Roughly 35 kilometers from my home town of Regensburg, there is a rather unique brewery. There are dozens of breweries within a short distance of here- this is Bavaria, after all, and Bavarian beer is legendary. What makes the Weltenburg Abbey so unique is that it’s noted as the world’s oldest cloister brewery, beginning operation in the year 1050.
Weltenburg Abbey is located along the Danube Gorge. Although you can reach it via land, the preferred (and far more scenic) way to get there is by a short boat ride, from nearby Kelheim.
The boat does touristy things on the route there, including explaining the history of this very narrow section of the Danube. For example, it points out the crocodile in the rock face below. Full disclosure- I couldn’t see it until someone else pointed it out.
Once you arrive, you can see markings on the corner of the Abbey’s front wall- these represent the height of the Danube during different floods over the years. You can’t really tell scale in the picture, but almost all of these were over my head. I’ve seen this type of marking all over Regensburg as well. This is a strong argument for not living on the first floor when you live this close to the river!
Inside the Abbey there is a a very ornate cathedral you can visit, expansive grounds you can explore, and a lovely beer garden where you can have lunch and some tasty beer. Weltenburger Kloster Barock Dunkel (Baroque Dark) was given the World Beer Cup award in 2004 as the best Dunkel beer in the world. I’ve had it on several occasions, and I can confirm that it is indeed a delicious dark beer.
Here are some pictures of the Abbey, the grounds, some actual real life monks, and the aforementioned tasty, tasty dark beer.