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A glass of fassbrause
Zille's Fassbrause

Fassbrause [ˈfasˌbʁaʊzə] (About this soundlisten), literally "keg soda", is a non-alcoholic or alcoholic (depending on the brand) German drink made from fruit and spices and malt extract, traditionally stored in a keg. Fassbrause is a speciality of Berlin, where it is sometimes called Sportmolle. (Molle used to be a term for "beer" in the Berlin dialect.)

Fassbrause is about the same color as some beers, and usually tastes like apples. The taste is strongly reminiscent of the Austrian drink Almdudler, except that Fassbrause is less sweet, and not quite as spicy.

A variant of Fassbrause, the so-called Rote Fassbrause ("red keg soda"), which is available in some of the new states, but not in Berlin itself, appeared in the 1950s. This variant was available in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) prior to German Reunification and tastes like raspberries.

Another non-alcoholic variant has been produced in the United States since the 1960s under the name "Apple Beer".


The chemist Ludwig Scholvien invented Fassbrause in 1908 in Berlin for his son, in order to offer a non-alcoholic beer substitute of similar color and taste. Scholvien's original recipe included a natural concentrate of apple and licorice, intended to approximate the beer taste, along with the main ingredients of water and malt.[1] A drink based on Scholvien's recipe, known as Apple Beer, was introduced in the US in the 1960s. Wild GmbH & Co. KG began producing the Fassbrause concentrate in Spandau after acquiring a factory in 1985. It later sold the production to Dr. August Oetker KG. Today the drink is available on tap throughout Berlin as a specialty drink. It is also occasionally served mixed with beer; this mixture is known in Berlin and Brandenburg as Gespritztes.

The brand Rixdorfer, which produces its Fassbrause with water sourced from Bad Liebenwerda, produces a significant amount of the total market share for the drink.[2] It distributes the drink in 0.33-liter bottles for the Berliner Kindl Brauerei. Another popular brand is the Berliner Fassbrause, distributed by Spreequell. Since August 2012 a caffeinated Fassbrause drink has also been distributed under the name Kreuzbär.[3]

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  1. ^ "Sportmolle auf der Überholspur - ZITTY". ZITTY (in German). 2012-05-02. Retrieved 2016-05-12.
  2. ^ "Bad Liebenwerda - Mineralquellen - Das Quellgesunde". www.mineralquellen.de. Archived from the original on 2012-06-10. Retrieved 2016-05-12.
  3. ^ "Fassbrause aus Kreuzberg". Tip Berlin (in German). Retrieved 2016-05-12.