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This Black Forest beer originates from a cold, gushing mountain stream.

By Don Heimburger / Photographs Courtesy Don Heimburger


In many small German towns, you don’t need a guide to tell you that you’re in the center of the village. It’s here that the most important buildings are typically located, and the same is true of the tiny town of Alpirsbach, population a little under 7,000.

Located nearly in the middle of the Black Forest, Alpirsbach and its city center features the ubiquitous Rathaus, the Marketplatz, the Klosterkirche —and something a bit different— the compact, tidy Alpirsbach Brewery, a 140-year-old establishment (as of 2017) with the motto: “The best beer far and wide.”

The secret ingredient in this Black Forest beer is the water. “Only three people know where the sound of water is,” explains Hartmut John, the brewery’s museum director. John describes the “sound of water” as natural springs that flow in the nearby countryside where the water originates and is used for the brewing process. He says there are as many as 30 springs on the undisclosed property, but only ten of them are used by the brewery.

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