A forest full of beer cellars! The Upper Franconia region is at the top of the world when it comes to brewery density. Around 200 companies have their headquarters here. This corresponds to about one brewery per 5,500 inhabitants. The Upper Franconian town of Forchheim in particular is a magnet for beer fans, especially thanks to its "Kellerwald" forest with no fewer than 23 beer cellars.
Fancy a trip back in time to the Middle Ages and the Baroque era? Forchheim's old town with its cobblestone streets, well-preserved half-timbered houses, the imperial palace and the imposing fortress is an Eldorado for historians. But also for beer fans. Beer brewing has a long tradition here. In 1850, there were 18 breweries and a total of 38 taprooms in the city, with only 3,000 inhabitants at the time. Today, the supply has dwindled to just four family-run breweries. Today's 32,000 inhabitants are proud of their "Kellerwald," the largest beer garden in the world. There, 23 traditional beer cellars - strung together like a string of pearls - await thirsty throats.
Franconians drink their beer from the "Seidla" and not necessarily in the beer garden, but like to drink it in the beer cellar. The stored barley juice is therefore at their feet. The "Kellerwald", which is almost a small sanctuary for the people of Forchheim, is an unparalleled collection of beer cellars. More than 400 years ago, tunnels were cut into the rocks here to store beer and supplies in a cool place. Today, they cool things differently, but people's hearts still warm up as soon as they see the cellar taverns and the idyllic inn gardens. If you want to take a closer look at this culinary gem, you can book a one-and-a-half-hour tour of the beer cellars with a professional guide for 6 euros. Of course, you can also do it on your own, as the Kellerwald is only 1.5 kilometers away from Forchheim's train station. Simply walk north along Hainstrasse and Hans-Sachs-Strasse east of the railroad line and then turn right into Kellerstraße. Or take the 261 bus.
On the cellars, 91301 Forchheim
20 minutes walk from Forchheim train station
If you would like to include Forchheim's city center in your beer exploration journey in addition to the Kellerwald, we recommend the "Walk of Beer". Just like the "Walk of Fame" in Hollywood, you should look down to suddenly see stars. In Hollywood, the stars embedded in the ground stand for film legends; in Forchheim, they stand for breweries. You can find them in front of the breweries Hebendanz, Neder, Eichhorn and Greif and at the foot of the Kellerwald. Each star has a QR code that you can use to call up all kinds of info on the breweries. The recommended starting point is Sattlertorstraße behind the town hall, because this is where the Hebendanz and Neder breweries are located. From the train station, it's best to walk west along Klosterstraße past Paradeplatz, then turn right into Hauptstraße. After the town hall, you will come to Sattlertorstraße on the left. If you're thirsting for even more insider knowledge, you can also be accompanied by a Forchheim beer connoisseur on a professional "Walk of Beer" tour.
Sattlertorstr. 10 + 14, 91301 Forchheim
15 minutes walk from Forchheim train station
During the Advent season, Forchheim shines a bit more than usual. The annual Christmas market (this year from November 25 to December 24) around the Imperial Palace spreads a particularly bright glow. One highlight is the town hall, which has been transformed into a giant Advent calendar with 24 numbered shutters. Every day at 6:30 p.m., a Christmas angel opens the corresponding "calendar door" and also draws the winner of the day in a raffle. Those who go away empty-handed can console themselves with gingerbread, Franconian sausages, mulled wine or - how could it be otherwise in Forchheim - mulled beer. Cheers to the Christ Child! You can get there from the train station by walking west along Klosterstraße until you pass Paradeplatz, then turn right into Hauptstraße and walk to Marktplatz in front of the town hall.
City Hall, Rathausplatz, 91301 Forchheim
10 minutes walk from Forchheim train station