For five generations, the “Fuchsbräu” has been family-owned and has transformed into a stylish four-star boutique hotel for business and leisure travellers. Its location – in the idyllic Altmühl Valley at the geographical centre of Bavaria – is not only a real winner with regular guests
SPONSORED STORY The beer garden under a gnarled oak tree is the centrepiece of the “Fuchsbräu” in the historic centre of Beilngries. Here you can sit together, enjoy a “Schäufele” – a traditional pork dish – or homemade vegetarian roasts and, as a hotel guest, enjoy breakfast outside when the weather is nice. Cyclists travelling through the Altmühltal also like to stop here. Chances are good that they will meet like-minded people: Host Denise Amrhein and her husband Christian are enthusiastic triathletes.
The Altmühl Valley at Your Doorstep
The slender red fox seen on the hotel logo also adorns many a jersey of the participants in the Bühler-Beilngries Triathlon in August – it’s the “Fuchsbräu” that sponsors the event. But you don’t have to be quite so sporty to have a good time in this little town that boasts just 10,000 inhabitants.
“The Altmühltal is known for its leisurely cycling tours,” says Denise Amrhein, “and many people now also ride e-bikes.” In summer, there are canoe tours on the gently flowing river Altmühl, and all year round you can marvel at real dinosaur skeletons in the Altmühltal Dinosaur Museum.
Denise Amrhein also recommends a short hike to the Benedictine Abbey of Plankstetten: “The monastery’s farm shop is quite delightful, you can buy everything there in the best organic quality".
In her own kitchen, the “Fuchsbräu” culinary talent also attaches great importance to regional, ecologically compatible products, from fish from the nearby trout farm in Biberbach to Juradistl beef from the neighbouring Upper Palatinate.
Denise Amrhein is particularly proud of being awarded the “Genussführer” seal by the Slow Food organisation, which tests restaurants with a focus on regionality, sustainability and genuine hospitality.
In the kitchen the chef attaches great importance to regional
First Beer, then Beds
Even in the days of her grandmother, Theresia Fuchs, the “Fuchsbräu” was really a brewery, until her father switched completely from beer to beds in 1973. “At first, we had guest rooms,” she recalls with a laugh, “that’s really what it was called back then. Including a toilet on the same floor !” In the eighties and nineties, however, the hotel was greatly expanded, modernised and geared to the flourishing seminar business.
But today’s passionate host Denise Amrhein was initially drawn to Munich: “At 19, I had a strong urge to go to the big city, I studied business administration, completed a doctorate and worked as a management consultant.” She was constantly on the road. But when her father wanted to settle the issue of succession at the age of 60 and the first child was on the way, she returned to Beilngries with her husband.
No Two Rooms Alike
“That was in 2002 and her father said quite clearly: I don’t want to be shuffling around the business in felt slippers one day’.” The Amrhein family got on board. And expanded. In 2011, it was able to acquire the neighbouring, listed Kaiserbeck property from the 16th century and extensively renovate it. In addition to several rooms and suites, it houses three elegant banqueting rooms and the chilled-out Kaiserbeck Bar.
Meanwhile, the “Fuchsbräu” consists of six buildings, most of them almost imperceptibly connected by a central staircase in the former inner courtyard. A detached building functions as a seminar house with conference rooms. In the hotel wing, on the other hand, you almost have the feeling of being in a private home.
No two rooms are alike, although almost all have beautiful wooden floors and are decorated with elements made of felt and paintings by local artists. A brightly coloured piece of furniture, such as a sofa in frog green, always contrasts with the casual modern country house style.
When the Floors Creak
One room, however, is particularly close to the boss’s heart, though it’s not one of the two spacious “Kaiserbeck suites” with their massive, exposed ceiling beams, nor the new rooms with balconies and expansive views, but rather a classic and simply elegant double room:
“When I walk through No. 7 and hear the old wooden floor creak, I feel a strong connection to the house.” No wonder: Denise Amrhein grew up here. No. 7 was the family’s living room, and it was little Denise who would romp across the then already ancient parquet floor.
Since then, a lot has happened in this warmly run boutique hotel, where most of the staff have been there for more than ten years, and some for around 30. The dedicated chef Sylvester Meyer, who is forever tracking down regional producers in the area, also met his wife Cathleen while working here. The “Fuchsbräu” simply makes people connect ...