Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Underground Beer Caves of Schwandorf

One of the most interesting stops on this trip was to t
he caves under the town of Schwandorf, which date back to around the year 1500.

They were originally carved out of sandstone to take advantage of the naturally lower temperatures below ground. This made it possible for brewers in the area to make lager beer.

Starting in the 1600's, the growing popularity of lager beer meant beer from the Schwandorf cellars could be "exported" to the nearby towns of Regensburg and Nabburg.

As many as 80 cellar rooms existed by the mid 1800's to serve the needs of private breweries in the area. In 1945 the caves served as bunkers during air raids on the town, where thousands of Schwandorf residents took shelter.

Wooden fermetation vessels rested on the raised platforms in order that beer from the vats could be gravity filled into kegs (Fass) and transported to pubs and inns in Schwandorf and the surrounding area.

Read a history of the "Felsenkeller." (in German)