Insiders guide to Annafest

23 Jul

In celebration of the feast day of St Anne (mother of the Virgin Mary) Annafest is a 10 day long beer festival held in the Forchheim Kellerwald. The Kellerwald if a hilly forest  on the edge of town, where the local breweries traditionally, and some still do, store their beers in the various Kellers which run through the hill. With an expected attendance of 500,000 people, it really is the place to be locally.

Annafest has adifferent kind of atmosphere to the Bergkirchweih, it is undoubtedly more local, you won’t hear an awful lot of English being spoken, but it is a wonderful festival. And the Kellerwald is also open May-September so you can enjoy a lovely beer without the crowds and organised chaos.


View to the ferris wheel

How to get there

Get the train to Forchheim, then a bus/taxi or walk to the kellerwald, there is also a park and ride option

– There is a regular bus service from the train station to the Kellerwald, you cannot usually (maybe this will change this year) use your Tages ticket on this bus, you will have to pay around 2 euro for a specific one way bus ticket

– There are plenty of taxis at the train station, they charge a fixed fee to get you to the kellerwald (usually 6-8 euro) so if you are in a big group it can work out cheaper than the bus

-Walking to the kellerwald will take you about 20 minutes (its 2km), it’s not a particularly picturesque walk and you can just follow the crowds


What to wear

Sensible footwear, it’s in a forest and on a hill, you have been warned.

Tracht (Lederhosen and Dirndl) for the whole family are common.

There are more areas that are covered in the kellerwald than at the Bergkirchweih, but if the forecast is for rain, take a jacket

Useful to know

There is a refundable deposit “Pfand on your mug, glass, bottle or plate. Mugs and glasses are generally 5 euro, other bottles and crockery is usually less. Always return you items to get back your pfand, look out for ‘Ruckgabe’ to make your returns.

Beer will be served by the Maß (litre) in most places ‘Eine Maß bitte’ it will be served in a stone mug and will cost you  7.40 euro (plus pfand)

For a more refreshing and less alcoholic drink try a Radler, a mix of half beer half lemonade. You will also be served this by the Maß, ‘Ein Radler bitte’ and it will usually come with a straw in it to indicate it’s a radler. Tip – If you get rid of the straw no-one will be any the wiser that you’re drinking shandy. Radler willl cost the same as a full beer and have the same deposit on the mug.

Other alcoholic options are Weißbier (wheat beer) which is usually served in 0.4l or 0.5l. Wein or Weinschorle, the latter is mixed with lemonade for a suß (sweet) schorle or sparking water for a Sauer (sour) version, both equally refreshing and a nice alternative to beer.

Apfelschorle is my favourite of the usual fizzy drinks and water, half apple juice, half fizzy water. Tip – If its hot, sometimes you can order a Maß of apfelschorle, otherwise you usually get a 0.5l.

Toilets are 5o cents a go but will generally be clean and well kept, the queues can get long for the ladies (such is life) join before you’re desperate.

Know how to toast in German, a hearty clink of stone mugs and a “Prost” Oh and make sure to keep eye contact with everyone one you toast with, otherwise 7 years of bad sex is coming you way (I kid you not).

You will hear the bands play this at least once an hour, learn it and sing it loud!

‘Ein Prosit, Ein Prosit, Der Gemütlichkeit

Ein Prosit, Ein Prosit, Der Gemütlichkeit’


Dancing on the tables is just more fun on a hill in a forest!

Neder-Keller is a party keller, it is not really suitable for kids after noon, plenty of dancing on the tables though!

The walk up through the woods is mostly tarmac so suitable for pushchairs etc but parts are steep so have good brakes.

Leave you bike at the bottom of the hill, there are too many people to ride it up and down.

You won’t find many cash machines (ATMs) in the Kellerwald, be prepared.


Have a plan, there is no way you can try all the kellers in one day so pick a selection, this will help.

Eichhorn-Keller to sample the Eichhorn beer, I love this stuff, true amber nectar as far as I’m concerned. Their biergarten is pretty chilled and does good food, it even has a sandpit for the kids.


Look out for this stuff!

Neder-Keller, their Schwarze Anna (a dark delicious beer) is something to try, it looks like Guiness but tastes completely different, I love it.

Grief-Keller, pretty much the first Keller you come to and they do a lovely refreshing beer, it’s a perfect start to a beer festival.

Look out for Bock biers, these are VERY strong, delicious but one is usually enough.

The parade is full of traditional costumes and musicians, if you don’t want to follow it from town Greif Keller which overlooks the path up to the Kellerwald will give you a good view. The musicians also parade through the Kellerwald, you’ll hear them coming.


The details

The official tapping of the first barrel is at 5pm Friday 25 July. This year the mayor will tap the barrel at Schindlers Keller which is usually a quieter Keller so theres a good chance you could score a free Maß!

Opening hours are 1pm-11.30pm Monday-Friday and 11am-11.30pm Weekends (realistically some Kellers open at 9am-10am).

Price for a Maß is 7.60 euro + optional tip 0.40, so lets save on change filling your pockets and say 8 euro (plus 5 euro pfand).

The parade from the town to Annafest starts at 2.30pm on Saturday 26th.

Tuesday and Thursday 1pm-8pm are family days, lots of the rides will give family discouts during these hours.

Wednesday is the Forchheimer Tag, lots of the shops in Forchheim will close at noon so that the workers can enjoy an afternoon at Annafest.

Let me know if you have any more questions about Annafest and if you plan to visit have a great time!


4 Responses to “Insiders guide to Annafest”

  1. Lynn April 28, 2016 at 6:30 pm #

    Thanks for the information. I am trying to go this year. I will be traveling alone, I don’t know a lick of German, nor have I ever been to Germany before. Will I be able to function? If a perfect world, I pick up a drinking buddy along the way but worst case scenario I’ll be roaming solo. Do people generally have the ability to speak English?

    • Alie C April 28, 2016 at 6:57 pm #

      You’ll have a great time! I would recommend getting a phrase book or a learn german app like duo lingo for the basics just so it’s not such a shock. Most people speak some English but they can be embarrassed to use it, especially the older generation. Have fun, maybe I’ll see you there!


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