Kaltennordheim (Thüringen)

Kaltennordheim lies in the Schmalkalden-Meiningen county of Thüringen, a region that is culturally and historically part of Franconia. The people speak Hennebergisch, a dialect specific to the lower parts of East Franconia. Nestled in the low mountains of the Rhön Biosphere Reserve, it takes the Kalten part of its name from the cool and often foggy climate that comes with being located on the “wrong” side of range; bad weather often settling in the valley.

the small hamlet of Kaltennordheim

First mentioned in 795, it was granted market town status in 1145 and later a politically independent town with a coat of arms in 1562 by Count Wilhelm von Henneberg.  An annual celebration ensued and the Heiratsmarkt has been going ever since. Initially a typical goods market, it morphed into full Fest mode where famers’ sons came in search of a wife and is now the largest of its kind in the Thuringian Rhön.

we caught the tail end of the Heiratsmarkt

With its scenic mountain setting, there are numerous hiking trails in the area. All of this would mean little to the Beerwanderer if there weren’t a brewery in town and Rhönbrauerei Dittmar fills that requirement admirably.  Though it appears to be doing well as a brewery, the restaurants in town featuring its beers seem to be closing down at an alarming rate. Links below will go to not only places I visited but also to some I found or understand to be closed. Still, if traveling to the area to sample the lovely beers, it’s best to have all potential outlets to scope out. They are all within walking distance of each other so it never hurts to have a look. Blog about our excursion: What’s in a name? A lot when it’s Dittmar.

Rhönbrauerei Dittmar
beer crates, beer in logo mug with bottle, beer barrel

Gasthaus zur Einkehr
beer in glass, old german restaurant exterior, meat and dumplings in sauce
Hotel Zum Löwen
hotel exterior, old brewery sign, restaurant exterior

Gasthaus zum Hirsch

36452 Kaltennordheim

This looks like the best place to try the Rhöner Pils on tap. As a bonus, they have the Kloster Kreuzberg Klosterbier Dunkel on tap too. Unfortunately, it was only open in the evening the Tuesday we were in town.  Hours on Google Maps look updated. If not spending the night, try for a weekend visit to ensure their being open during the day.

The Schlosscafé, a restaurant located in the castle, is unfortunately permanently closed but did serve the local beer when open. If visiting the castle, worth checking out to see if things have changed.  If there for the Heiratsmarkt, the beer tents are in the courtyard of the castle.


The annual Heiratsmarkt starts the Friday before Pfingsten (Whit Sunday) and ends on the Tuesday after. This last day is a family day and the beer tents are not open. So, if you are looking to sample the local beer on tap, come on the weekend which includes the holiday Monday.

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