Roßfeld is a small village nestled in the rural outskirts of Coburg county in Upper Franconia. Only 20 km from Coburg, a twenty-minute scenic car trip would bring you to the sleepy hamlet. If using public transportation, it is a more complicated affair involving a RUF Bus from Bad Rodach. The logistics of how to get there are just your first obstacle. How to get into the communal brewery is the harder part.
96476 Roßfeld (Bad Rodach)
Coburg 20 km/Bad Rodach 2.5 km/RUF (call) Bus from Rodach
Not open to the general public without prior arrangement
Output: 500 HL
Founded in 1784, Roßfelder Brauhaus is one of the least accessible and more private communal breweries in Upper Franconia. Publicly funded, they are not allowed to sell their beer to the public. It’s housed in a charming and lovingly restored half-timbered building which garnered the project a Black Rose designation, bestowed on such projects where an important building is brought back to life in detailed fashion. This was completed in 2019 at an estimated cost of €200,000. Interestingly, one wall of the structure was done in slate, a common material in the mid-1800s, particularly in Thuringia. It was popular due to its durability, water resistance and insulating character. Unsurprisingly, this wall faces west.
the black rose designation & refurbished museum piece brew house
Since these publicly funded communal brew houses cannot legally sell beer, they are not generally open to the public. This particular one is quite exclusive due to its small production and their not kegging their beer. They solely bottle and sell them only to members. As chance would have it, a friend who is a member of a communal brewery in Lower Franconia was befriended by a member of the Roßfelder Brauhaus at a beer festival in Bad Staffelstein and personally invited to their very first festival. I was lucky enough to be in town that day and jumped at the chance to go with him.
1st ever Roßfelder Brauhaus Fest
It was about as local an affair as you could imagine and we were likely the only ones from outside the village to attend. We were nonetheless warmly welcomed and shown around the antique brewery of which they are rightfully proud of.
a rustic brew from the tank & the old brewing vessel
It was easy to see where all the money went in restoring the brewery and along with what had become typical brewing suspects like a wood-fired oven and cooling ship, you could see where members would enjoy their beer on the premises.
man cave artifacts
more images of the restored antique brew house
With the informative tour behind us, we settled into the festivities. We picked up a couple of bottles of their Kellebier at donation prices and headed out to sit with the locals on long wooden benches under a canopy. The smell of charcoal-grilled Bratwurst filled the air.
the best Bratwurst ever at Roßfelder Brauhaus Fest
While I really enjoyed the rustic Kellerbier and it’s fine mix of malt and hop conjuring the fields around us, the Bratwurst more than lived up to its enticing aroma. It was a gorgeously simple sausage housed in what appeared the obligatory super small roll, just big enough to allow you to hold it. Once I got to the bread portion, it seemed oddly familiar in a good way and soon realized it was just like the Semmeln I first had at my Saxon mother-in-law’s. They looked the same too and I guess being so close to Thuringia, Saxony’s former east Germany neighbor, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise. When our host sat with us to talk a bit more about the beer, I asked him if it were a echte Coburger. He said no, it was an echte Roßfelder, made by the butcher just up the street. It doesn’t get any more local than that, nor more explanatory of the regional nature of this part of the world, where a even a sausage gets the name of its village when a more famous one is only 20 minutes away.
tone last Kellerbier as the band sets up
If a bus had been on our horizon, we’d have likely settled in for a long session but since José had to drive back, I had one more. As we left, I noted the band setting up and I’m sure there was nowhere better to be in Roßfeld than right where we’d been sitting; with a Roßfelder in hand and a club member only Kellerbier to wash it down.
Bock in winter
Maibock in spring
This was one of my top beer experiences of 2023. I’d like to thank Roßfelder Brauhaus for their hospitality and José for not only driving me there but for also for opening the previously closed door to the communal brewing world of Franconia.
These places are generally closed to the public so the best way to visit them is to find out when they have an event. The next one on the calendar is the Köslauer Rennweg Brauer Oktoberfest on September 30th & October 1st 2023.