Hessen, (Frankfurt to Bad Orb)
With a population of over 6 million inhabitants, Hessen is the fifth largest regional state in Germany, covering an area of 21,000 km2. The state is an important financial center in the country and has one of the strongest economies of any region in Europe.
Hessen has over 400 banks, including the stock exchange and the Bundesbank (Germany's central bank) in Frankfurt. It is also an important industrial and technological base, host to countless international trade fairs and the site of the Rhine-Main airport which with around 60,000 employees, is a prime hub of international air
transport in Europe and the region's largest employer.
The name Hessen first appeared in the 8th century. An epistle from Pope Gregory III to Bonifatius dated the year 738 makes mention of a 'populus Hassiorum' (people of Hesse). The ancestors of modern Hessians are regarded as the Germanic Chatten, a tribe who settled between Fulda and the Lahn valley before the coming of Christianity. Hessens heraldic animal is the lion, its image determined by law: the lion emblem shows a rearing lion with golden claws set within a shield of blue background. Originally, the lion decorated the coat of arms of the Landgraves of Thuringia, who ruled over Hessen as part of their kingdom until 1247.
Tourist information about Hessen in German can be found at:
Other interesting breweries from South Hessen which are not mentioned in detail here, but which may be worth seeking out include:
The Pfungstädter Brauerei in the town of the same name which is situated between Bensheim and Darmstadt. They produce a very good dark full bodied 7% Alc. St Nikolaus Doppelbock. Another possibility is the Schönberger brewery (beers now produced by the Pfungstädter brewery) which was situated to the east of Pfungstadt in Gross Bieberau, Odenwald who make pleasant although relatively light 6% Alc. Ur-Bock. A further fine beer which is worth seeking out is the 7.6% Alc. Doppelbock from the Licher Brewery.
Frankfurt with a population of 651000 is well known by all for its busy international airport, although this lies quite some way outside from the city centre which is more dominated by the major banks and numerous embassies.
The brewing scene for the area is now dominated by the giant Binding brewery but they still produce a very good, dark, satisfying 7.5% Alc. Carolus Doppelbock. The other large regional brewer Henninger have also now fallen under the control of Binding but still occasionally produce an even stronger excellent 8.1% Alc. Doppelbock.
Besides Binding there are at least four brewpubs worth visiting which will be mentioned here.
Frankfurts first Brewpub, the Twelve Apostles can be found in the centre of the city on the Rosenberger Strasse 1, 60313 Frankfurt-Am Main, Tel: 069 288668.
During the day the 12 Apostles is mainly a restaurant with excellent food. You can drink the beer here with a meal, but if you want to sample beer only, then come in the evening when the cellar bar is open.
The quality of the beer is outstanding here, starting with the unfiltered Pils which has a very hoppy aroma and is quite bitter. During winter they also produce a wonderful Christmas Bock which unusually for Germany almost has the character of a spiced Ale and its complexity has a Christmas feeling to it. Different flavours come to the front as the beer warms and it is difficult to pin down a particular taste as dominant. This is definitely the premier place to visit when in Frankfurt. The brewpub has a Website for more information.
Photo of the Twelve Apostles
Closed as of June 2006 this brewery was looking for new premises but now appears to have been renamed Bier-Hannes open Monday to Saturday 12:00 to 24:00.
The 1988 founded Wäldchesbräu Brewpub was a real pig to find, and one needed a good map and some luck to get there. The previous address was Am Ginnheimer Wäldchen 8, 60431 Frankfurt-Am-Main, Tel: 069 412890, Fax: 069 416824.
The original Brewer H. Weinert learned his trade in the teaching brewery of Hammelberg and also organised Saturday Beer Seminars.
The brewery was in the forest area of the Ginnheim district and given the difficulties of getting there, it was always surprising to find the pub so very full with locals. The brewery used to serve some excellent beers such as a 16.3% Stammwurz, 6.8% Alc. Winterbock.
Perhaps unique to Germany the Bock was served in Belgian Trappist type glasses, and was a creamy, smooth dark beer with a slightly bitter aftertaste.
2015 Latest News: Brewhouse has been removed, and the beer is brewed for them by an unnamed Bavarian brewer.
Apparently they now organise occasional beer seminars. No otherinformation available.
The breweries slogan for this bock was:
An unusual 3.9% Alc. bottled sweet aromatic aperitif drink called Mirakulix also used to be available but could only be drunk at the brewery and not taken home.
- Dark as a Winter Night.
- Strong as a Polar Bear.
- Unpredictable as Black Ice.
Brauerei Zur Mainkur
Established in 1989 the 'Brauerei Zur Mainkur' can be found in the district of Frankfurt-Fechenheim on the Hanauer Landstrasse 568 right at the eastern end before Hanau. Tel: 069 412890.
Open in summer every day from 16:00 to 24:00 but closed from September to April on Sundays.
This small but friendly pub is also very popular and is well worth a visit for the varied range of quality beers on tap such as Zwickel Pils, Zwickel Export, Märzen, Festbier, Maibock, Ericator and Krolle Doppelbock. The Christmas Bock is a good example of the style and is dark and malty. When crowded, it is possible to stand at the bar and enjoy a beer whilst waiting for a table to become free.
Located in the town hall cellar right in the centre of Hessens capitol city Wiesbaden , the Wiesbadener Rathsbräu is an nice pub full of interesting Brewerania. Owned by the daughter of Otto Binding the old brewery unfortunately no longer produces beer and is interesting only as a museum piece. The Helles and Dunkles beers served are actually made in Eltville (See Below) and it is recommended to try them there as in the Wiesbaden pub all the beers had a musty uninspiring flavour. Hopefully this was the exception rather than the rule.
Latest News 2015: Does not appear to exist anymore.
Photo of the Rathsbräu.
Kleines Eltviller Brauhaus
Eltville is a small town to the west of Wiesbaden situated on the northern banks of the Rhine.
Also owned by Otto Bindings daughter this is the preferred place to come to try the beers which are also served in Wiesbaden. The pub appears to be an old private house from the outside and in fact the pub is located in the cellar. A comfortable atmosphere reigns here and the Helles and Dunkles beers apparently both fermented and lagered in Oak are both of a high standard with a particularly pleasant malty flavour associated with the Dunkel.
The Eltviller Brauhaus now has its own Website for further informatiom.
Latest News 2015: Closed and Brauhaus does not exist anymore.
Photo of Brewery
Photo of the entrance
For the seasoned beer explorer, an exciting adventure can be had yet again in trying to find the 'Kleines Rüsselsheimer Brauhaus' in the Alt Haßloch area, address is An der Wied 1, 65428 Rüsselsheim, Tel: 06142 562430, Fax: 06142 57485. It is possible to drive around for an hour within 200 meters of the brewery and not find the tiny road, An der Wied 1 where the barn like brewery awaits and which is open from 16:45 Monday to Saturday or from 11:00 on Sundays. The effort is however worthwhile once one gets to taste the Märzen style coppery coloured Helles which is a good Munich style drinking beer. In winter they also serve a Bock which is more of a Maibock style than a Christmas Bock and is basically a stronger version of the Helles with a slightly tangy metallic flavour. Simple basic but good quality food is also available and the service is quick and friendly. The only criticism (besides the difficulty of finding the place) would be that the beers are served again far too cold and need to be allowed to warm up before the character can be appreciated.
The Brewery also has its own rather limited WebSite for up to date information.
News 2019: Does not appear to brew beer anymore. A great loss.
Location Map for Rüsselsheimer Brauhaus --You will need it !!--
The place to visit in Seligenstadt is called Klein e s Brauhaus which can be found in the Bahnhofstraße 55, 63500 Seligenstadt, Tel: 06182 829 729.
Now re-opened, owner and brewer Peter Klein supplies 3 beer types: Helles with 11.5%
Stammwurz, Dunkles with 11,8 % Stammwurz, and Weizen with 12,5% Stammwurz. Other Seasonal beers may also be available at other times.
Open Monday to Saturday 17:00-24:00 and Sunday 11:00 - 23:00, the brewery also has its own beergarden which can accommodate up to 700 people.
Some further information and a location map can be found on their own Website.
The other brewery in Seligenstadt is a large concern called Glaabsbräu in the Frankfurter Strasse 9, 63500 Seligenstadt, Tel: 06182 9260, Fax: 06182 926200.
Established in 1744 the Glaabsbräu beers can be found in many pubs in the surrounding area. The brewery itself has a pub and beergarden where the beers can be tasted although the beergarden is rather noisy during the day with all the delivery trucks coming in and out.
Beers tried were 1744 Kellertrübes which was pleasant, rather dry but alltogether rather bland with no real character. A Dunkles beer also available was more malty but rather metallic and uninspiring. Other beers available which were not tried are Pilsener, Export, Hefeweizen hell/dunkel, Kristall-Weizen, Doppel-Bock (Seasonal), and Alcohol free beer.
Gasthausbrauerei Kärrners, Kurparkstrasse/Jahnstrasse 8, 63619 Bad Orb, Tel: 06052 2515.
Website: Gasthausbrauerei Kärrners.
Review Coming Soon
Photo of the Brewpub