In the early 1990s, we lived in a small village in Bavaria. The town of Hemau was a few kilometers away on Bundesstrasse (County Road) 8. We often went to the Donhauser Brauerei Gasthof (Brewery Restaurant) on the town square. The brewery is still in business, here’s their Facebook page.
Out for a drive one Saturday, we stopped in Hemau and got no further. We had to stop, because the main road through the town was blocked. We had stumbled upon the Hemauer Kirta, an annual town fest.
We parked and walked to the center of town, thinking we’d just be delayed an hour or so. In the town square, about a hundred beer garden tables were set up. The local band was playing German oompah music. The smell of grilled sausage and onions filled the air. Our one hour delay turned into several hours of eating, drinking Donhauser Dunkel, and meeting the locals.
While enjoying the Kirta, we wandered into a second hand shop and bought a glass with the logo from a defunct brewery. The Brauhaus Rothenburg opened in 1724 (!) and is now a hotel in the walled city of Rothenburg ob die Tauber Altes Brauhaus Hotel website.
We love how the glass is shaped. Unlike a typical pint glass, this glass begins at the bottom as a cone, then curves in slightly at the top. This concentrates the aroma of hops and malt, then delivers it straight to your nose. Your sense of smell contributes hugely to your sense of taste, so the shape of the glass makes a difference in how good the beer tastes.
When selecting glassware for our Tasting Room, we discovered this type of glass had a name, the Willi Becher. It was designed by Willi Steinmeier in 1954, then head of sales at a German glass manufacturer. “Becher” means a beaker or cup, so the name means Willi’s Cup.
The Brauhaus Rothenburg glass moved with us from Germany to upstate New York, to northern Virginia, and finally to Anaheim, California. It’s always been a favorite around our house. We’re so happy to have a beer garden full of Willi Bechers at our brewery.
Barbara & Greg