"Seidla" is the Fraconian term for half a liter of beer or the mug which holds said quantity, respectively. The "Fünf Seidla Steig" was created in 2008 as a marketing move for a rather rural region which had not previously had much tourism, as well as creating business for the breweries and associated brewpubs.
You should wear proper shoes and weather-appropriate clothes for the hike. Most beer gardens tolerate you bringing a small snack ("Brotzeit"); however, meal prices are fine, even if you are on a budget. Cash is overwhelmingly the name of the game and for a beer you should calculate 2.50€ to 3€.
See the VGN website for public transportation schedules and route maps.
By far the easiest way to get in is the "Gräfenbergbahn" or "Gräfenberg-Railway", a non-electrified largely single track regional line linking Nuremberg Northeast Station 1 Gräfenberg and 2 Weißenohe. Do take care if there is Schienenersatzverkehr, which happens from time to time (and apparently more often along this line than others) when trains are replaced by buses, which usually have less capacity.with
From Erlangen, bus lines 209 towards Eschenau and from there onwards the Gräfenberg railway is probably an easier way to get in than doubling back via Nuremberg (Northeast Station is directly linked by bus line 30). If you are coming from the north, e.g. Forchheim, you could of course take the S-Bahn to Erlangen or Nuremberg (and then U2 to Nordostbahnhof), but it's likely quicker to take bus 223 from Forchheim to Gräfenberg. There is also bus line 226 and bus line 229 from Gößweinstein. Buses may get crowded on weekends with good weather or during Ascension Day, call ahead if you are a bigger group.
The trail is marked with the "Fünf Seidla Steig" logo and it overlaps with the longer "Frankenweg" so you can often follow that logo just as well. There are also information boards at a few points along the route that explain the brewing process and the history of the five breweries involved. Much of the trail goes through forests or farmland, but there are stretches through villages or that cross roads. Motorists will not always expect hikers, so look before you cross.
Starting South from Weißenohe, the first stop is the 1 Klosterbrauerei Weißenohe, Klosterstraße 20 91367 Weißenohe (Head for the church, the brewery is right next to it.), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 2 Brauerei Friedmann, Am Michelsberg 37, 91322 Gräfenberg, ☏ , email@example.com.
- 3 Lindenbräu Gräfenberg, Am Bach 3, 91322 Gräfenberg, ☏ .
- 4 Brauerei Hofmann Hohenschwärz, Hohenschwärz 16, 91322 Gräfenberg, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 5 Elchbräu Thuisbrunn, Thuisbrunn 11, 91322 Gräfenberg, ☏ , email@example.com. The youngest of the five breweries and one of the primary drivers behind introducing the hiking trail and the endpoint when coming from the South.
The most dangerous part of this trail is probably the potential for conflict with motorized traffic. For your own safety, take public transit or walk, but if you must use your own wheels, the DUI limit for cyclists is 1.6‰, much less strict than the 0.5‰ for motorists.
There are a few rules that go beyond "Be nice to other hikers and everyone around you", but the two least obvious among them are likely "uniformly dressed groups won't be served" and "no outside alcohol". The official website spells it out.
Still thirsty? There are still dozens and dozens of other breweries in Franconia to explore!
Buses 226 and 229 serve the Thuisbrunn Zehntscheune bus stop. With either of those you can get back to Gräfenberg.