Tettnang, Germany & the Hops Festival

August 5th was Hopfen Wandertag in the village of Tettnang.

Tettnang is located in the Southwest corner of Germany about 10 kilometers North of The Bodensee, or Lake Constance.

This lake borders with three countries…

Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The Tettnang area is known around the world for growing the famous Tettnang hop used in brewing pilsner style beers.

Hopfen Wandertag is a one day festival for wandering the trails of the hop fields, enjoying some music and tasting some beers. It was a 5K walk with four beer, food, and music stations set up along the way. It is held every other year. Nina and I thought this was a great idea and we had to attend. We were lucky to have a sunny day and at 10am the walk began! It was still a few weeks from harvest, but the hops were looking great. We could smell the pungent hops and the grilling sausages, and hear the traditional music playing up ahead…let’s get going…

We couldn’t possibly get lost.  Just follow the path and the other hop lovers, and soon we saw our first grove of hops.  A beautiful sight! The hops look like little pine cones, or artichokes. It is quite a sight to marvel at this vine growing almost thirty feet tall, held up by wooden poles and wires. The Tettnang hop is regarded as aNoble Hop, high in aroma and low in bitterness. These hops are prized thoughout the world.

Soon, at the crest in a hill, our first beer station…a local pils, unfiltered, natural, and cold!

Of course every festival has a Queen.  Here we meet Anna, the reigning Hops Queen of Tettnang.  She was very friendly and knowledgeable about hops…she better be, her father George owns some hops fields and the local Brauereigasthof Schore. Their family hops were used to brew Summer Love by Victory Brewing of PA.

The scenery during the walk just couldn’t be beat. 3 miles of winding trails passing by the hop fields leading to another beer station and meat on the grill.  The people were young, old, single, and with familes. Dancing, eating, drinking, and just having fun.

Here it’s oxen sliced directly from the animal for a delicious filling sandwich. There were many local pilsner and weisse beers along with some international beers from Greece, Japan, Iceland and the USA was represented by Samuel Adams and Budweiser.

Pictured above is Fritz Tauscher,

a seventh generation brewmaster at Tettnanger Brauerei.  He produced a new weizen beer especially for the festival using the Saphir Hop.

This beer was a big seller at the festival and in town.

Also above is Sandra Neher head of tourism in Tettnang.  We met Sandy several years ago at the Munich Oktoberest when she was the Hops Princess.  She produced a great festival. Thanks Sandy!

All good things must come to end.  Sooner for some than others.

The Hopfen Wandertag is held every other year…

so you have plenty of time to plan for 2014!

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