Knowing about the 9 o’clock ZVV passes from our trip to Schaffhausen last week, we bought more passes for train trip in the other direction. The city of Zürich sits at the north end of Lake Zürich (where the lake empties into the Limmat River). The lake runs about 40 km (25 miles) long, and if you can imagine a belt cinching in about ¾ of the way down the lake, the medieval town of Rapperswil sits tucked between the hills and the lake. The medieval Schloss (castle), built in 1220, overlooks the lake, the town, and the bridge across the narrow belt of the lake.
The main attraction on Sunday was the 4th Annual Rapperswil Craft Bier Festival. I follow the blog and Facebook page of NewInZürich which is a great source for happenings in and around this city. Knowing that last year they ran out of some beers, we were advised to come early. It opened at 11, and we rolled in around noon. The line was already a little long, and the clouds looked a little threatening, so we were glad we got there when we did.
For 10 CHF you could get a little plastic mug (think espresso size for beer) and three tokens for three tastings. For 20 CHF you could get the mug as well as 10 tokens. For 2 CHF you could upgrade to a nice tulip glass. 34 CHF later we were reading the descriptions and trying to figure out which ones to sample. The inside of the castle was incredibly crowded, so we’d get a sample and wander outside to have a leisurely sip and watch the lake and people.
We spent some of our tokens on bratwurst and a pretzel to enjoy with the various brews. Our favorite was the coffee-infused beer, although I had a smokey one that was also lovely.
Craft beers are really taking off in the US, but the movement here is only slowly catching on.
The clouds kept rolling in and the wind came up, so we decided to wander the town before the rains came, so after all the tokens were gone, we spent some time looking around. Since it was Sunday, most of the shops were closed.
We were surprised to learn that Rapperswil is part of the canton of St. Gallen. We wouldn’t have thought to check it out except that we saw some police cars with the canton’s named clearly marked.