You just have to like having guests! Just like at home when I invite people, I think about what my friends like, what they like to eat, how I can create a cosy and relaxed atmosphere. That’s all we do.”
Parlour Music and High Tech
Of course, Angela Inselkammer is grossly understating the case at hand. In order to pre-sort the many tasks that come her way every day as boss of the hotel, restaurant and the “Bräustüberl” – complete with beer garden – and as the president of the Bavarian Hotel and Restaurant Association, she wanders through the forest every morning with Hanni, her clever canine. “My husband Franz and I are passionately committed to our homeland, everything else flows from that,” this is how Angela Inselkammer describes the force that drives her.
By “everything else” she means, among other things: a state-of-the-art brewery that buys all its ingredients in Bavaria and applies its process water to the fields via a sprinkler system, the renovation of the manor house according to strict ecological specifications and buying regionally whenever possible.
Culture is also a big part of this. The Inselkammers are keen to promote a village life that has remained very much alive, and which pleases guests and locals alike. People like to dance and celebrate under Europe’s highest maypole, for example, at the Bräu-Kirta lasting four days. A folk music evening in the festival hall, “Alle Neune” in the historic skittles alley or a course on collecting herbs are what tourism experts call “resonance tourism”; for guests, these are simply unforgettable holidays.
So, a Bavaria you know from a picture book, then? Franz Inselkammer has set up a farm museum in the Sixthof, a 300-year-old estate. Anyone here – or in the antique grain box – celebrating the “Troadkasten” may feel like in a farmer’s family: the food is placed in large bowls and “Reindln” in the middle of the table. The “Festsaal” (festive hall) is a more refined venue, while the “Schalander” in the brewery or the “Sixthof Stadl” with its exposed beams offer a cool ambience for company parties as well.
The rooms in the inn are designed under the motto “Visiting friends in the countryside”. Peasant paintings on the bedheads, plenty of turned wood and canopies suggest that they are probably quite stylish. In the manor house, you get to live more like a landgrave. Historic tiled stoves, an open fireplace, wooden floors, oil paintings and fine upholstered chairs are part of the furnishings in some suites and rooms.
The 14 luxurious rooms are named after the family’s ancestors. Ursula, for example, born in 1821, stood by her husband as a restaurateur and farmer’s wife. I wonder if she actually lived in the premium room with the historic tiled stove in the manor house?
A Question of Behaviour
“We don’t know that exactly, of course,” says Angela Inselkammer, “We have simply designed the rooms with lots of attention to detail. By taking so much care, our guests feel that they are truly welcome, as well as, of course, through our interaction with each other. Many of our employees spend their entire working lives in one of our businesses.”
Angela, too, has never regretted her decision for Franz and his Inselkammer empire. Her interest in the major questions of behavioural research (“Why do we sometimes behave so strangely? Is that innate or can it be changed?”) has not been extinguished.
She sums up thirty years of experience in dealing with family, staff and guests on her website with a quote from Oscar Wilde: “After a good meal, you’re ready to forgive anyone, even your own relatives.” So let’s go to Aying, eat well and sleep divinely. Even if there is nothing to forgive right now.
At a glance
- 48 rooms, 14 of which in the manor house
- Festival hall, Salettl, Troadkasen, Sixthof Stadl and an historic skittle alley for celebrations
- Two restaurants, house beers
- Brewery tours at the Ayinger private brewery
- Free parking