If you like beer and are curious to learn more about it, head out to the streets of Rome this weekend. Taste, learn and immerse yourself in the world of German beer.
For one long weekend, the streets of Italy’s capital will recreate a corner of Franconia and its typical atmosphere, thanks to the rare excellent beers from the German region that boasts the highest concentration of microbreweries in the world.
After a three-year stop due to the health emergency, the FrankenBierFest, the event signed by Publigiovane Eventi and Ma Che Siete Venuti a Fà, which celebrates the culture, history, and brewing tradition of Franconia, is back in Rome.
From April 22 to 24, the Limonaia of Villa Torlonia will host a three-day event dedicated to this excellence from the German region, which has the highest concentration of microbreweries in the world per square kilometer.
Franconian Beer Culture
Franconia is a region that has remained unchanged in time, where beer is a centuries-old tradition. The region is at the heart of German craft beer production, and beer is part of the daily life of the villagers, who usually meet in inns (Gaststätte) to drink the local products. Around 300 breweries still survive in Franconia, of which only 200 are concentrated in the Oberfranken or Upper Franconia.
The selection of beers is curated by Manuele Colonna, a leading figure in the world of brewing and a great connoisseur of the Franconian scene in all its facets, both in terms of producers and productions: “I have just returned from Franconia – said Colonna – where I went to select the beers that will be present at the Festival in a few days. We choose the freshest possible crush and plan in detail the shipment of the kegs, close to the event, to ensure that these splendid productions arrive in the best conditions, thanks also to careful transport and careful storage.”
Produced according to original recipes handed down from generation to generation, sometimes still using ancient methods and original equipment from centuries ago, using local raw materials, these beers are usually produced in very limited quantities, for consumption by local people. For all these reasons, the creations that will be presented at FrankenBierFest are rare, unique, and high-quality products, with a rustic taste and a strong personality.
This territory has always been linked to its original rhythms and local traditions,” says Colonna. Among these, the biggest is the production of craft beer, an activity that is useful for the sustenance of many families, which has always been aimed at local consumers, who would gather in inns to drink the house beers.
There are still some breweries in the region that have not changed since the 19th century, not least because of the equipment and recipes that are still handed down from father to son. In the past, there were many ‘communal breweries’, of which there are only a few examples left today, where families would take it in turns to brew and then serve it to the rest of the village.”
Featured at Frankenbierfest 2022
The aim of FrankenBierFest is to highlight the tradition and culture of beer of undoubted value in this land and to discover the true meaning of this beloved drink, celebrating the unobtainable excellence that will be the protagonists of a three-day ‘journey’ during which those present will have the opportunity to review these creations.
The list of breweries present:
Bayer Bräu Theinheim: Landbier
Becher Bräu: Kräussen Pils
Brandholz Melkendorf: Golden Brown, Underground Pils
Brauerei Först Drugendorf: Alt-Frankisch Lager, Premium Vollbier
Braukommune Kunigundenberg: Zoigl
Eichhorn Dorfleins: Kellerbier, Rauchbier
Elch Bräu: Pils, Dunkel, Nix Amore
Hausbrauerei Reichert Metzgerbräu: Lagerbier
Heckel: Vollbier Hell
Heller-Trum Schlenkerla: Schlenkerla Märzen, Schlenkerla Fastenbier
Hummel: Kellerbier, Räucherla
Kaiser Grasmannsdorf: Pils
Keessmann: Herren Pils
Knoblach: Ungespundet, Räuschla, UrMärzen
Kommunbrauhaus Sesslach: Lagerbier Hell
Malzschmied: Helles, Zwickel
Manns Bräu: Dunkel
Meinel Bräu: Absolvinator Bockbier, Pils
Museumbrauerei Goldkronach: Kellerbier
Nothhaft: Zwickel, Zoigl, Märzen
Reblitz: Landbier, Weizenbock
Reichold: Zwickel, Dunkel
Rittmayer Willersdorf: Hausbräu
Roppelt Stiebarlimbach: Kellerbier
Sauer Rossdorf: Urbräu
Scharpf: Zwickel, Bockbier
Schleicher: Vollbier, Rauchbier, Helles Gluten Free
Schroll Nankendorf: Landbier
Sonnenbräu Mürsbach: Lagerbier, Kellerbier
Spezial: Lager, Ungespundet, Roggen Rauch Seidla (collab. Dada, Nittenau)
Stern Bräu Scheubel: Vollbier, Festbier
Ulrich Martin: Pils, Spezial, Bockbier, Rauchbier, UMTrunk
Wirth Zum Löwenbräu: 1747 Original Helles, 1747 Dunkel, Starker Löwe Bock
Zehendner Monchsambacher: Lager, Export
The Event in Rome
Inside the Limonaia several areas will be set up (by Tecnofrigo Service) in which the beers will be served, some directly from the barrel according to ancient tradition. Participants will be able to choose between the glass (provided by the event’s technical partner Rastal) or the typical ceramic mug, which visitors will be provided with at the entrance, strictly half-liter, in pure Franconian style. To try out several, it will also be possible to request a Schnitt (half) or a tasting.
A not-to-be-missed moment, on Friday 22 April at 5pm, is the opening of the inaugural 50-litre Spezial Ungespundet cask, which will officially mark the start of the Festival.
Internal communication and the tools that will be made available (the YHOP app to monitor the tap list, a paper guide containing a map of the Limonaia with internal routes and descriptions of all the beers and breweries present) will allow visitors to take an ‘informed’ journey through the world of Franconian beer.
A thematic exhibition curated by the publican and photographer Gianni Boscherini will be on display during the event, while the gastronomy will be organized by the Limonaia in collaboration with Pork’n’Roll and will offer a wide range of typical German dishes to accompany the tastings.
Entrance to the event is free and open to all, while access to the indoor area is subject to presentation of the Green Pass Base or certification of having had covid or the vaccines. The organizers reserve the right to restrict admission under certain conditions relating to the number of visitors, crowds, and product availability. The use of masks will be obligatory in the indoor areas and, if less than one meter apart, in the outdoor areas.
The event is organized by Publigiovane Eventi, well-known in the sector for “EurHop! Roma Beer Festival – Il Salone Internazionale della Birra Artigianale”, which since October 2013 has been the most important Italian craft beer event, and for having created “Un Mare di birra – La Prima Crociera della Birra Artigianale”, which took place in 2011, 2012 and 2016.
Publigiovane is also the publisher of “Fermento Birra Magazine”, the most important national bi-monthly magazine in the sector, as well as titles such as “Birra in Franconia. Diario di viaggio alla riscoperta della tradizione brassicola francone” (by Manuele Colonna) and “Fare la Birra in Casa. A complete guide for homebrewers of the third millennium.”