Elisabeth Stiglmaier is a hop ambassador in the Hallertau. She introduces guests to the secrets of the green gold, which helps give beers all over the world their great taste
Hop ambassador Elisabeth Stiglmaier
17,000 hectares in area, plants seven metres in height and hops as far as the eye can see: Welcome to the largest hop-growing area in the world. Hops have been grown in the Hallertau cultural landscape for more than 1,000 years. The traditions of the region have been shaped by this green gold and have influenced the whole of Bavaria and its beer culture.
Hops: A trip back through Bavarian history
Deep in the heart of Bavaria lies the cultural landscape of the Hallertau. Hops are a traditional crop in this hilly and very pristine region. The fertile loess soils of this tertiary hill country are perfect for cultivating the “most Bavarian” plant of all. Hop ambassador Elisabeth Stiglmaier offers guided tours of the region.
She offers guests the opportunity to experience the history of the green gold at first hand. “I tell them what the hop means to the Hallertau and how it has changed over time,” explains the expert. The first written document about hop cultivation in the Hallertau dates back to the year 736.
Hop cultivation in the Hallertau dates back to the year 736
In those days, hops were not used solely for brewing beer, but also seen as medicinal plants. Thanks to their preservative effect, people used them as sedatives or laxatives. They also used these aromatic plants to flavour their food. It was not until the Middle Ages that hops were added to beer.
Famous hop growing region
The Bavarian Purity Law that was enacted in 1516 gave this “recipe” its official seal: From then on, beer could only be brewed from water, barley and hops. This strict regulation is still valid today – and has made Bavarian beer with its outstanding quality famous throughout the world.
In the 19th century, the hop enjoyed renewed popularity due to the newly opened transport routes and the building of the railway. Since 1966 the Hallertau has been the largest contiguous hop growing area in the world. The green gold shapes the way of life and the attitudes of the people that live here. Then and now.
This is demonstrated by interesting museums such as the German Hop Museum in Wolnzach and the Hallertauer Homeland and Hop Museum in Mainburg, as well as many breweries. However, the green gold is not only useful for brewing. It is also used in teas, pralines and wellness applications – and is gaining in popularity all the time.
Smell, feel and taste Bavarian hops
Many farms in the Hallertau region that continue to plant hops today ensure that the tradition is preserved. One of these is the farm of Elisabeth Stiglmaier in the eastern Bavarian town of Attenhofen. Here the air is floral and grassy: A stimulating, spicy aroma hangs over the entire farmyard. “Take a deep breath,” says the beer sommelier with a knowing smile.
Elisabeth Stiglmaier is one of 16 hop ambassadors in the Hallertau. With exciting journeys back in time, authentic stories, many tips and a love for the green gold, she imparts her knowledge of the hop plant and the special cultural landscape of the Hallertau to her guests.
Cultural landscape Hallertau
However, her role involves far more than just boosting the image of the region: It is Elisabeth Stiglmaier’s passion for hop varieties, aromas and tastes that her visitors find so fascinating. She encourages them to become immersed in the world and history of the hop.
In this way she is able to convey to her guests exactly what it is that makes the Hallertau so special: the culture that has grown up over the centuries, the authentic community spirit and the pristine naturalness of this fascinating hop growing district. She helps them all to feel “dahoam” (at home) in the Hallertau and to smell, feel and taste for themselves an important piece of Bavaria’s history.
More information about Elisabeth and the green gold hopfenfuehrung.de (only in German)
... from Elisabeth
Very nice are the so-called "Landerlebnisreisen" to farms in the vicinity, such as the Hollunderhof. There you can dive into another world and look behind the scenes of the Bavarian farms.
landerlebnisreisen-bayern.de (only in German)
Hop Experience Farm Stiglmaier
One of the oldest settlements in the upper village of Attenhofen. Here visitors go on a beer ingredient discovery tour or enjoy a traditional hop meal. School classes can playfully learn about the history and properties of hops.
Hop Museum in Wolnzach
In the German Hop Museum you can learn everything there is to know about hops. From botany to brewing, from cultivation to hop trade, from history to the present.
hopfenmuseum.de (only in German)