The municipality of Hallerndorf is located in Franconian Switzerland. Here you will find the Rittmayer brewery, which is one of the oldest breweries in the district. During a guided tour of the brewery, followed by a tasting, you can learn a lot about the art of brewing and the development of the brewery.
The Rittmayer brewery is one of the oldest breweries in the district of Forchheim. The excellent beer has been brewed since 1422, after the margrave of the time granted the family the right to brew. Today, master brewer Kevin Düsel is responsible for the creation and taste of the beer. During a tour, he showed us the brewery and talked about the art of brewing beer.
Insight into the brewery
Past countless crates of beer, which were unfortunately all empty, we went to the brewery. This location was only built in 2012 right next to the bottling centre on the outskirts of Hallerndorf.
First we went to the brewery’s warehouse. Here are countless sacks of different malts. Depending on the brewing process and the type of beer, the different and of course secret mixtures are put together, which give each beer its unique taste. If you nibble on the grains of the different malts, you can very quickly taste the differences and with some varieties I could even quite clearly predict which beer they probably belong in.
Then we went on to the production rooms. The brewery is very modern and works with the latest technology. The bright stainless steel tanks sparkle here and the wonderful smell of the mash floats in the room. In the two brewhouses with a capacity of 50 hl, 4 brews can be made daily. The Rittmayer brewery brews about 30,000 hl a year. It is exciting to hear how beer is brewed here.
I was particularly impressed by the fact that the brewery adopted environmental thinking and an energy-saving concept at an early stage. The brewery does not use fossil fuels at all and works with wood chips and a heat storage system. In order to be able to work even more self-sufficiently in the future, further energy-saving concepts are being developed, ranging from the brewery’s own sewage treatment plant with biogas production to complete self-generation of electricity, which will be realised step by step.
Then we were drawn to the bottling plant. Here, not only the bottles of the own brewery are filled, but also so-called contract filling from other breweries is carried out. So it was not surprising that bottles from another brewery were being filled.
Eight different types of bottles can be filled in the bottling plant, including swing-top bottles and crown cork bottles.
Rittmayer Brewery – the beers
After the brewery tour, the craving for a beer can only be satisfied with a beer. It’s a good thing there’s the opportunity to try the in-house beer.
The selection is large; in addition to the beers that are permanently in the range, they also brew seasonal beers in Hallerndorf.
Rittmayer – Landbier
This light full-bodied beer has 4.9% alcohol and is produced according to the Bavarian Purity Law of 1516. In the glass, it shimmers light and golden yellow and a fine malty smell rises to the nose. The beer tastes refreshing with a malty fruit note. I like the taste, it is not quite as hop-heavy as a Pilsner.
The Annafestbier is a seasonal offer that is offered at the annual Annafest.
While I’m tasting the very tasty beer, I learn something else about the festival beers in Bavaria.
In the Middle Ages, beer was only brewed from 29.9 (St. Michael) to 23.4 (St. George). It was not allowed in summer because of the increased fire risk. In order to be able to store the beer in summer, it was put on ice in beer cellars underground. The beer brewed in March was drunk at festivals throughout the summer. The so-called Märzenbier was very digestible due to the long storage period and had a higher alcohol content. Many beer festivals still traditionally take place in autumn. This made it possible for the brewers to sell a lot of beer quickly and to empty their storage cellars for the fresh beers.
Annafestbier is produced for a popular folk festival in the Forchheim area. It is a typical festival beer that tastes fresh and drinkable. I found it slightly fruity and quite malty. When drinking it, you hardly notice the alcohol content and are happy to reach for another glass.
We have been looking for a non-alcoholic beer for a long time that doesn’t have the typical “malt beer character” and reminds us of a “normal beer” in terms of taste.
The non-alcoholic Kellerbier from the Rittmayer brewery met our taste from the very first sip.
The beer shows a beautiful amber colour in the glass and it smells slightly lemony and of hops. Taste-wise, it comes very close to a beer and still tastes good after the second glass.
Other beers from the Rittmayer brewery
Of course, it is not possible to taste all the beers offered by a brewery at a beer tasting. Those who would like to discover more types of beer can, for example, choose from the following varieties:
Brewed according to the Bavarian purity law, the dark Kellerbier is very drinkable and is available all year round.
Rittmayer has been brewing the first Hallerndorfer Hefeweizen since 1988. We drank the fruity naturally cloudy beer in a restaurant. It had a pleasantly soft taste and tasted fresh and tangy.
- Hallerndorf Winterweizen
This beer is offered seasonally just before Christmas and is only sold while stocks last. It is specially prepared for the pre-Christmas Winter Wheat Festival at the Rittmayer brewery.
- Alkoholfreies Weizen
Hausbrauerbier is a traditional Franconian country beer that is brewed according to a recipe that has been handed down historically. It is a dark naturally cloudy cellar beer.
Rauchbier is a traditional Upper Franconian smoked beer. The dark beer smells slightly of smoked ham and is offered all year round.
- 1422 – Hell
The Rittmayer brewery brewed its first beer in 1422. The beer that I later drank in a restaurant commemorates this event with its name. The beer is unfiltered and tasted great with a salad.
- Rittmayer Pils
The brewery’s pilsner is a typical pilsner that tastes refreshingly malty and is very hop-heavy.
To ensure that you can also drink all the beers and non-alcoholic drinks from the Rittmayer brewery, there is a drinks market on the premises. Here you can replenish your beer supply during opening hours.
Where else can I drink the beer?
The brewery’s pub is located in the centre of Hallerndorf. In addition, the beer is served in two cellar bars in the village.
If you are travelling in the region, you can stop at the Rittmayer-Keller on the Kreuzberg, which lies between Hallerndorf and Stiebarlimbach. This is located below the Kreuzkirche.
An d. Mark 1,
Opening hours Bottling Centre & Beverage Market Rittmayer:
Monday – Friday 8 – 17 h