Tag Archives: bergkirchweih

Are you going to Erlangen Bergkirchweih?

11 May

In 10 days time the 260th Erlanger Bergkirchweih will begin, if that isn’t something worth celebrating then I just don’t know what is!

(Almost) everything you need to know is in this blog (or in the links in pink), you might also enjoy my favourite bergkirchweih related apps and websites which I’ve reviewed below.


10 days to go, the Ferris wheel is almost all the way up, at least it was yesterday, in fact it’s probably all up by now, someone tweet me a picture @bierandcrumpets

If you’re a first timer at the Bergkirchweih or just want to be prepared you might want to check out my Insiders guide, there are hints and tips on how to get there, what to wear, what to drink and what to expect generally. If you do have a question that isn’t answered there and you think it should be, feel free to get in touch.

If you still haven’t bought your lederhosen or dirndl yet OR are considering not wearing one, let me convince you otherwise and direct you to the best places to buy from here. Of course it’s not compulsory to wear tracht, always wear something you’re comfortable in, whatever that is.

Not drinking? You can still enjoy Bergkirchweih if you aren’t a drinker, be assured it’s not all about the beer, there is music, food and entertainment to make it a family friendly event.

Last year I blogged the first and last nights at bergkirchweih 2014, since they are two of my favourite times at the festival, I even managed to get a few passable photos suitable for the blog #shortpersonphotographyisnevereasyinacrowd 😉

Useful APPS (free)

NB Phone and 3G signal at the Bergkirchweih can be hard to find, too many people and not enough masts, make your plan before you get there.

Bergkirchweih Erlangen – BerchTimer

When is a countdown app more than just a countdown app? when it contains actual useful information about music, weather and most importantly Keller locations showing which do what beers. My screenshots below.

I’ve had this app for a couple of years and I love it, no need to download another next year, it automatically renews for next years bergkirchweih and I like that the bottom tabs stay visible throughout. It is in German but it has little actual text beyond Keller’s names and whether the temperature will be Prima (perfect) or not. The music tab is particularly useful so you can see which acts are going on at the same time, how long they will be on and where they’ll be. The Keller tab shows you where each Keller is, so you know where to head when you reach the T-junction.

Erlanger Bergkirchweih

Also has a countdown function and plenty of information about what’s going on and where, you can also buy beer tokens using the app (though I have not tried this function). My screenshots below.

It has an integrated Instagram stream #bergkirchweih which is a nice touch, it also has information about After-Berg events, including just how many yards it is from the Berg to the party, always helpful 😉 It is more complicated than the BerchTimer and has more visible advertising, this might be why it crashes periodically.

VGN Fahrplan & Tickets

For local travel this app is absolutely wonderful, whilst it is in German it is easy to use. You can also buy tickets through the app which work out cheaper than buying them on the day from a machine, you do have to set this up in advance, don’t attempt to do it on the go.

Useful Websites

NB If your German isn’t great the option of automatic translation of pages is a godsend, Google Chrome I love you. Otherwise I use babelFish or a good old fashioned dictionary for my translating needs.

Erlanger Bergkirchweih

A great site which covers all your need for the Bergkirchweih. Food and drink prices, attractions and history are all there, click on the Pretzel, Maß or teddybear to open new pages, as well as the tabs. I’m so happy to see that Churros are back again this year, and the entertainingly designed Mais Men stand. The 360 degree tour is a little weird to watch but really good fun, you will find it under ‘Ansichten’. You can even download yourself a printable guide, in English here, look out for leaflets around town at places like the library, Thalia or the bank.


The mountain calls, again this covers all you need to know about bergkirchweih but additionally has many candid pictures for years past and present. There is actually some fantastic information here and a lot of good details about transportation, history and even nearby eateries to try. The pictures under ‘Der Berg im Wandel der zeit’ are truly something to see, so you can compare and contrast what you see when you visit to what it was like at the very 1st bergkirchweih.

Let’s all cross our fingers or press our thumbs for good weather this bergkirchweih season. You can definitely expect a few more blogs before it’s over. So, are you going?


Last night of the Bergkirchweih

18 Jun

So Monday 16th June 2014 was the official last night of the Erlangen Bergkirchweih, it just so happened to coincide with Germanys first World Cup match, would there even be anyone there?

Of course there were people there! After the football finished there were a LOT more very happy and already plastered people there. Last night is something I would recommend to anyone living in Erlangen, it always has a lovely atmosphere and there is just something more authentic about Bergkirchweih during the week (I suppose less tourists for a start). We checked out some rides, had some very unhealthy and delicious food and settled down at the Steinbach biergarten, no dancing on tables but good conversation instead.


Overlooking Erich Keller

The real fun starts at the closing ceremony. Every year the last barrel is taken and buried at the keller which will hold the opening ceremony of next years Bergkirchweih.

Eagerly awaiting the last barrel of the Bergkirchweih

Eagerly awaiting the last barrel of the Bergkirchweih

Cue men in costume with pickaxes and spades carrying a beer barrel above their heads through a crowd of roughly 5000 people. And it gets more bizarre I promise….


Erlangen’s Mayor Florian Janick seemed to enjoy his beer and time on stage, thanks for keeping the speech short

…To wave goodbye to the barrel you have to wave your white handkerchief (or tissue in most people case)….


Waving goodbye to the last barrel of the Bergkirchweih

…Whilst singing ‘Blutwurst und Sauerkraut’ to the tune of…wait for it….The English National Anthem. Honestly it’s true, check out this video of the 2012 closing (as my camera died).

The barrel made it’s way through the crowds of people, the mayor made a short speech (and seemed to enjoy his spotlight on stage) and then just like that, it was over.

Until next year, Erlangen Bergkirchweih 2015 21/05-01/06.

Fußball V Bergkirchweih

4 Jun

Sp the whole world is going a little bit football crazy at the moment, Germany certainly is anyway, but in Erlangen, there is a competitor for the limelight. This little get together called the Bergkirchweih starts tomorrow and Erlangen is conflicted.

Shop windows vie for your attention and the attention of your wallet

On the left

On the left

On the right

On the right

Some windows just mix the two events, see the ferris wheel and goals posts!

Some windows just mix the two events, see the ferris wheel and goals posts!

I’m biased, I’m not a really a fan of football but I am a fan of Bergkirchweih. Why? Maybe because it’s just unlike anything I’ve ever been to in the UK, and there is probably an amazingly long German word to describe how I feel about it but I’ll stop with it’s Berg.

The influx of tourists at Bergkirchweih time means shops are working harder to take some of that hard earned beer money from your pockets and it all starts with the displays.

Touristy goodies

Touristy goodies

This selection includes such classy and collectable items such as a booby mug, for all you tea drinking needs, yodelling teddy bears, Erlangen bear key rings, a singing bottle opener and much much more!

Tomorrow every other man in Erlangen will look a little something like this, only probably less pale and with a face ;)

Tomorrow every other man in Erlangen will look a little something like this, only probably a little less pale 😉

Bavarian goodies, well thats clearly for the tourists, it’ll annoy the Franconians, quick put him in a red and white checked shirt to confirm our status as confirmed Franconians.

Just FYI Erlangen is located in the state of Bavaria, see the blue and white flag in the above photo, it is also located in Franconia, confused yet? Franconia is a historic division of Southern Bavaria (mainly) and whilst it is not technically it’s own state it’s inhabitants are fiercely proud of their Franconian roots. It’s kind of like being Cornish! The flag you will see a lot here is red and white, it also tends to be a popular colour for mens shirts with their lederhosen.


Plenty of red and white to go around


Mens wear, come on guys, leather trousers to last a lifetime


Ladies, give it a go you might surprise yourself! And don’t forget to accessorise!

Incidentally it’s (one of) the best time of the year to buy ‘German’ presents (yes I’m talking Christmas in June) for family and friends. I swear they absolutely love this stuff, the weirder and the tackier the better (or maybe thats just my family and friends).

In the battle of Fußball V Berg I’m afraid Berg wins every time for me, it really was a foregone conclusion and I’m sure I’ll be forced end up watching some matches and I might even enjoy it, just not as much as Berg 😉

Well I’m in the mood and absolutely can’t wait, are you coming to Bergkirchweih this year? Does your village have it’s own?


Insiders guide to the Bergkirchweih (updated 2015)

3 May

Bergkirchweih is considered to be the fifth season of the year in Erlangen, and I really have to agree. This is the time that Erlangen comes alive with noise, bustle and people. Kicking back, letting lose and dancing on the tables is heartily encouraged, and everyone is invited!

Look at those adorable little lederhosen!

Look at those adorable little lederhosen!


How to get there

By foot, by bike or by bus. Walking is a great option, you can get to feel the real buzz that travels through everyone by joining the crowds to wander up to the Berg. It is about a 10 minute walk from Erlangen Bahnhof to the bottom of the Berg. There is good parking for bikes at the bottom of the hill and since drunk cycling is a crime I would recommend pushing your bike home or leaving your bike there overnight and collecting it in the morning.

The local bus company (VGN) run a special Berg night bus which leaves from Leo-Hauck-Straße after 8pm. Regular buses will travel between Hugenottenplatz and the Berg but I’d recommend just walking from Hugenottenplatz, it’s 5 minutes to the Berg from there.

Parking for vehicles is practically none existent unless you live near the Berg, it’s a beer festival, leave the car at home. If you must bring the car there are multi story car parks in central Erlangen,the largest are Parkhaus Henkestraße and Parkhaus Neuer markt, details here.

What to wear

Tracht, plain and simple, join in and have some fun, see if this can convince you! Of course tracht is not compulsory, wear what you’re comfortable in.

Also, rain or shine, almost nothing will stop the Bergkirchweih from taking place, take a jacket (and maybe an umbrella) because it is mostly outside and not covered, shelter can be hard to find.

It is also on a hill, and there are cobbles, and tree roots and mud, don’t take anything you don’t want to get dirty and wear sensible shoes, leave those heels at home.

Useful to know

There will be a refundable deposit or ‘Pfand’ on your mug, glass or bottle. Mugs and glasses are usually 5 euro each and plastic bottles less, don’t forget to cash in your mugs at the end of the night. Take your item back to the cellar you got it from and don’t worry if they closed or you forgot, you can bring them back another night for your deposit.

Mug at the Weller Keller

Mug at the Weller Keller

Bergkirchweich Beer is served by the Maß (a litre) ‘Ein Maß bitte’ it will be served in a stone beer mug and cost you     8.50 euro (plus a 5 euro Pfand)

Radler, a Bergkirchweih beer mixed with lemonade (half and half), yes a Shandy to us English folks. This is also served by the Maß, ‘Ein Radler bitte’ and will usually come with a straw, so that it can be distinguished from a full strength beer, you will pay the same price for a Radler as a full beer.

Weißbier (wheat beer) is not usually served by the litre, you will receive a 0.4l or 0.5l and it will come in a glass mug, which will also have a Pfand on it.

Wein and the Weinschorle, you can buy a Maß of wine at the Berg (though it’s more usual to get a 0.5l), I wouldn’t recommend it though, if you want a litre (or even a half litre) go for a Weinschorle (a spritzer), you may be given the option of Suß (sweet, with lemonade) or Suer (sour, with sparkling water).

Apfelschorle is my non alcoholic drink of choice, it’s a mix of half apple juice and half sparkling water, suitable for kids and grown ups.

A Festbrezel is large, you won’t need one each, it’s great eaten with Obatzda (wonderful German cheesy deliciousness) or to accompany an A4 sized slice of cheese.

Why yes that is a very large slice of cheese!

Why yes that is a very large slice of cheese!

Toilets at the Bergkirchweih will cost you 50cents a go (so keep some change handy), they are usually nice and clean and will have attendants servicing them throughout the day. Ladies beware the queues can get very long, join before you’re desperate. Men, there is a pissoir available for free, use it and not the trees, please.

You will hear this song about every half hour, it’s a toasting song and if you want to blend in, swing that beer mug and sing it loud!

‘Ein Prosit, Ein Prosit
Der Gemütlichkeit
Ein Prosit, Ein Prosit
Der Gemütlichkeit’

Each year Entla’s Keller design a new picture for their Steins (mugs),’which year did you get?’ is what we usually ask each other on receiving our beers, this is the preview of 2015.



Steinbach beer, as always my total favourite, you can find them in the middle of the Berg, near the T junction. Berch.info has lots information for a first time visitor or a seasoned professional.

Langos, the Hungarian food of your fatty dreams, paprika, garlic, cheese and sour cream!

The entertainment is worth checking out, ‘Musikanten’ are generally made up of local musicians playing traditional and schlager (German party music), bands playing are usually doing schlager and covers. Der Berg Ruft has lots more detailed information.

Buy your sweetie a gingerbread heart and have them wear it around their neck all day.

The Ferris wheel, you get such a great view from the top and it really helps put the Berg into perspective, you’ll realise just how much is crammed into an area that really isn’t very big.

If you secure a table, hold onto it, from 4pm onwards (earlier if the weather is good) it can get really hard to find space for more than a twosome.

Plan a meeting point pre berg, phone signal and 3G are notoriously bad at the festival (so many people not enough masts) and it can be challenging to find a group, especially in the evenings when it is busy.


This couple had their wedding pictures taken at the Berg last year, and scored plenty of free beer too.

The details

The official tapping of the barrel will this year take place at Henninger Keller on 21st May at 5pm – The first barrel is handed out free but only attempt to grab if you’re tall, it’s a total bun fight!

The Berg is open Monday-Saturday 10am-11pm and Sunday 9.30am-11pm.

Price for a Maß (a litre) is 8.50 euro and Pfand (deposit) 5 euro.

Tuesday 26th May is Erlanger Tag, lots of smaller shops on Erlangen will close at 2pm so the towns workers can enjoy some afternoon time at the Berg.

Thursday 28th May is Family Day at the Berg, this is the best time to take the family, up until 8pm there will be discounts on rides and most of the daytime drinkers will avoid the games areas.

Sunday 31st May there is a church service up at Erich Keller, starting at 9am.

Monday 1st June is the closing ceremony, don’t forget a white hanky (kleenex) to wave off the barrel until next year.

Here’s a peek at what to expect from the little old town of Erlangen 10 days from now…

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