Franconia Beer Message Board

Kitzmann, Erlangen closes
Posted by barry on 2018-10-08 04:58:06
In the past, I wrote extensively on the communal brewhouse tradition, particularly in the Oberpfalz and, particularly in Windischeschenbach ('Eschawo') and Neuhaus, where I have spent many months over the last 10 years. I have got to know all the Zoigl brewers and spent many, many hours in the brew houses. I'm also the author of the authorised English-language introduction to Zoigl on the 'Echter Zoigl' website (  I stopped writing so much about Zoigl because, as some people pointed out, this is a site about Frankische beer! Introduction over!

There are several aspects of Herr (?) Berger's summary that I can comment on: firstly, the question of geography. You don't don't need high mountains to provide the kind of storage that the long lagering of slow fermenting beer requires.  There are no high mountains around any of the five Zoigl towns in the Oberpfalz (maybe the Steinwald?) and, in fact, in the past, the people of Eschawo and Neuhaus actually dug cellers to store the beer in - I know, I've been in them. There are lakes and ponds all over Germany and the use of ice from such sources is not unique to Bavaria or even Germany - it even happened in Britain!  As I understand it, summer brewing was not practiced because of the problem of cooling the wort in hot periods using only a the Kühlschiff and had little or nothing to do with fire hazards. 

I don't think that it is true that the communal brew houses were set up just 'so that the townspeople would have beer to drink', it was much more to do with control and taxation. For example, Eschawo, with a population of less than one thousand in the 15th century, had three brewhouses becauses the town was ruled by three different authorities, each one taxing and controlling production in their 'own' brew house. Incidentally, 'Zoiglbraurecht' (the laws controlling brewing Zoigl beer) were established well before the Reinheitsgebot, which, AFAIK, had no influence in the Zoigl towns.

The reason for the decline in communal brewing was really due to changes in the social structure of the Zoigl towns.  In previous times, the house brewers essentially brewed for themselves and only invited the neighbours in towards the end of the life of a batch of Zoigl, in order that it should not be wasted. AFAIK, most or all of the current Zoiglstube in Eschawo and Neuhaus, are relatively modern inventions, possibly with the exception of Zum Roud'n which was a farm and, historically, brewed beer for their workers.  As industry developed in the small towns and villages and people became factory workers and not self-employed craftsmen, so they had little time for house brewing. I think that the commercial breweries, which had developed through the improvement in brewing techniques in the 19th century, gradually took the place of the communal brewers.

As regards the contention that 'the slow demise of comunal brewing is the cause of commercial breweries closing in Bavaria', I can see no justification for this claim.  On the contrary, it might be argued that the rise of commercial breweries was due to the decline in communal brewing.  I feel that the demise of the commercial village brewery is due to other social and economic developments - too much to discuss in this contribution!
                                   Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by M. Berger on  2018-10-08 08:46:53
                                     Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by barry on  2018-10-08 09:38:11
                                       Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by Jason  on  2018-10-08 10:33:57
                                         Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by M. Berger on  2018-10-08 11:09:58
                                         Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by TomM on  2018-10-08 15:23:24
                                           Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by Jason on  2018-10-08 22:33:28
                                             Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by Jürgen Wening on  2018-10-09 00:30:59
                                               Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by barry on  2018-10-09 00:46:26
                                                 Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by Jürgen Wening on  2018-10-09 00:54:29
                                               Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by M. Berger on  2018-10-09 01:34:35
                                                 Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by Jürgen Wening on  2018-10-09 02:23:49
                                                   Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by M. Berger on  2018-10-09 02:53:22
                                                     Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by Jürgen Wening on  2018-10-09 03:11:24
                                                       Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by M. Berger on  2018-10-09 03:43:21
                                                         Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by Jürgen Wening on  2018-10-09 04:53:54
                                                           Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by M. Berger on  2018-10-09 05:29:14
                                                             Beer at Reindl by Mark Andersen on  2018-10-09 06:04:15
                                                             Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by Jürgen Wening on  2018-10-09 07:21:39
                                                               Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by M. Berger on  2018-10-09 08:27:20
                                                               Beer at Reindl by barry on  2018-10-09 09:24:39
                                                                 Beer at Reindl by Mark Andersen on  2018-10-09 12:18:31
                                                                   Beer at Reindl by Barry on  2018-10-10 01:14:01
                                                                     Beer at Reindl by Mark Andersen on  2018-10-10 03:33:16
                                                                       Beer at Reindl by barry on  2018-10-10 04:42:12
                                                               Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by M. Berger on  2018-10-11 00:45:53
                                                                 Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by Jürgen Wening on  2018-10-11 01:06:25
                                                                   Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by Mark Andersen on  2018-10-11 04:37:12
                                                                     Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by M. Berger on  2018-10-11 06:01:59
                                                                   Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by M. Berger on  2018-10-11 06:04:08
                                                                     Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by Jürgen Wening on  2018-10-11 06:28:45
                                                                       Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by M. Berger on  2018-10-11 07:17:08
                                                                       Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by Mark Andersen on  2018-10-11 08:13:00
                                                                         Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by barry on  2018-10-11 09:44:36
                                                                           Spielbach by Mark Andersen on  2018-10-11 11:29:22
                                                                         Beer at Reindl by AndyH on  2018-12-05 03:50:00
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