The so-called “Kellerbier” (lit. cellar beer) has a full-bodied and spicy aroma and tastes as if just poured from the tap. It’s a very Franconian beer specialty, of which there are more different kinds in Franconia than one can sample in a lifetime. Kellerbier is a bottom-fermented “Vollbier”, which is often brewed using regional whole ingredients and is of organic quality. However, only a few such beers put this information explicitly on the label. After all, the “Reinheitsgebot” (purity law) is the holy grail in Franconia, which ensures the highest quality. “Kellerbier” usually has an alcohol content of around 4.6 to 5.5 percent and the original wort is between 11.6 and 13.0 percent. The colour varies from Kellerbier to Kellerbier and can range from a light reddish colour to a reddish brown or even a dark amber. There are also different nuances when it comes to taste: sometimes the aroma is more hoppy, other times it’s rather malty. Yet, all Franconian Kellerbiere have a subtle bitter note in common - and its natural cloudiness as the beer is not filtered before bottling. The turbidity, which builds up during mashing and fermentation, is kept. Not only does this makes the Kellerbier wonderfully palatable but also retains many important nutrients.
Zwickel and Zoigl
In some Franconian areas, the Kellerbier is sometimes referred to as “Zwickel”, “Zwickl” or “Zoigl”. The Kellerbier owes these synonyms to the so-called “Zwickelhahn”, which is a special siphon that the brewmasters used to take samples from the barrel before filtration to check the quality. And because the Kellerbier tastes as if just poured from the tap Franconians like to endearingly call it “Zwickl”. By the way, the “Zwickelhahn” is still used today in many microbreweries - according to the old brewing tradition.
“Kellerbier” goes particularly well with these dishes
Kellerbier goes best with a hearty roast & dark sauce, with poultry dishes, with cheese that have a sharp/strong flavour, like “Bergkäse” (lit. mountain cheese) or Munster cheese, with sweet treats like nut and almond desserts, and most certainly like every Franconian beer – on its own, without anything.