Discover Pfefferlechner: Tapping into South Tyrol’s Tavern Culture


Kate + Vin

Pfefferlechner in Lana, South Tyrol, Italy
farm to table icon

Pfefferlechner Tavern & Brewery is far more than a charming place to eat and drink — it is a culturally engaging experience you will cherish. Find out why an evening here should be on your South Tyrol trip itinerary.

When it comes to a night out, nothing is more quintessentially South Tyrolean than an evening of revelry paired with hearty fare and delicious drink at a rustic tavern. Such fire-lit merriment has tamed appetites and kindled bellows of good cheer over the Alps for centuries.

Fortunately, as we discovered, you do not have to be a local to partake in these festive affairs. Establishments like the Pfefferlechner Tavern & Brewery (Pfefferlechner Buschenschank & Hausbrauerei) in the mountainside town of Lana light the torch of South Tyrol’s tavern culture for all.

Ready to raise a pint to tradition? Let’s dive in.

Rustic & Refreshing

Pfefferlechner in Lana

Paying a visit to Pfefferlechner isn’t just about savoring a culinary adventure, it’s a ticket on a time machine transporting you back to a simpler era when only lanterns lit the evenings and conversations lived among the clang of cowbells, not the notification pings of cell phones. Amid the age-scorned stone walls of a farm dating to 1279, the tavern and brewery embrace you with a rustic setting that is an irresistible escape from the digital jungle we call modern life.

How rustic, might you ask? Picture your surprise when, in one of the tavern’s intimate Stuben, your dinner date might be a playful pony or a cheeky goat. Separated by a mere window from their stable, they cast intrigued glances at your appetizer, or perhaps, is it your frothy beer that’s caught their eye?

And when your serendipitous meal is over, don’t rush off just yet. The beauty of Pfefferlechner lies as much in its echoes of the past as it does in its celebration of the present. Stroll through the age-old farmstead, its gnarled walls a canvas of stories painted by centuries.

Or better yet, grab another pint of their robust home brew, raise a toast to your newfound friends in the stable, and savor the strange but delightful blend of the old and new, the familiar and the unexpected, the rustic and the refreshing. It’s all part of the Pfefferlechner experience.

A man roasting chestnuts at Pfefferlechner Tavern in Lana

If the prospect of dining under the watchful eyes of barnyard spectators has you questioning the boundaries of farm-to-table dining, fear not. Pfefferlechner offers plenty of other nature-inspired dining nooks. Be it a secluded courtyard ensnared by a wild canopy of vines, or a spirited beer garden, bordered by towering lime trees, every perch at the Buschenschank offers you a comfy seat surrounded by Mother Nature’s handiwork.

But what truly sets Pfefferlechner apart is its knack for blending comfort with intimacy. It’s the kind of place that makes you feel at home from your very first pint. Its captivating rooms and patios don’t just invite you in, they lure you into a state of laid-back serenity that deepens with every sip and bite.

The Laimer family of Pfefferlechner
A family affair the Laimers’ have operated Pfefferlechner for more than 40 years.

All of this magic, this mastery over mood and atmosphere, is the brainchild of the Laimer family. Their palpable passion for giving guests more than just a meal, for creating a heartwarming culinary narrative, has etched Pfefferlechner firmly into the gastronomic map of South Tyrol.

In fact, Pfefferlechner was recently awarded the 2020 Travelers’ Choice Award from TripAdvisor. This coveted award spotlights the very best destinations based on user reviews and ratings.

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Replenishing the Soul

Pfefferlechner bier
A seasonal favorite of Pfefferlechner is its chestnut beer.

Walking into Pfefferlechner you could easily assume the old-world farmhouse ambiance is what makes the tavern bustle. But that would only be because you have not let your lips savor a freshly poured beer yet.

The craft beer of Pfefferlechner is the gold of the Alps. This becomes apparent before you even belly up to the bar. Brew kettles clad in copper cast gilded hues over the brewery — leaving no doubt that what you’re about to taste is treasured.

Pfefferlechner's brewmaster, Francesco Giacomelli
Pfefferlechner’s brewmaster, Francesco Giacomelli, shares the behind-the-scenes magic of conjuring delicious beer in South Tyrol.

Beyond offering generous pours, Pfefferlechner is also generous in sharing its brewing passion with guests. On-staff brew maestros like Francesco Giacomelli walk through how they transform locally-grown barley, malt, yeast and pure mountain-born water into aromatic ales that delight on their own or with a meal.

After voyaging through the evolution of Pfefferlechner’s prize-winning beer, the real fun begins with a grand tasting. The sampling spans a variety of light to dark Pfeffer beers including the brewery’s thirst-quenching pilsner, bright pale ale and its ambered chestnut beer — a smoky smooth seasonal brew that you will come to crave every autumn.

In addition, you can also taste the first non-alcoholic beer brewed in South Tyrol. Branded “FRE [E] DL“, this flavorful IPA-like gem is available in mountain huts making it a smart go-to when taking a break from the kind of hiking, biking or skiing requiring ever-steady legs.

A Delightful Dive into Hearty Fare

No surprise, the same delicious magic Pfefferlechner conjures in the glass is also spun on the plate. The kitchen of Pfefferlechner dishes up robust South Tyrolean flavors using only regional products and fresh garden-gathered herbs.

On Pfefferlechner’s menu, you’ll find a bevy of traditional dishes embodying the best of the land. We recommend beginning your night with an appetizer called The Brettlemarende. This South Tyrolean favorite consists of speck and Kaminwurz sausage served with Alpine cheeses, radish and potatoes.

For your main course, we doubt you could go wrong with any item on the menu. We have loved every meal here. Our last dinner at Pfefferlechner was an autumn feast. We relished rich pumpkin soup, chestnut risotto (a must-try) and a hearty grilled meat platter.

The tavern’s most popular dishes include its knödel, pork knuckle and spare ribs, which is the personal favorite of Francesco, the master brewer. You can also find gluten-free and vegetarian options if desired.

If you have trouble pinpointing what to order, the friendly staff is always willing to help. They also can suggest great beer pairings with your meal.

Pfefferlechner Schnapps
Sip like a South Tyrolean. Every dinner should conclude with a snort of schnapps.

After such a sumptuous dinner, skipping dessert seems far more sinful than partaking in its sweet goodness. Pfefferlechner offers all the region’s classics from buchteln, strauben, apple strudel and more.

The tavern also tenders a novel take on tiramisu. Called “Birramisù”, Pfefferlechner imparts a smooth malty twist to a traditional Italian after-dinner treat.

Regardless of whether you order dessert, you should not depart your dinner table until you have sipped Pfefferlechner’s homemade schnapps. This digestif staple of South Tyrolean tavern culture is the only fitting way to end your night.

When to Visit Pfefferlechner Tavern & Brewery

The most important thing to note about visiting Pfefferlechner is that the establishment is not open year-round. The tavern and brewery close for most of the winter.

However, if adventuring in South Tyrol from April through mid-December you are in luck. Plan your visit after 4 p.m. on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday or from 12:00 p.m. on Sundays.

We recommend making reservations especially if you have a larger group. But if you do have to wait for seating, consider taking a stroll through Pfefferlechner’s adorable on-site petting zoo. Any little ones with you will undoubtedly fall in love with a fluffy rabbit or two.

Vin enjoying a Pfeffer Hell in the Pfefferlechner Biergarten.
Prost! Vin enjoying a Pfeffer Hell in the Pfefferlechner Biergarten.

If you are in South Tyrol during its famous 5th season — the heart of autumn — you can enjoy Pfefferlechner’s rustic take on Törggelen. Beginning in early October, seasonal dishes and specialties such as roasted chestnuts are made available. This is also the time you will find the tasty chestnut beer on tap.

Live music is also a frequent occurrence at Pfefferlechner in its beer garden and cellar. To discover when live music is scheduled, we suggest visiting Pfefferlechner’s Facebook page.

How to Reach Pfefferlechner

Pfefferlechner is located in the heart of Lana, which is a gorgeous town located about 10 minutes south of Merano and 20 minutes north of Bolzano.

We would like to give a big thank you to the Laimer family, Francesco Giacomelli and the rest of the tavern team for sharing the magic of Pfefferlechner with us!

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