Hopfenland Hallertau

First-hand experience of hops

Elisabeth Stiglmaier from the Hallertau

First-hand experience of hops

Elisabeth Stiglmaier from the Hallertau

Floral and grassy: An aromatic, invigorating smell hangs over the entire Jungbauernhof farm in the East Bavarian town of Attenhofen. “Take a deep breath”, says beer sommelier Elisabeth Stiglmaier to her guests, and they drink in the unique aroma of the hops.

Elisabeth Stiglmaier is one of 16 hop ambassadors in the Hallertau – the largest contiguous hop growing area in the world. With exciting journeys back in time, authentic stories, many tips and a love for the green gold, she imparts her knowledge of the hop plant and the special cultural landscape of the Hallertau to her guests.

However, her role involves more than just boosting the image of the region: It is Elisabeth Stiglmaier’s passion for hop varieties, aromas and tastes that her visitors find so fascinating. The 53-year-old encourages them to become immersed in the world of hops. Naturally, this also includes a spot of beer tasting: From the traditional barley juice with its grassy hop aroma through to the modern, fresh and fruity craft beers. For Stiglmaier, it is all about trying, enjoying and understanding the different varieties. At the same time, her friendly approach ensures that her guests immediately feel at home in the Hallertau.

Cultural landscape of the Hallertau

It’s very easy to feel at home in the Hallertau, the particularly beautiful, centuries-old cultural landscape in the heart of Bavaria. For more than 1,000 years the “most Bavarian” of all plants, the hop, has been cultivated here. Planted in the fertile loess soil of the tertiary hill country, the hops can reach up to seven metres high - across an area measuring 17,000 hectares.

Growing hops is a long-standing tradition here. Interesting museums and destinations such as the Deutsche Hopfenmuseum (German Hop Museum) in Wolnzach, Scheyern Abbey and the Kuchlbauer Tower in Abensberg bear witness to that fact.

The old traditions live on

When the tractors are in action on every farm for the hop harvest in summer and autumn, and almost the whole region is busy bringing in the green gold, visitors can get really involved in the whole experience. All across the Hallertau there is an aromatic smell of hops. The smaller communities still carry on their old customs in the form of hop festivals. Residents and guests come together to celebrate a successful harvest – and naturally they crown the Hallertau Beer Queen.

Elisabeth Stiglmaier takes advantage of this time to stage a special event. For this she slips into the role of a traditional farmer’s wife: Dressed in a historical costume, she transports visitors back into the past. In the olden days, all helpers were treated to a special meal following the strenuous hop harvest – the Hop Supper. Today Stiglmaier invites her guests to tuck into hearty noodle soup, roast pork with dumplings, potato and hop-pickers salad - and naturally a glass of beer.

In this way she is able to convey to her guests exactly what it is that makes the Hallertau so special: The culture that has grown up over the centuries, the authentic community spirit and the original naturalness of this fascinating hop growing district.

Hopfenbotschafterin und Bier Sommelière Elisabeth Stiglmaier
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address: Pfarrer Schmid Straße 5, 84091 Attenhofen
Tel: +49 (0)8751 9176
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email: elisabeth.stiglmaier@gmail.com
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web: //www.hopfenfuehrung.de