Forchheimer Kellerwald

The largest beer garden in the world

Forchheimer Kellerwald: Franconian cuisine under the trees

The largest beer garden in the world

Forchheimer Kellerwald: Franconian cuisine under the trees

Rustic beer cellars shaded by oak trees – serving chilled beer and hearty snacks: The Forchheimer Kellerwald in the east of the former royal city in Franconia offers a warm culinary welcome to visitors from near and far. With more than 20 small, cosy beer gardens seating around 30,000 people, it is probably the largest beer garden in the world.

Thomas Kestler is one of the landlords at Kellerberg. Under the leafy roof of the deciduous forest, the 39-year-old has always felt as if he inhabits a “dream landscape”. He works in a place where nature, Franconian tradition and gastronomy go hand in hand.

Weiss-Tauben-Bräu

Idyllic and tranquil - the Schlößla Keller

A narrow path snakes through the Forchheimer Kellerwald, leading from one beer cellar to the next. One of these is the Schlößla Keller. Situated on one of the uppermost curves of the path, it is noted for its secluded and idyllic location.

Thomas Kestler has been the landlord there for ten years. His cellar has 34 seating areas, a covered banqueting hall, a playground and its own music podium. When the cellar opens in April, on Fathers’ Day and during the Annafest, live bands create a fantastic atmosphere in the midst of the tranquil woodland scene.

Biergarten

The Annafest - a folk festival with a long tradition

The Forchheimer Kellerwald is not just a place to enjoy a relaxing drink, but a genuine cultural hot spot. A particular highlight is the Annafest at the end of July: For 176 years, the residents of Forchheim have been celebrating the name day of Saint Anna with an eleven-day festival. The endearing folk festival with its own special charm attracts up to 500,000 visitors to the Kellerwald each year. “In addition to the 20 or more cellars, a further 90 entertainers get involved in the Annafest each year. From fairground stalls and carousels to the big wheel, there’s everything here”, says Thomas Kestler.

The Forchheim breweries brew a special festival beer for the occasion. It has a higher alcohol and gravity content than the regular beer,  making the Annafest beer somewhat sweeter: “We say ‘es mauliert’ - meaning it has more taste”, explains Thomas Kestler.

Kellerwald

Then as now: Hearty snacks and quaffable beer

Thomas Kestler is a landlord with a passion. A native of Forchheim, he is an avid proponent not just of the local Franconian dialect, but also of traditional home cooking. The menu of this sociable Franconian includes a whole host of regional delicacies: from Wurstsalat (sausage salad) in a tangy dressing and home-made Obazden (cheese snacks) to Sülze (brawn) with golden-yellow organic potatoes from his own field.

But what would a hearty snack be without the matching beer? At Schlößla Keller the liquid gold comes from one of the four family-run breweries in Forchheim: The Hebendanz Export Light is noted for its dry spiciness. Its hearty, robust flavour has even won it some gold awards.

The tunnels were hewn out of the coarse more than 400 years ago.

As in days gone by, the precious brew is still stored in the cellar vaults that give the Kellerwald its name. The tunnels were hewn out of the coarse, porous Rhät sandstone with pickaxes more than 400 years ago. Back then, the locals used the cellars, which extend more than three kilometres, to store food.

The constant temperature of eight to ten degrees later inspired local master brewers to store their beer in the vaults - and to serve it there too. This was the origin of the special beer serving stations. The rest is history.

Further information about Schlößla Keller: www.schloessla-keller.de

Kellergewölbe
Schlößla Keller
Kellergewölbe

Forchheimer Kellerwald

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address: 91301 Forchheim
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web: //www.forchheim-erleben.de/de/erleben/kellerwald/