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Badische Staatsbrauerei Rothaus AG
Logo Rothaus.svg
Type State-owned corporation
Location Grafenhausen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Coordinates 47°47′47″N 8°14′44″E / 47.79639°N 8.24556°E / 47.79639; 8.24556Coordinates: 47°47′47″N 8°14′44″E / 47.79639°N 8.24556°E / 47.79639; 8.24556
Opened 1791 (1791)
Key people Christian Rasch, Thomas Schäuble
Annual production volume 790,000 hectolitres (670,000 US bbl) in 2012[1]
Revenue €89.2 million (2008)[2]
Operating income €16.4 million (2014)[1]
Owned by state of Baden-Württemberg
Employees 236 in 2014[1]
Active beers
Name Type
Tannenzäpfle German-style Pilsner
Alkoholfrei Tannenzäpfle Non-alcoholic Pilsner
Rothaus Pils German-style Pilsner
Märzen Export Märzen
Radler Radler
Hefeweizen Wheat beer
Alkoholfrei Hefeweizen Non-alcoholic wheat beer

The Badische Staatsbrauerei Rothaus (Rothaus, State Brewery of Baden) is a brewery located 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) above sea level in Rothaus, located at the north edge of the village of Grafenhausen in the southern Black Forest. It is one of Germany's most successful and profitable regional breweries, and in the past decade has become well known outside Baden as well. The brewery remains 100% owned by the state of Baden-Württemberg.[3]


Bottle Tannenzäpfle
Rothaus Hefeweizen Zäpfle

The most successful product, a Pilsner-style beer, "Rothaus Tannenzäpfle" or simply "Zäpfle", comes filled in 33 cl (12 imp fl oz; 11 US fl oz) bottles and is available in stores in Baden-Württemberg, well known as a "cult beer" throughout Germany in supermarkets and kiosks, as well as in various nightlife establishments. Tannenzäpfle literally means "little fir cone" and is a reference to the shape of the bottle. Despite Rothaus refraining from any intensive advertising campaigns, the demand for the once-local beer is spreading further throughout Germany.

The labels of the bottles are printed with a likeness of "Biergit Kraft," a blonde girl in traditional dress for the region, bearing two glasses of beer. Biergit's name is something of a pun; in the local dialect of Alemannic German, "Bier git Kraft", ("Bier gibt Kraft") means "beer gives strength".[4][5] The specific variety of fir cones referred to as "Tannenzäpfle" grow upwards from the branches and do not hang down as depicted. This is commonly explained as a reference to the position of the bottle while it is being consumed. However, the seed cones depicted on the label are actually that of Picea abies, the Norway spruce, which grows in the Black Forest.

The Hefeweizen version of this beer is available on draught in All Bar One bars in the UK.


Text on the administrative building

The brewery was founded in 1791 by Martin Gerbert, the Prince-abbot of St. Blasien, as a measure to encourage economic growth in the Southern Black Forest and provide the residents with beer as a "healthy" alternative to home-made schnapps.[6][3] Through secularization, the cloister eventually changed ownership in 1806 to the Grand Duchy of Baden.[7] The name "Rothaus, State Brewery of Baden" has been in use since the abolition of the monarchy in 1918, and its name still remains to this day although the brewery is now in the full ownership of the Bundesland Baden-Württemberg.

In 2016, the brand "Tannenzäpfle" celebrated its 60th year of existence with a sixtieth anniversary edition of the original 1956 label design.

Economic significance[edit]

Administrative building of the Rothaus brewery

The brewery experienced a doubling of its output in the 1990s under the direction of the new chairman of the board, Norbert Nothelfer, who had previously been employed in a position comparable to governor of a sub-division of a state. This, while noteworthy in itself, is more remarkable in light of the shrinking beer consumption by Germans.[7] The capacity was increased to one million hectoliters of beer. In the business year 2008, the brewery produced 941,000 hectolitres (802,000 US bbl) of beer, grossing roughly €89.2 million.[2] In 2011, the output was 838,000 hectolitres (714,000 US bbl).[8]

The company is an important employer in the otherwise economically weak area of the south-central Black Forest. In 2008, the brewery employed 230 people and paid €17 million as dividends to its owner, the state of Baden-Württemberg. It also paid €16.7 million in tax.[2] Next to Fürstenberg Brewery, it is one of the two larger breweries in the south-west of Baden-Württemberg.[9]


  1. ^ a b c Siebold, Heinz (2015-05-19). "Brauerei Rothaus steigert Gewinn dank alkoholfreiem Bier". Badische Zeitung (in German). Freiburg im Breisgau. Retrieved 2017-08-20. 
  2. ^ a b c Rütschlin, Klaus (2009-05-13). "Rekordjahr für Rothaus Brauerei". Badische Zeitung. Freiburg im Breisgau. Retrieved 2017-08-20. 
  3. ^ a b Waldermann, Anselm (2007-01-29). "Growing Taste for Black Forest Beer: The Reluctant Cult Brand". Der Spiegel. Retrieved 2017-08-20. 
  4. ^ Strohmaier, Brenda (2004-07-08). "Man trinkt wieder Heimat". Die Zeit. Hamburg. Retrieved 2017-08-13. 
  5. ^ "Miss Biergit". (in German). n.d. Archived from the original on 2007-11-13. Retrieved 2017-08-13. In den 90 er-Jahren bekam das Schwarzwaldmädel auch einen Namen, nämlich „Biergit Kraft“, was im alemannischen so viel heißt wie Bier gibt Kraft. 
  6. ^ Wörner, Achim (2017-08-17). ""Der Biermarkt ist härter umkämpft denn je"". Stuttgarter Nachrichten (in German). Retrieved 2017-08-20. 
  7. ^ a b Kulish, Nicholas (2008-09-17). "Word of Mouth Fills German Brewer’s Steins". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-08-20. 
  8. ^ Deckert, Ralf (2012-05-14). "Badischer Bierabsatz zuletzt jedoch leicht rückläufig". Engelskirchen. Retrieved 2017-08-20. 
  9. ^ Gilg, Michael (2014-08-12). "Wie sich badische Brauereien erfolgreich behaupten". Badische Zeitung. Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany. Retrieved 2017-01-29. 

External links[edit]