Ebern Genussfestival 2024: A Beer Enjoyment Odyssey

The Genussfestival 2024 took place on an unseasonably cold late April Saturday which saw most of the visitors seek refuge in the wisely opened Old Town Hall of lovely medieval marvel Ebern. To those braving the weather, it appeared the annual festival was a wash but a peek inside proved otherwise.

lovely medieval marvel Ebern

This Hassberg county tradition beckons attendees to “enjoy” both beer and food specialties of their region and that everyone did. While culinary options were understandably limited, there were a few perhaps outliers in both a salad and burger truck.  More in the traditional vein was an excellent Bratwurst one also serving up what has become the most quintessential of festival foods, the ubiquitous Steaksemmel. These were provided by a local butcher and even better than is typically top notch. Another staple is an area selling homemade cakes. Of course, we were there for the beer and that was more than equal to the food, especially in variety.

mid-sized regional player Brauerei Raab

There were four commercial breweries represented but of greatly varying size, Brauerei Göller being the largest by far. While I generally love the Zeil am Main stalwart, I didn’t “waste” a beer as I go there fairly often. I also found their inclusion of a Helles baffling at an event showcasing local delicacies, though the inclusion of the only Rauchbier on offer was possibly even more daunting in an area not renowned for it. I also didn’t have either beer from Bayer in Theinheim as I’d just been there and some were murmuring that it wasn’t quite up to par with their tank beer. I went directly to Brauerei Raab, the second largest brewery present. Both their Frangn Seidla and Pils were excellent and though I’ve had many of their beers bottled, this was the first time I’d seen them on tap.

 the surprising Princess of Hassberg beer

Though I had planned on moving onto the commercial but much smaller Brauerei Hartleb as it was uncharacteristically served gravity dispense, the Beer Princess of Hassberg had a special beer brewed for the festival and it seemed to be running out quickly so I got one of those. It was also nice to be able to self-pour and create an Instagram worthy head!

a pair of communal brewery entries

This “homebrew” set me up to move onto the two communal breweries on hand. These small rustic clubs generally only make beer for members and depending on their funding, are often not allowed to sell to the public without a little smoke and mirrors. I’d had a beer at the Dörflis Festival the previous summer but they had a special Märzen for the occasion. One beer seemingly universally slagged was the Hausbier from local Brauhaus Brünn but I had one just the same. It was easily my least favorite but couldn’t see not giving it a go for 3€. Oh, the beers were served in .3L festival glasses which you could keep for your deposit or return. I thought it was a good size to get a true taste of the beer but allow you to drink all eleven available beers.

Kochkäse was a new find & the tight trio

That only left Hartleb, perhaps the most revered brewery present. I’d been particularly looking forward to it from the barrel and though I know well it’s very much a malt forward brew which I’d normally drink first, I’d somehow managed to leave it till last. Perhaps a program of beers with a bitterness rating could be offered to help attendees choose accordingly.  It seemed quite sweet compared to the Raab beers in particular but I settled into it after yet another Princess beer, a more standard Rotbier with a hoppy flair. In the end and after a few, the malty Hartleb beer went down really well. Was it the best beer of the day? Probably. What was the best part of the day? Well, beer-wise the best thing was that five of the eleven beers were served gravity dispense but the very best part was hanging out with friends who love beer and more importantly, love having a good time drinking it.

 a fun day out with friends was what mattered most

Small festivals like this give you an opportunity to enjoy what these types of events were all about before many of them became too big, too crowded and in the end, too costly.  Check out the Köslau Festival coming up May 25th & May 26th.

small beer fest, weisswurstfrühstück, table decoration

2 thoughts on “Ebern Genussfestival 2024: A Beer Enjoyment Odyssey

    1. You’re just missing Köslau unfortunately. Weiher has something on the 14th, think their 150th anniversary. It will likely be fairly busy but I’d still call it a small event overall.

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