It is raining cats and dogs when we arrive in Alpirsbach. Actually just the right weather for a guided tour of the Alpirsbach brewery. But of course it’s not just us who have come up with this idea and so more and more people gather under their umbrellas at the meeting point.
You can get tickets at the brewery shop on the grounds of the brewery. We have free admission with our Black Forest Plus Card. With the entrance ticket we get 3 more vouchers. 1 voucher is for a beer mug, which you get after the tour in the brew shop. The other two vouchers are exchanged for beer at the beer tasting at the end of the tour.
Fortunately, two gentlemen appear who divide the large group and start the tour of the brewery world at different points.
Tour of the Alpirsbacher Brewery World
Crowded tightly together, we stand dry under in a small area that tells something about the history of the brewery.
Johann Gottfried Glauner founded the company in 1877.
He bought an existing but disused brewery and reactivated the old monastery brewery. He hoped to do good business with the brewery due to the railway line being built on site and the increasing number of spa guests.
Glauner sent his son to the already well-known Weihenstephan brewery as an apprentice. He returned to Alpirsbach as a master brewer and began brewing beer.
To this day, the brewery is a family business that employs about 85 people. They brew about 200,000 hectolitres of beer in Alpirsbach every year.
In addition to the brief history of the company, we also learn about some other special features of the brewery.
For example, there is a 900-metre-long beer pipeline between the spatially separated areas of the brewhouse with the fermentation and storage cellar and the bottling plant. This was created when the capacities in the original buildings were no longer sufficient and a modern bottling plant was needed.
We hear the story of the beer coachman Emil.
In the courtyard of the monastery complex hangs an old sign saying “Emil Stop!”. When beer was still delivered by horse-drawn carriage, it was not easy for the coachman. There was beer to drink at every stop so that one could get through the working day “fortified”. Of course Emil drank his beer and the more stops he made, the more “fortification” he got. The sign in the courtyard is there to help the fortified beer driver. He was supposed to bring his cart to a halt here. If he did not succeed, his working day was over.
Yes, and we learn that today it is still customary in the Alpirsbacher brewery to pay the employees in kind in addition to their salary. Each employee receives 10 crates per month from the production, from beer to non-alcoholic beverages, they can put together their crates as they wish. Now if that’s not an incentive!
Beer production in Alpiersbach
Our group then went on to the brewery museum.
Here, the brewing process is explained. Old machines and brightly polished brewing kettles are shown. They talk about the ingredients of the beer according to the German Purity Law, about hops and malt, the course of beer production.
For us, this is no longer a big issue. We have seen quite a few breweries in the meantime and the basic principle of brewing beer has not changed.
Nevertheless, I am always thrilled by the machines and boilers. Here, I was thrilled by the old bottling. What an effort it was to fill each bottle individually. And here, too, I learned something.
How many prongs does a crown cork have?
There used to be 24 prongs. But with the change in the size of the opening of the bottle neck (DIN standard adapted and standardised), the number was reduced. In addition, the odd number of prongs has made it easier to close the cap. With an even number of prongs, two prongs are always opposite each other. It can jam more quickly and the crown cork does not close one hundred percent.
The best for the end!
What is an essential part of a brewery tour – the beer tasting!
The groups meet again and line up at the bar. Here, the beer is tapped for all it’s worth, because everyone has two vouchers that they absolutely want to drink.
If you want, you can get soft drinks, water or non-alcoholic beer.
The first thing we decided on was a fresh Zwickel from Alpiersbach. As we all know, a Zwickel tastes particularly good when it’s fresh from the barrel. And it was good! The beer shines golden in the glass. It is cloudy and has a lot of carbonic acid. I find it tastes quite light and mild, I find it little bitter and just love it!
Since we still haven’t found a non-alcoholic yeast beer that we really like and we were also there by car, our second choice was the multiple award-winning Weizen Hefe Hell non-alcoholic. But here, too, we don’t quite warm to the taste – such a “real” wheat beer simply tastes better.
Of course, we also pick up the beer mugs. I flirt with a few other beer items, as I usually do in beer shops, but common sense wins out and I don’t buy any books, T-shirts or cosmetic products. But later, at dinner, I treat myself to an Alpiersbacher Pils and enjoy the cool beer trickling down my throat.
daily 12 and 14.30 h
Attention: limited number of participants! Groups must register.
(guided tour of the brewery museum, 2 glasses of Alpirsbacher Klosterbräu, 1 gift): €8.20