|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (March 2013)|
Zoigl is a variety of beer brewed only in the Oberpfalz in eastern Bavaria in Germany, between Franconia and the Czech Republic. Its name 'Zoigl' is believed to have been derived from a Windischeschenbacher dialect pronunciation of a Bavarian word form of the German word "zeigen" = sign or zeichen = "sign", meaning the ✡ which is NOT the Star of David nor a Jewish symbol, a symbol used to advertise this beer was available at that establishment. Its 2 component triangles represent the joining of 6 ingredients used in making this beer: the 1st triangle = water, fire, air; the 2nd and inverted triangle = malted barley, hops, yeast.
'Zoigl' has been traditionally brewed for centuries in communal breweries in Windischeschenbach and Neuhaus, and since spread outside the area to brewhouses which are owned either by the town or by an association of homebrewers. 'Zoigl' was only found in Windischeschenbach and Neuhaus until about 2000. The name and mark have been pilfered because they were not copyright protected. Hence, the over-advertising of Zoigl beer across Germany. The original comes from Windischeschenbach and Neuhaus, and people have their favorites, because each brewer has his/her own recipes.
First wood is chopped, the fire started to cook the water and barley to temp, it is cooled over copper, then the wort is distributed to the brewers' private cellars, where the fermentation takes place. The method used is bottom fermenting yeast and lagering. About two weeks later the beer is brought to these home pubs where it is tapped directly from the lagering tank. It is then sold in the brewer's house, which effectively becomes a "pub" until hopefully all the beer has been drunk. The pub that has Zoigl from that Friday through Monday then attaches the Zoigl-Star to the corner of his house to show he has beer available. Only about 9 or 10 people have "die Braurecht" in Windischeschenbach at one time.
The first documented example of the word "zeigl" occurs in a 1508 document at Neustadt an der Waldnaab, having derived from the German "Zeichen" meaning sign, or "zeigen" meaning show. It was pronounced "zeigel" in the Oberpfalz region. Today the word "Zoigl" is still in use and has given its name to this style of beer production.