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German beer festival at Zeitgeist

What better use of a day’s holiday than to pretend you’re in Germany? And how much easier when someone has gone and laid on a German beer festival for you, complete with many beers dispensed Franconian-style out of little wooden barrels.

This excellent little festival was brought to us by Zeitgeist, a great German pub in Vauxhall, Stonch’s beer blog, and Bier-Mania, who organise beer trips to Belgium, Germany and beyond.

This won’t be a detailed review, as we drank too much to remember many details — as did everyone else, by the sound of it … there are now no more festival beers left.

We remember a large range of beer from the Bolten-Brauerei from outside Duesseldorf, with their Alt being particularly nice. Hofmann Export Dunkel Lagerbier was a great example of the complexity that Franconian Dunkels can deliver. Our stand-out favourite was a Dunkel-Rauch by SternBrau-Scheubel which had a gorgeous Maerzen-like malt flavour and amber colour, with a hefty hoppiness and a subtle but complex smoke taste.

We thought the mix of people and the atmosphere was great – some tickers, some trendies, some locals, but everyone getting into it. It was the kind of place you could bring non-beer geeks to (we did) without worrying about whether they’d have a good time.

Also, the excellent range of Brotzeit really helped line the stomach – Obatzda is an acquired taste, but I love the stuff, and they make it well here.

This was easily one of my favourite festivals of all time. Do it again, chaps!


For another perspective, see Allyson’s write-up on her Impy Malting blog.

Ron Pattinson blogged about Hofmann here.

8 replies on “German beer festival at Zeitgeist”

They had obatzda and I missed it? Darn! I love it, too.

Andy had mentioned that they might run out by today. I’m glad I decided to go straightaway. I only wish I could have stayed longer Thursday! It was a wonderfully varied crowd, as you say.

I was there Saturday, three and a half hours on the bus and no beer. Oh well, maybe next time (obscure German Folk Song/Ritchie Blackmore reference).

Hofmann Export – what a great beer. Go to the brewery. It’s wonderful. The brewer, Frau Hofmann is so enthusiastic.

I wish I could have gone to the festival. Great selection of beer.

Is it doable by public transport? We’re off to Franconia next month but limited to the (admittedly excellent) trains and buses.

Think we might just stick to Forcheim, Buttenheim & Memmelsdorf as they look accessible from Bamberg, but if anyone’s got more tips we’d be delighted to hear them. Pottenstein looks a trek but worth it. Dunno. We’ll probably just end up hungover in our hotel.

Hofmann is in a tiny village. I wouldn’t expect to find much in the wa of public transport.

Pottenstein is beautiful, but I wouldn’t go to a huge effort to get there just for the beer. There are places with better beer in Franconia.

Forchheim is worth a visit. I’m sure some of the Bierkellers in the Kellerberg (where they hold the Annafest) are open all year. All four brewery taps are really close to each other.

I can’t say about Buttenheim. When we were there both brewery taps were closed. The breweries are, quite literally, next door to each other.

Thanks for the kind words!
We will be running (hopefully) around 4 per year.

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