Greetings Beer & Travel Lovers!
Last month we introduced that nectar of the winter beer gods - Starkbier. This month, we offer a peak into Day 3 of our Munich & Bamberg Tour when we tour one brewery, ferry the Danube, and drop into another brewery for a relaxing afternoon.
Kelheim, Germany is a small town of 16,000 people that’s located about 70 miles north of Munich. Although small, it definitely packs a punch when it comes to brewing as it’s home to “Bavaria’s Oldest Wheat Beer Brewery” and to the “Oldest Monastery Brewery in the World”!
Located at the confluence of the Danube and Main Rivers, Kelheim was first settled by the Celts around 500 BC and the town’s name translates to “Big Celt Ship”. Fast-forward to the 11th century AD when the town passed into the hands of the Wittelsbach dynasty, the ruling family of Bavaria.
Strategically located, Kelheim was attractive to the Wittelsbachs for three reasons:
[Image of Downtown Kelheim Temporarily Removed]
Schneider Weisse – Bavaria’s Oldest Wheat Beer Brewery
Our first stop in Kelheim is at the Schneider Weisse brewery. Also mentioned in our January Blog Post, Schneider Weisse was founded in 1872 by Georg Schneider I after he became the first non-royal to obtain wheat beer brewing privileges from King Ludwig II of Bavaria.
Georg I began brewing in Munich at the old Weisses Bräuhaus location and continued there until 1928 when the need to expand saw him purchase the current brewery in Kelheim. The Kelheim brewery was originally built by Duke Maximilian I when he opened his first wheat beer brewery outside of Munich in 1607, and wheat beer has been brewed here continuously since then.
The Schneider Weisse tour is my favorite as it combines the ability to view the brewing process, along with informative displays and very accommodating tour guides who walk you thru the brewing steps and are happy to take the time to answer all questions.
Of course, no tour would be complete without tasting some of what you’ve just watched being produced. So we conclude our time at Schneider Weisse with a hearty and relaxing lunch in the Bräustüberl restaurant or beer garden with a beer sommelier who will “taste” us through their beer line-up including popular favorites, Mein Original (Tap 7) and Mein Aventinus (Tap 6).
On The Danube
After Schneider Weisse, we board a ferry for a relaxing and scenic 40-minute ride up the Danube River to our next brewery.
Along the way we’ll have a commanding view of the "Befreiungshalle" (Liberation Hall), which is a Kelheim landmark located atop Michelsberg Hill. King Ludwig I erected this monument in the mid-1800s to commemorate the German states victories against Napoleon during the War of Liberation in 1813.
We then pass thru the Danube Gorge, which is formed by cliffs that rise as high as 400 feet above the river, and come to our next stop – Weltenburger Kloster.
Weltenburger Kloster – The Oldest Monastery Brewery in the World
Weltenburger Kloster is located on the banks of the Danube and is thought to be the oldest monastery in Germany. Celtic monks who came to spread Christianity throughout the area founded the monastery in 617 AD. The brewery was then opened in 1050 which allows Weltenburger to also claim to be the oldest monastery brewery in the world!
Our time at Weltenburger is fairly unstructured as the abbey is a great place for relaxing regardless of what you choose to do. We’ll grab a table in the beer garden but tour members are free to explore as they wish. Things to do include:
We think you’ll agree that Kelheim does indeed “punch above its weight” when it comes to beer and we hope you’ll consider joining one of our Munich & Bamberg Tours this summer. If that’s not possible, please consider sharing this newsletter with your beer-lover friends and following us on Facebook.
Greetings! I'm a passionate beer and international travel lover. Other than craft beer, I mostly go for German & Belgian beers and if you share the same interests, you may enjoy my blog. Prost!