Hallertau – and suddenly I am back

When I was still in Venezuela I made a list of the places I wanted to visit as soon as I got back to Germany. Of course Hallertau and Wolnzach had to be included on my list. Today I’ll tell you about a couple of things I really enjoyed during my last trip and what I am really looking forward to the next time I visit.

Last year I already had the pleasure to go to Hallertau, where I joined one of the most important experts in the field of hops: Dr. Willy Buholzer. I got to see one of the largest hop research centers of the world: the Hop Research Center in Hüll.
Not a lot has changed since my last trip: Again I could already smell the hop as soon as I rolled down the car window – that’s what heaven must smell like. Not forgetting the beautiful Bavarian landscape.

Wolnzach is located in upper Bavaria and belongs to the district of Pfaffenhofen. The German Hop Museum there is worth visiting – I just haven’t had the chance to go there yet but it is definitely on my list. By the way Wolnzach is pretty much the heart of Hallertau. Hallertau belongs to the most important hop areas in Germany and in the world: Approximately 17.800 hectares are dedicated to hop production and Germany exports about 80% of its hop production to 100 different countries around the world.

To give you some background information, here are a few facts about Hallertau and hops: There are three main areas in Germany where hop is cultivated: Tettnang, Elbe-Saale and Hallertau. The hop-growers from these areas are members of the HVG (Hopfenverwertungsgesellschaft). The HVG headquarter is located in Hallertau and ensures the high quality standard and diversity of German hops. The harvest starts at the end of summer because hop needs a lot of sunshine. Hop is a climbing plant that grows upwards in spirals to get closer to the light. It can get up to seven meters high. The more vertical hop can grow, the more flower cones will thrive. And flower cones are definitely something that is needed all over the world: Hop is one of the most important beer ingredients, because it adds aroma to the beer and it has the beneficial side effect of being antibacterial. But not every part of the hop plant is useful for brewing. Only the pistillates are harvested because they contain the resins and the oils that are responsible for the hop’s bitter and aromatic components.


If you are interested in visiting Hallertau, I would recommend to go during harvest season, at the end of August. So that you are able to witness the hops’ impressive height. It is also the best time to attend a tour or to go to the hop museum. And of course you should enjoy a beer in one of the beautiful beer gardens in Hallertau.
In case you are travelling from Munich you can take the train from Munich central station to Rohrbach Ilm (Wolnzach Bahnhof). Or if you are visiting by car you have to take the freeway A96 and then the A99 in the direction of Nuremberg/ Stuttgart.

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