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Badische Staatsbrauerei Rothaus AG
Logo Rothaus.svg
Type State-owned corporation
Location Grafenhausen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Coordinates 47°47′47″N8°14′44″E / 47.79639°N 8.24556°E / 47.79639; 8.24556 Coordinates: 47°47′47″N8°14′44″E / 47.79639°N 8.24556°E / 47.79639; 8.24556
Opened1791 (1791)
Key peopleChristian Rasch, Thomas Schäuble
Annual production volume790,000 hectolitres (670,000 US bbl) in 2012 [1]
Revenue€89.2 million (2008) [2]
Operating income €16.4 million (2014) [1]
Owned bystate of Baden-Württemberg
Employees236 in 2014 [1]
Active beers
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

Badische Staatsbrauerei Rothaus is a brewery owned by the German state of Baden-Württemberg. [3] Rothaus, at the northern edge of the village of Grafenhausen in the southern Black Forest, is one of Germany's most successful and profitable regional breweries.

Brewery business that makes and sells beer

A brewery or brewing company is a business that makes and sells beer. The place at which beer is commercially made is either called a brewery or a beerhouse, where distinct sets of brewing equipment are called plant. The commercial brewing of beer has taken place since at least 2500 BC; in ancient Mesopotamia, brewers derived social sanction and divine protection from the goddess Ninkasi. Brewing was initially a cottage industry, with production taking place at home; by the ninth century monasteries and farms would produce beer on a larger scale, selling the excess; and by the eleventh and twelfth centuries larger, dedicated breweries with eight to ten workers were being built.

States of Germany First-level administrative subdivisions of the Federal Republic of Germany

Germany is a federal republic consisting of sixteen states. Since today's Germany was formed from an earlier collection of several states, it has a federal constitution, and the constituent states retain a measure of sovereignty. With an emphasis on geographical conditions, Berlin and Hamburg are frequently called Stadtstaaten (city-states), as is the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, which in fact includes the cities of Bremen and Bremerhaven. The remaining 13 states are called Flächenländer.

Baden-Württemberg State in Germany

Baden-Württemberg is a state in southwest Germany, east of the Rhine, which forms the border with France. It is Germany’s third-largest state, with an area of 35,751 km2 (13,804 sq mi) and 11 million inhabitants. Baden-Württemberg is a parliamentary republic and partly sovereign, federated state which was formed in 1952 by a merger of the states of Württemberg-Baden, Baden and Württemberg-Hohenzollern. The largest city in Baden-Württemberg is the state capital of Stuttgart, followed by Karlsruhe and Mannheim. Other cities are Freiburg im Breisgau, Heidelberg, Heilbronn, Pforzheim, Reutlingen and Ulm.



Bottle Tannenzapfle Flasche Tannenzapfle, 2010.jpg
Bottle Tannenzäpfle
Rothaus Hefeweizen Zapfle Rothaus Hefeweizen Zapfle.jpg
Rothaus Hefeweizen Zäpfle

The brewery's most successful product, a Pilsner-style beer, "Rothaus Tannenzäpfle" or simply "Zäpfle", is sold in 33 cl (12 imp fl oz; 11 US fl oz) bottles and is available in stores throughout Baden-Württemberg. It is well known as a "cult beer" throughout Germany and is sold in supermarkets, kiosks and various nightlife establishments. Tannenzäpfle literally means "little fir cone" and is a reference to the shape of the bottle. Despite Rothaus refraining from intensive advertising campaigns, the demand for the once-local beer has spread throughout Germany. The Hefeweizen version of this beer is available on draught in All Bar One bars in the United Kingdom.

Conifer cone Reproductive organ on conifers

A cone is an organ on plants in the division Pinophyta (conifers) that contains the reproductive structures. The familiar woody cone is the female cone, which produces seeds. The male cones, which produce pollen, are usually herbaceous and much less conspicuous even at full maturity. The name "cone" derives from the fact that the shape in some species resembles a geometric cone. The individual plates of a cone are known as scales.

Draught beer beer served from a cask or keg

Draught beer, also spelt draft, is beer served from a cask or keg rather than from a bottle or can. Draught beer served from a pressurised keg is also known as keg beer.

All Bar One a pub chain United Kingdom

All Bar One is a pub chain of just under 50 bars in the United Kingdom, owned and operated by Mitchells and Butlers plc which was part of the Six Continents group until 2003.

Label The labels of the bottles are printed with an image of "Biergit Kraft", a blonde girl in traditional regional dress holding two glasses of beer. Biergit's name is a pun; in the local dialect of Alemannic German, "Bier git Kraft", ("Bier gibt Kraft") means "beer gives [you] strength". [4] [5] The label also has a depiction of seven fir cones. The "Tannenzäpfle" is a variety of fir cone that is the source of the beer's name. Instead of hanging downwards as in the image, these cones grow upwards from their branches. The inverted position of the cones is commonly noted to be similar to the position of a 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 and has cones hanging down from its branches.

Alemannic German group of dialects of the Upper German branch of the Germanic language family

Alemannic, or rarely Alemannish (Alemannisch), is a group of dialects of the Upper German branch of the Germanic language family. The name derives from the ancient Germanic alliance of tribes known as the Alemanni.

<i>Picea abies</i> species of plant

Picea abies, the Norway spruce or European spruce, is a species of spruce native to Northern, Central and Eastern Europe. It has branchlets that typically hang downwards, and the largest cones of any spruce, 9–17 cm long. It is very closely related to the Siberian spruce, which replaces it east of the Ural Mountains, and with which it hybridises freely. The Norway spruce is widely planted for its wood, and is the species used as the main Christmas tree in several cities around the world. It was the first gymnosperm to have its genome sequenced, and one clone has been measured as 9,560 years old.

The current label has been in use since 1972. The girl and fir cones were introduced in the first label in 1956 as part of a photorealistic illustration. The original label was used again as a limited edition in 2006 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the brand.

Photorealism art genre and movement

Photorealism is a genre of art that encompasses painting, drawing and other graphic media, in which an artist studies a photograph and then attempts to reproduce the image as realistically as possible in another medium. Although the term can be used broadly to describe artworks in many different media, it is also used to refer specifically to a group of paintings and painters of the American art movement that began in the late 1960s and early 1970s.


Administrative building of the Rothaus brewery Rothaus-Brauerei.jpg
Administrative building of the Rothaus brewery

Rothaus received its name from the patrician family “Roth”, which originated from the region of Klettgau and settled down in Grafenhausen around 1300 AD. In 1340, they began the construction of their homestead there, the “Rothe Haus” (Ger.: “The Red House”). In 1660, the house was sold to a man named Michael Kaiser who would then proceed to turn it into an Inn after obtaining a liquor license from the Benedictine monastery of St. Blasien. The order itself bought the premises 100 years later and reconstructed it.

Klettgau Place in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Klettgau is a municipality in the district of Waldshut in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is the centre of the Klettgau historical region stretching across the Swiss border into the cantons of Aargau, Schaffhausen and Zürich.

Under the leadership of Martin Gerbert, prince-abbot of the abbey, the monks’ council decided in late 1790 to start attempts of brewing in January 1791. Gerbert's intention was to enhance the status of his lordship of Bonndorf over the nearby princedom of Fürstenberg. Fürstenberg had been in possession of a brewing license since the 13th century and would later originate the “Fürstlich Fürstenbergische Brauerei” (Fürstenberg Brewery). Additionally, the brewery was a measure of economic promotion, as it was intended to create employment and to counteract the allegedly overpriced beer from Donaueschingen. However, there were claims that the monks had only wanted to suppress the drinking of liquor by those living in the Black Forest.

Martin Gerbert German scholar

Martin Gerbert, was a German theologian, historian and writer on music, belonged to the noble family of Gerbert von Hornau, and was born at Horb am Neckar, Württemberg, on 12 August 1720.

Prince-abbot cleric who is a Prince of the Church, in the sense of an ex officio temporal lord of a feudal entity (e.g. a State of the Holy Roman Empire)

A Prince-abbot is a title for a cleric who is a Prince of the Church, in the sense of an ex officio temporal lord of a feudal entity, notably a State of the Holy Roman Empire. The secular territory ruled by the head of an abbey is known as Prince-abbacy or Abbey-principality. The holder, however, does not hold the ecclesiastical office of a Bishop.

Bonndorf Place in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Bonndorf is a town in the Waldshut district in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is situated in the southern Black Forest, 14 km southeast of Titisee-Neustadt.

Considering the nearby towns of St. Blasien and Bonndorf, the location of the brewery was very convenient in terms of infrastructure; it was surrounded by large areas covered with woods and an abundance of fresh water. This enabled the starting of an extensive brewery firm. To this day, the brewing water is extracted from seven in-house wells.

Through the process of secularization, the possession of the monastery and its properties was transferred to the Grand Duchy of Baden in 1806. Since then, the brewery has been known as the Großherzoglich Badische Staatsbrauerei Rothaus (Grand ducal state-owned brewery of Baden). The November Revolution of 1918, which led to the abolition of the monarchy in Baden, caused the company to shorten their name to Badische Staatsbrauerei Rothaus (State-owned brewery of Baden), as from then on the brewery was owned by the state of Baden-Württemberg. [6] [3] Since 1922, the company has had the legal form of a stock corporation, the shares of which are currently held entirely by the associated company of the state.

Between 1920 and 1933, Max Jäger, later mayor of the city of Rastatt, was the Rothaus brewery's manager. Under CEO Norbert Nothhelfer, who had previously been a district president of Freiburg, Rothaus doubled its beer sales in a shrinking market in the 1990s. Capacity was increased to one million hectolitres per year. In 1992, Rothaus acquired the Dominican Island of Constance including the island resort on it, which is leased to the Steigenberger Hotel Group. On 1 October 2004, Thomas Schäuble, former Minister of the Interior of Baden-Württemberg, became CEO of the brewery.

In the fiscal year 2006, the brewery achieved a production volume of 937,000 hectoliters and revenue of 88.2 million Euros, making it the second largest brewery in the state after Eichbaum. Approximately 90 percent of the brewery's sales are made in Baden-Württemberg.

Near the end of 2007, Rothaus acquired the hotel next to the brewery area and set up a fan shop there. Within an area of about one hectare a small adventure park containing the Zäpfleweg, which opened in 2008, as well as a playground, were created. In addition, state road 170 was relocated and a roundabout was built in order to make it more attractive as a destination. As of 2011, a total of 232 people are employed in Rothaus and its two sales offices.

After Thomas Schäuble became seriously ill, Gerhard Stratthaus, former Finance Minister of Baden-Württemberg, took over the management of the brewery on 5 September 2012. Since 1 July 2013, the company has been managed by Christian Rasch. [7]

Rasch is the first nonpolitician in decades to be the manager of the State Brewery. It used to be common practice for former state governments to fill state-owned enterprises' leadership positions with former politicians. This practice, however, sparked much public criticism. Hence, agriculture minister Alexander Bonde arranged the first job advertisement for this position. Egon Zehnder's Swiss headhunter company was hired to assist with the job advertisement. Rasch had been sales and marketing manager of the Stuttgarter Hofbräu brewery since 2008, and became the management's spokesperson in 2010. The newspaper "Stuttgarter Zeitung" described Rasch's switch from Stuttgarter Hofbräu to Rothaus as "spectacular" because to the circumstances under which it happened.

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

Economic significance

Text on the administrative building Rothaus Brauerei.jpg
Text on the administrative building

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 recent trend of decreasing 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]

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  1. 1 2 3 Siebold, Heinz (19 May 2015). "Brauerei Rothaus steigert Gewinn dank alkoholfreiem Bier". Badische Zeitung (in German). Freiburg im Breisgau . Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  2. 1 2 3 Rütschlin, Klaus (13 May 2009). "Rekordjahr für Rothaus Brauerei". Badische Zeitung . Freiburg im Breisgau . Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  3. 1 2 Waldermann, Anselm (29 January 2007). "Growing Taste for Black Forest Beer: The Reluctant Cult Brand". Der Spiegel . Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  4. Strohmaier, Brenda (8 July 2004). "Man trinkt wieder Heimat". Die Zeit . Hamburg . Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  5. "Miss Biergit". (in German). n.d. Archived from the original on 13 November 2007. Retrieved 13 August 2017. 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 (17 August 2017). ""Der Biermarkt ist härter umkämpft denn je"". Stuttgarter Nachrichten (in German). Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  7. 1 2 Kulish, Nicholas (17 September 2008). "Word of Mouth Fills German Brewer's Steins". The New York Times . Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  8. Deckert, Ralf (14 May 2012). "Badischer Bierabsatz zuletzt jedoch leicht rückläufig". Engelskirchen. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  9. Gilg, Michael (12 August 2014). "Wie sich badische Brauereien erfolgreich behaupten". Badische Zeitung . Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany. Retrieved 29 January 2017.