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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 Thomas Schäuble
Annual production volume 838,000 hectolitres (714,000 US bbl) in 2011
Revenue €89.2 million (2008)[1]
Owner(s) state of Baden-Württemberg
Employees 230
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.


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 "Birgit Kraft," a blonde girl in traditional dress for the region, bearing two glasses of beer. Birgit's name is something of a pun; in the local dialect of Alemannic German, "Bier git Kraft", ("Bier gibt Kraft") means "beer gives strength".[2] The specific variety of fir cones named as Tannenzäpfle grow upwards from the branches instead of hanging from them in spite of their depiction on the bottle; this is commonly explained as a reference to the position of the bottle while it is being consumed.

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 the Abbot of St. Blasien Martin Gerbert as a measure to encourage economic growth in the Black Forest. Through secularization, the cloister eventually changed ownership in 1806 to the Grand Duchy of Baden. 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 2006, the brand "Tannenzäpfle" celebrated its 50th year of existence with a fiftieth 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. The capacity was increased to one million hectoliters of beer. In the business year 2008, the brewery put out 941,000 hectolitres (802,000 US bbl) of beer, grossing roughly €89.2 million.[3] 2011 the output was 838,000 hectolitres (714,000 US bbl).[4]

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.[5]


External links[edit]