In Catholic Bavaria many festivals have their roots in traditional feast days and Annafest is no different. The celebration of St Anne, the mother of the Virgin Mary, means 11 days of beer and celebration, in a forest, on a hill.
Forchheim, Bavaria. Known as the gateway to Franconian Switzerland, this pretty half timbered town lies to the North West of Nuremberg. As with Bergkirchweih, if you’ve ever worked for Siemens, you’ll probably have heard of it.
The beer festival takes place in the Kellerwald (cellar forest). A forest, on a hill, located on the outskirts of the town. The hill has cellars built in which the brewers have used for over 100 years to store their beer in the cool temperatures below ground. The cellars open their doors throughout the summer, but for the 11 days of Annafest you’ll find added attractions, music and food alongside the delicious and local beers.
This year 22nd July-1st August 2016. The feast day of St Anne is 26th July, so Annafest takes place around this date and always includes two weekends.
Daily 11am-11.30pm but some cellars open at 9/10am
Anstisch – The tapping of the first beer barrel and official opening will take place at Schindlers Keller at 5pm 22nd July 2016. A free beer is always a possibility.
Annafest is a family friendly festival and open to all. You will definitely feel a more local authentic vibe and probably won’t hear a lot of English. Check out my insider’s guide for the inside scoop.
11 days of good local beer, food and music. All the usual festival trappings, a ferris wheel, terrifying and not so terrifying rides and entertainment for the kids (and big kids too).
Each keller has it’s own personality. Some are for party animals and some are more sedate (you can actually hear yourself talk), reservations, unless you have a large group, are generally not required.
The kellerwald has 23 kellers serving 11 different local beers. Is that enough choice for you?
The beer served is Festbier which is generally stronger than normal. Perfect for Radler, a mix of beer and lemonade.
My favourites for Festbier are Eichhorn, Greif and Zirndorfer. If you are looking for something a little different try go for the Schwarze Anna from Neder, really tasty.
And there is plenty more to drink than just beer, everyone is welcome at Annafest.
Aside from the traditional, Schäuferla with kraut and dumplings yum! You’ll find some other more untraditional choices available like curry and fancy alcoholic cupcakes.
Of course Germany has a word for it. That wonderful feeling of comfy, cosiness, surrounded my friends, dancing on benches and generally enjoying being alive.
And now I have to get packing because I’ll be there tomorrow and I absolutely cannot wait.