Bavarian schnapps distilleries
Johann Guggenbichler distillery - Delicious elixirs from fruits and berries
Surrounded by orchards of fruit trees in the picturesque foothills of the Chiemgau and the Bavarian Alps (southern Germany) is Johann Guggenbichler distillery. Even as a small boy he was keen to spend as much time with his father as he could to learn all about the science of distilling. Just as Obelix is purported to have fallen into a vat of magic potion as a lad so Johann is rumoured by his friends to have fallen into a barrel of schnapps. Since 1829 the Guggenbichler distiller has been producing sumptuous schnapps in a time-consuming and labour intensive process that is all done by hand. To produce their high quality schnapps the Guggenbichler’s hand pick only the ripest and the best fruit. In addition to the usual Williams pear and apple schnapps they also produce alcoholic specialities made of rowan berries, quinces and sloes. Anyone wanting to have a look behind the scenes can, on request, enjoy a guided tour of the distillery and learn all about the history and the process of making schnapps from the picking of the fruit right through to the final bottling in Bavaria.
(www.edelbrandmanufaktur.com - only in Germany)
Adelsberger distillery - Manual labour bears fruit
When the apple and cherry blossom transforms Adelsberg in Bavaria into a sea of pink and white the small Adelsberg distillery draws visitors from far and wide. Idyllically set on a sunny slope of the Upper Bavarian foothills and Bavarian Alps in Altötting some 200 fruit trees that include some apple and cherry trees that are over 200 years old provide the fruit with which the Wanninger family have been producing their delicious schnapps since the beginning of the ‘80s. Each autumn as the extensive orchards become full of the aroma of ripening fruit the team carefully picks every piece of fruit by hand. "We dispense as far as we possibly can with mechanical and chemical aids“, explains the head of the family Paul Wanninger. Manual labour bears fruit; in 2001 the Adelsberg distillery’s "Alten Apfelbrand" (apple schnapps) that is matured for five years in oak barrels was awarded a bronze medal at the Destillata fair in Vienna. (www.brennerei-adelsberg.de - only in German)
Regensburg’s Karmelitengeist (type of spirits distilled from herbs)
And if you’ve had one too many of all the great Bavarian food specialities, you can always have a drop of Regensburg’s Karmelitengeist, a type of spirits distilled from herbs that has been made here for centuries according to a secret recipe by the Carmelite friars. It is not only excellent for settling the stomach but can also be applied externally, offering relief from all sorts of aches and pains. You can buy it in the Tourist Information Centre in Regensburg on Rathausplatz.