Nectar from the Franken forest fairies appears to have magical properties. Ladies’ Beer – Holladiewaldfee – disappears from shelves overnight


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Regular readers of my Alpine News articles will appreciate the importance of the beer culture in the mountainous Southern region of Germany. The official birth date of the introduction of Bavaria’s Beer Purity Law in Ingolstadt on 23rd April 1516 is almost considered by some to be worthy of becoming a national holiday (for more on the history of this law please see the article here).

I am always keen to publicise the enthusiastic efforts of our German friends in promoting sexual equality into their society. This can come in many forms like requiring a minimum quota for ladies in parliament or on the boards of public companies. There are also occasionally some subtle counter initiatives like the men only parking in the Black Forest town of Triberg (see my ground breaking article by using the link here) or the banning of ladies from using the water slides in the thermal baths in Erding (more detail in the article here).

I found it particularly refreshing, therefore, to read an article in the German Alpine Press at the weekend about the development in the Franken region of Bavaria of a ‘Frauenbier’ or a ‘beer for the ladies’. More than two-thirds of Bavarian breweries are situated in Franken, but beer drinking has traditionally been considered a male preserve. With the development of the first ladies beer, the strong beer: ‘Hollandiewaldfee’ (Hallandie Forest Fairy) this is likely to change. In fact this exciting new product has found so many fans that it has all but disappeared from the shelves (or have the local chaps discovered a tasteful option in last-minute Christmas Pressies for their gals?).

The ladies’ beer has been developed by four brewing ladies from the region. Their intent was not simply to create a light beer which could be marketed in pretty pink bottles – the Bavarian ladies are certainly worth more than that. They have produced a strong beer which requires a month for the fruity aromatic hops to fully brew. It is then transferred into corked 0.33 litre bottles and drank, as recommended by the brewing ladies, in either Sekt (german champagne) or normal wine glasses. This more refined way of consumption reflects one of the most common gripes of german ladies when drinking beer – they do not particularly like holding onto the rather large, clumpy steins favoured by their male brethren.

The new Halandie Forest Fairy beer has proved so popular that the stocks at the three breweries promoting it (Memmelsdorf, Hof and Trebgast) have almost run dry. It looks as if the four lady brewers are going to have to gather around their caldron once more to produce some additional supplies of the magical feminine nectar.

If you are interested in reading other interesting articles from the Alpine press please take a look at the selection by using the link here.

Chris Duggleby

The original german text version of the article from which much of this information has been translated can be found in the Sueddeutsche Zeitung by using the link here.

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