Surrounded by woods at the base of the Alps in one of Bavaria’s most beautiful valleys, lies Kaufbeuren.
Once a Free Imperial Town, Kaufbeuren is very aware of its tradition and more than 1000 years of history. Medieval towers and walls, impressive houses, churches rich with art treasures, busy streets and quaint squares give the town its special, traditional, character.
In 1308 the Aktien Brewery of Kaufbeuren, along with it’s cellars, courtyard and barns, was donated to the citizens of Kaufbeuren by Henry Twinger, a wealthy local Baron (the paperwork still exists in Kaufbeuren museum) and the Aktien Brewery soon became well known in the region for their superb beers.
Aktien brewery grew and proceeded to purchase other breweries in Kaufbeuren before becoming one of Bavaria’s most important brewers by the 15th century.
To ensure only the highest quality beers would continue to be produced in Kaufbeuren, The Kaufbeuren Brewers Guild was formed in 1325 making a declaration that all beers produced in Kaufbeuren could only use the finest barley, hops, yeasts and the purest local waters. All other ingredients were banned.
This was almost 200 years before Duke William IV enacted the Kingdom-wide declaration in 1516 known as The German Beer Purity Law or “Reinheitsgebot”.
Under the watchful eye of legendary master brewer Zur Traube Güldenen in the 17th century, the Aktien Brewery mastered it’s recipes that are still used today and was to become one of the very first breweries in Bavaria to produce the then “forbidden” wheat ales that had, until then, been brewed exclusively for Bavarian Royalty.
In 1799, Aktien purchased one of the last remaining breweries in Kaufbeuren, the Jonas Daniel Walch Brewery, for a price of 4,215 Guilders and subsequently purchased the other remaining Kaufbeuren brewery, the Rose Brewery, in 1987.
Today’s stunning brewery buildings with deep cellars were built in 1807.
The brewery’s popularity in Bavaria was again confirmed by a visit from His Royal Highness Prince Ludwig in 1901 who wanted to taste these legendary beers for himself.
Aktien Brewery dominated the world’s beer competitions from the late 1800’s, winning dozens of awards and Gold medals.
Today, the Aktien Brewery continues to exclusively use only the finest locally grown Hallertau hops and grains from the same local farms they have been using for over 700 years.
Now, Aktien beer is available internationally as ‘ABK – Since 1308’ and comes to Charlbury in October