The division of the country into many small states in the past is responsible for making Germany the leading beer nation it is today. Countless toll pikes protected even the smallest brewery. Additionally beer brewing guilds decreed beer restrictions in most towns which meant it was only allowed to drink beer from close by breweries. Unrestricted competition was not possible until after 1800. Awarding brewing and drafting rights was a privilege of territorial lordships during the mid ages. However some towns, monasteries and similar institutions were able to exercise that right. Consistently the first mentioning of Arnstädter beer was found on a provost’s church bill from the virgin benedictine cloister of the ‘Liebfrauenkirche’. The brewing business in Arnstadt has enjoyed a slow but steady rise ever since. In 1456 the profits of the 30 brewed beers in Arnstadt amounted to approximately 1/4 of the towns entire revenue. Despite the proven fact that between 1430 and 1540 most people drank foreign beers, giving Naumburger beer the preference. Proceeds from foreign beers accounted for a considerable part of the towns budget. The beer tax, often called the un-tax, was one of the main levies of that period. Not surprisingly it was constantly fought and bargained over. So called beer wars were part of every day business.

Historical timeline of Arnstädter Beer and today’s Stadtbrauerei


The oldest message was found via the Arnstadt beer a priory -bill from the Young Women’s Benedictine monastery at the Liebfrauenkirche, dated August 14, 1404. Under the name “edition for the cellar” (page 47/48 of the bill), we adept that the provost “has let brewed on Thursday after Laurencii (August 14)” (misit braxare) 32 Metzen malt (1 Metze corresponds to about 7 liters) 20 Metzen hops and he received of which 8 cartloads Convent (Cofent) and 5 cartload Frischbier (1 tun = 12 buckets , 1 bucket = ca.72 liters). Another time there were 10 loads of Cofent and six loads of servants beer.


The oldest bill, kept in the archive of Arnstadt, called notably 11 people, who had brewed beer for which a ” Pan money ” was paid to the city.


The wine- or also beer caller (Bierrufer) scored in the past to the well-known personalities in the city . In a for the urban history significant list on ingested “heretics money” in Arnstadt, for campaigns against the Hussites , a citizen named Tile appear with the label “the beer caller”.


Obviously, chapters of the German beer history must now be written new. The Historical Archives Weißensee the city book of Weißensee / Thuringia was found from the year 1434th. It contains the “Statuta thaberna” the bar order. These are tavern laws and laws about the brewing of beer. In Article 12 a Beer Purity Law (Reinheitsgebot) is prescribed. Following this, the Weißenseer allowed their beer brewing only out of hops, malt and water. This first German “Reinheitsgebot” was also the occasion for the Thuringian-Bavarian beer dispute.


The city acquired a private brewery, which certainly was located on the ground of the “Upper White 8”. So that the brewing industry of Arnstadt granted a slow but stable recovery.


The profit from 30 real brewed beer made from almost a quarter of the total urban income. Detectable they drank in the period 1430-1540 more foreign beers, which they gave the “Naumburger” preference. The revenue from foreign beers made in any event a significant part of the city budget.


It is written by a new brewing house (“in den newen bruwehuse gebruwet”).


Under the designation “Bebuwe im bruwehuß” all expenses were listed that were necessary to get the brewery operational.


And all that time he was referred simply as the “caller”. With the inition of serving beer in series, it was part of his task to rack beer signs (a mounted wood or sheet metal flag on a long pole) at the breweries. Breweries weren’t allowed to sold beer at the same time. On the flag was mapped usually the house sign of brewing concerned court (e.g. to the Great Christoph, to the Easter Lamb, to the unicorn, to the Palm tree etc.).

Before he made ​​known that a new beer was opened, on every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday with a loud call to the public fountains and other popular places in the city , he had the city council hand over a beer barrel for tasting.

His merit was not exactly plentiful. Most he received 6 pence for one called beer, one meal a day plus a pot of fresh beer from the tap, “as long as the beer went on the tap” . Additionally there was a sum of “free money”.

1516, 23rd of April

Duke Wilhelm IV of Bavaria issued the well known Reinheitsgebot, which is today still regognized. Until recently, the deposited document of the Bavarian State Library was considered as the oldest bid. The crux says: “We want also a special union / the on everywhere in our cities / markets and countries / never beer / shall be brewed of more several pieces than / barely, hops and water”.


Master brewer could only be a person who owned a brewery court “with fire and smoke” and one who was able to give at least 6 coins (a coin corresponded temporally different, 2 good dimes) to specify floor (the property tax). In addition to this he had to own estates with at least a value of 20 coins per floor.Only in this way it was possible to grow most of the needed grain for brewing itself. The prescribed extent of lands was controlled very strictly. If even two or three floor coins were missing on the total value of 20, the application for brewing was rejected. In addition, each master brewer had to keep four horses in the stable and a room with 2 good beds to have in order to accommodate also distinguished gentlemen. As a further condition for the brewing was the presence of a spacious cellar at the brewery court, in which a large beer could be stored. Regular checks of the  brewery courts were necessary to proof that all requirements have been duly complied with.


It’s noted in the “Red Book” of the town of Arnstadt that the two mayors, named Erasmus Kilian and Mattes Schuller, had requested to Lord von Schwarzburg Hans Gunther, that “churches to Sanct Jacoff” (Jacobs church at Arnstadt Ried), who have been vacant since the Reformation, can set up as a brewery for common citizenship. The need therefore was very strong because it was the “time of brewing” in Arnstadt.


The Arnstadt mayor and innkeeper of “To the Golden Goose” at Poststraße 168b, later Poststraße 1/3 (corner wood market), called Nicolas Fischer, brewed the first wheat beer. The town clerk Quirinus Hessling praised in the “real miracle drops” in the form of a poem “In Anno Jubilaei 1617”. “This beer is brown in color, pleasant in taste and drunk easily, the way it is very nutritious and especially for all who weary themselves the day by handwork, very invigorating” – so a text in the “Handbook of Inventions” from 1822.

1632, 23.-28. October

The Swedish king Gustav Adolf lingers with 15,000 men in Arnstadt and surrounding towns. 30,000 pounds of bread, 400 buckets of beer and several hundredweight of meat are consumed daily.

1640, 21st of April

For maintenance of three Swedish regiments, lying in Arnstadt, are expended daily: 1000 pounds of bread, 5 cask ales to 4 tons, 72 degree oats, 10 head of cattle and a lot of salt.


There are 126 brewing courts in Arnstadt. The brewing procedure required specific availability of following items: “a harness, crab, spiked helmets …”. The lack of individual armor was covered with punishment.


With the increasing influence of the firearm in armed conflicts, the completeness of all of this armor was no longer in the foreground in the brewing courts. For missing parts, in 1658, sums of money were transferred into “water Arts ” (fountains).


Sometimes compelling reasons for a failure of the brewing approval were available, such as the master brewer Mr. Martin Eckoldt. His basement was to small and its size was only enough for half a beer and moreover a drying kiln and malting floor were missing. If a beer was brewed, the master brewer had to serve it “in the same house and at no other place”. In danger of war or fires, the master brewers had to support, Similarly to the craftsmen in their guilds, with appropriate services.


But also things happened at the breweries that had nothing to do with brewing beer. The “lovely femininity” made ​​sure that such events quickly became known and were the talk of the town. Such a case is mentioned even in the “Red Book” of Arnstadt: “On February the 26th, 1675, Anna Margarethe Hartung has sued the council, that brewer servant, Balzar Schmidten, strucked her very bloodthirsty at the brewery.” The brewing servant was interrogated in court and punished to pain and suffering money (Kreisarchiv Arnstadt, Sign . 03201, subs. 469).


A permanent stage was built on the so-called cloth loft, later the large city hall room of Arnstadt City Hall, which was used by the students of the local lyceum for their theatrical performances. There was the pfirst performance of the legendary “beer opera” of rector Treiber, on Thursday before Pentecost in 1705, performed by them. All in all, two operettas (little opera) came to premiere in Arnstadt. They carried the title: “The Cleverness of Government in ordinance of brewing beer” and “the wisdom of the government in formation of brewing”. The content about the first light opera is hardly anything known. A text copy from the “beer opera”, as it is now called short popularly, is kept in the City Museum Arnstadt. The operas otherwise had listed at this time either religious themes or mythic legends for content. The “beer opera” has an entirely different people associated statement. Problems from everyday life of a city are picked up and placed on the stage, to criticize bad behavior of roommates and to praise the good. The “beer opera” was an outspoken protest against any distortion of the generally popular wheat- and city beer and sang at the same petty-bourgeois virtues.


About his clothes in the 18th / 19th Century consisted of a blue coat and a also with silver braid occupied, three-cornered hat, he complained that the Council: ” But because my formerly obtained by the allerseits high validity Case (read : my very broken coat ) now in quite come decadenca and before the rain I can not protect , but will completely fall into the beggars ‘ guild , I ask humbly , if not , about Dero everyone bishetro felt high affectionirten minds of my services mentioned above notorious Schade , who is also with those delicious plasters not heal even among themselves any small Collectur want to be remedied ” . Was a beer Rufer excreted through death or other cause , so his place was very popular in spite of everything . Mostly, cooper applied for this office.


By 1700, the bridle had spread so much that the princely government ordered a calibration of the Braubottiche. A knocked-in pin now showed how far a large beer had to go according to the Prank’s Control and the number of pails. After a change of the brewing arrangement in 1731 the Gewürzbottich was calibrated to 126 buckets. From this, 90 to 100 buckets of good beer were obtained. Repeatedly, the breweries attempted to circumvent these new provisions, and not infrequently exceeded the number of 126 buckets to 160 buckets. On the average, Arnstadt was brewing 80 to 100 of these large beers, also known as “beer beers”. This translates to the impressive figure of around 900,000 liters of beer per year.


In 1791 a serious consultation took place, with the three brewery synddici and the Braumeister Dreßler, Scheller and Six. It was discussed by them about the re-establishment of the Brauknecht Valentin Mey. The latter had been laid off in 1789, because he had “driven the most disgraceful adultery in the Brauhause” into the six years with the Wiequisilie Boelizer. It was decided to re-establish the Mey under the condition of “leading a better life-change, so that if he were to be repaid the slightest offense,” he should be horrified for his service as Brauknecht. Mey accepted this condition and also promised to improve himself (Kreisarchiv Arnstadt, Sign. 822-27). Whether he has really improved, let us let it be set. In any case, no further complaint about him is to be found.


a new Braumeister was sought, so he had to apply to the Council. In 1805, three persons were concerned about this place. One of them had so far been the brewer’s business on the stately Vorwerk (site Neideck Gymnasium) and the Triglismühle. The new Braumeister had to be confirmed by the Council and the brewery before he could take office.

1811, 26. August

The “Bieroper” deserves special attention in terms of cultural history as well as language. Various arias and recitatives are written in the dialect, as it was then spoken by the people in the region of Central-Auringia. The “Allgemeine Anzeiger der Deutschen” (“General Scoreboard of the Germans”) publishes an article on the “Bieroper” in the category “Famous Things”. As the author (the “Bieroper”), the rector of the city and country school Johann Friedrichsreiber is to be seen.


End of individual house beer breweries.


a new beer caller entered office, he had to pay homage to the “laudable brewer” in a song. The last song of this kind came from the year 1825, encompassed 47 verses and was a praise to the Arnstadt wheat beer. His author, the last Arnstadt cousin, Johann Matthias Köhler, died in 1871.


The beer production is mainly only carried out in the 3 municipal breweries.


“On the 29th of September, at 11 am on the 29th of July, the townships and the brewing implements are to be sold at the signing office under the conditions to be announced in the deadline. Description of the Brauhäuser and utensils 1. “Das s. G. Large Brauhaus at the White, 73 ‘long, 79’ / 2 ‘deep 1 floor high with a wooden chamber 20’h’ long, 29 ‘deep. 2. A 70 bucket holding copper Braupfanne, a setting, a mash, a Würz- and 2 Bierbottiche, 6 channels, a beer pump and a scaffolding for the repair of the Braupfanne. 3. The s. G. Large brewery in the meat lane, 90 ‘long, 52’ deep, 1 floor high, with same utensils as indicated under 2. ”


Dissolution of brewing rights and raffles. Beginning of the age of industrial breweries.


In the second volume, “Heimatkunde für den Einwohner der Fürstenthums Schwarzburg-Sondershausen,” by Apfelstedt, published in 1856, a. To read the following about Arnstadt: “6 beer breweries are still to be mentioned, of which 3 are municipal property and 3 private property.” In 1856 the following Brauhäuser were present: 1. the former monasterybrauhaus at the Liebfrauenkirche 5a, since 1813 urban 2. the large municipal Brauhaus at the upper white 7 3. the municipal Brauhaus in the Fleischgasse 8 4. the Königsche Bierbrauerei, Ried 15 5 The unhindered, later Bahlsen beer brewery at the Holzmarkt 5 and 6th the Umbreitsche Brewery, under the market.


The Brauhaus Fleischgasse No. 8, bought in 1657, served as a Brauhaus until the middle of the 19th century, and was demolished.


The brewery “Felsenkeller” was built. The underground cellars had cost too much, so that the actual brewery, which had been created here, could not be equipped with the latest technical means of the time. The first owners were Kumpenhans and Lungershausen. Until the year 1876, the “Felsenkeller” still often changed its owner, H. Kürsten, Oskar Mämpel, Zangenmeister, Trutschel and the stock brewery Erfurt tried to come “into the business” successively with him, which would probably not quite succeed.

1872, 29. Juni

Foundation of the Thüringer Brauer-Verein in Jena. It has the purpose of promoting malting and brewing in general and with particular consideration.


The brewer Mergell from Westheim bought the “Felsenkeller” from the stock brewery Erfurt. In the same year, Mergell built a new brewhouse and set up a steam plant. In addition, the cellars were completely overhauled and cemented. Heavy competition fights are now relaxing between the local breweries and the Westheim.


The Felsenkeller brewery mainly supplied the Längwitzdörfer, for example Marlishausen, Dornheim, Bösleben, Witzleben, Wüllersleben, Dörnfeld and many others.


There is no urban Brauhaus any more. There were six private breweries, and they endeavored, by the production of a good beer, to supplant the beer, which was still imported in considerable quantities from outside (Heinemann, Dietz, 3. Gräser, 4. Bahlsen, 5. Kürsten, 6. Mergell) ,

The brewery Unbehaun was located at the Holzmarkt 5. A daughter of the Unbehaun married a Bahlsen, and the brewery was moved before the Riedtor 11.

The customer circle of the “Mergell Brewery” had expanded to Ohrdruf, Gräfenhain, Nauendorf, Guntherleben, Georgenthal, Oberhof, Stutzhaus, Steinbach-Hallenberg and Zella-Mehlis.

1884, 01. Januar

Entry into force of the Reichsgesetz, passed on July 20, 1884, on the volume of the vapors. All the vials must then be filled with fill and the description of the contents according to liters.


In the Mergell brewery a new wine cellar facility was installed.


The brewery Heinemann was operated in the “Burgkeller” and produced only wheat beer. It was purchased by the Bahlsen brewery.


The brewery Dietz, which was in the inn “Zum goldenen Schwan”, was bought up by the Bahlsen brewery.


The Mergell brewery was built from the ground up around the old one. The years of the first and second world war, which were so fierce for our nation, as well as the world economic crisis at the end of the 1920s, probably surpassed the brewery and later Mergell of all the Arnstadt breweries.


In the “Wolf Gorge” (Ried 15) was still brewed. Afterwards, the whole brewing process was carried out in the newly built brewery Kürsten, in the Längwitzer Strasse.


Till this date in the “Wacholderbaum” (Längwitzer Straße 13) was malted and beer brewed. The owner was Oskar Gräser from the Mühlhof (Längwitzer Strasse 11). During the first world war he sold the “Wacholderbaum” with his brew contingent and the customers to the brewery Mergell.


The two breweries Bahlsen and Mergell entered an association. Due to disagreements between the brothers Bahlsen and Mergell the brewery Bahlsen broke again from Mergell by exchange of shares in 1923 and went with the Braukontingent and the customers to “Riebeck” Erfurt.

1923, April

As a result of the inflation, the company “Riebeck” Leipzig was admitted as a co-owner to Brauerei Kürsten GmbH. When, after the Second World War, all companies were smashed in the area of the then Soviet occupation zone, the brewery “Riebeck-Kürsten Arnstadt” also passed into the ownership of the property. Until the beginning of the year 1954 it was a centrally directed enterprise and belonged together with the Arnstadt malt factory (Rehstädter Weg) to the “Association of Volkseigener enterprises of the brewing and malt industry”. At the beginning of the year 1954 the enterprise went into the hands of the local organs and received the name “Brauhaus Arnstadt”. The “Brauhaus Arnstadt” was dissolved on the basis of a capacity test in the VEB “Felsenkeller”, formerly Mergell, and both VEB were united under the designation “Brauhaus Felsenkeller Arnstadt” on June 30th, 1955.


The “Mergell Brewery” was transferred to public ownership after court proceedings.


Until the political turnaround, VEB Brauhaus Felsenkeller Arnstadt belonged to VEB Getränkekombinat Erfurt.


In January before the district court Gera, a cassation procedure was carried out to the verdict of 5.4.1954, which decided to annul the sentence and acquittal for the defendants. Thus, the Felsenkeller brewery again became the property of the Mergell family. But it took another year for the necessary steps to return the company. Ms Rohn, b. Mergell and her nephew Matthias Mergell wanted to continue the brewery. Gerhard Schmidt was appointed Managing Director. But these plans soon dropped the two owners. The last brewing was started in April 1992.


With the Felsenkeller brewery, the last Arnstadt terrasse closed its doors. Within two years the abandoned brewery fell into disrepair.


In the spring, Grundbund Immobilien Handels GmbH Berlin bought the factory premises of the former Felsenkeller brewery Arnstadt. It was then a matter of thousands of cubic meters of down-to-earth building material contaminated with ammonia and waste oil residues, thousands of tons of scrap-ripped equipment and machinery, as well as thousands of empty bottles, 2500 cubic meters of broken glass, discarded transformers, Etc. to be disposed of. All supply and disposal lines were completely inadequate and had to be redesigned from the ground up.


A few weeks after the purchase, the entire object – with the appropriate editions – was placed as an industrial ensemble on the national heritage list. Notwithstanding this, the company Grundbund immediately proceeded to open up the site, to tear down dilapidated substance, to dispose of the scrap-ripened technique and to pit the buildings. The costs for this amounted to approx. 2.5 million DM. In the first utilization section, the old brewhouse, the most striking building of the brick block, was rebuilt after a ten-month planning and preparation period as well as an equally long construction phase. A small brewery was installed in the first two floors and in the cellar. This was linked to the almost six hundred-year-old bridal tradition of the Thuringian town. The old cultural house of the brewery, which unfortunately could no longer be saved, was demolished and built in the style of an old country inn with 33 rooms. Between the hotel and the brewhouse a fully glazed winter garden was built.


On the 1st of March the reopening of the almost 600-year beer brewery tradition was celebrated.


On 30.10. the Stadthalle was solemnly handed over to the brewery Arnstadt in the former production halls. The hall is housed in the preserved or reconstructed enclosing walls. Only the foyer was completely rebuilt. In the Stadthalle, there are three conference rooms next to the Festaal with parquet, rank and stage and bar. On the same day, the former campers of the music and dance basements and the former washing and dressing area of the brewers, the shawl, the saunas with swimming pool and the bowling alley opened their doors.

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