14 Reasons To Visit The Franconian Beer Festival in Nuremberg

I recall once writing an article entitled "Why I'm Over Beer Festivals" which turned out to be one of my most popular blog posts, clocking up over 9,000 views after somehow going viral on Reddit and in several of those Facebook groups.

Even after I wrote it, I still kept going to beer festivals. I just get sucked in because people I know will be there, which is arguably the best part of them.

The one beer festival I absolutely had to visit being the lager lout that I am, was the Franconian Beer Festival in Nuremberg and here's why:

1) The Setting - Imagine a beer festival in the moat of such a castle in a beautiful city as Nuremberg where you can look up at the large walls and high towers, shaded but still warm in the summer. That's how I can describe it. People talk about the IMBC venue being special, but I challenge you to visit The Franconian Beer Festival and not fall in love.

2) Free Entry - Yup, you don't pay a single cent to get into the beer festival which is a beautiful thing considering the price of some I've been to. There is also no festival glass to buy, which I'll get to later.

3) It's Mostly Lager - OK so this won't be a positive if you're not massively into lager but there were around 40 lager breweries from all around Franconia and each had at least two beers either on draught or bottled. Most of Germany is too traditional for cans yet. It's really hard for me to pick a favourite lager as I had a lot. I mean a lot since I went there probably three times during my trip.

4) There's Some Craft Beer - If you're looking for that more modern beer or something experimental, you're in luck! They had a small craft beer corner which featured mostly German craft beer but also had some international guests. The best beer I tried in this section was a Jägermeister Barrel Aged Bock by more modern Franconian craft brewery Hertl. This got some VERY mixed reactions when I posted about it on Facebook at the time but I can assure you, it was a banger!

5) Soft Drinks for All - Weird one for an article like this but it's important to point out that there are plenty of Franconian breweries that make their own soft drinks so they don't need to mess around with Coca Cola. I absolutely love this live local mentality. I actually bought a bottle of lemonade to cut a ridiculously bitter Zwanzger Pils that sadly I was not enjoying (Sorry Zwanzger). Anyway, the lemonade was nice!

6) It's Family Friendly - This probably won't please some people but hear me out... they have a designated family area and a play area for kids which means whilst there are families there, you don't have kids running about everywhere (I've also found that German kids seem more well behaved than British kids in public places).

7) There is Seating - One of my biggest bug bears about many beer festivals I've been to is the sheer lack of seating but the Franconian Beer Festival did not have this issue at all due to the sheer size of it, in fact some breweries had their own seating sections. We managed to find seats most of the time, apart from obviously when it was ragingly busy at night but that can't be helped.

8) Instabeer Opportunities - One of my favourite things about Germany in general is how pretty much every brewery has their own branded glassware and this was no exception. Sure, you're gonna pay between 2,50€ and €4 to effectively hire the glass on on the deposit system, but you get that money back and meanwhile, you've got some banging photos of beer for Instagram. Sorted.

9) Good Friends, Old and New - One of the times I went during my visit, I went with the legend and my good friend that is Felix of Orcabräu (his beers are a vibe, check them out) and classic Allen for one last hurrah before the military shipped him back to the USA. Absolutely great guys. I also met some really cool new people including other brewers and a German beer blogger called Domi of Domi's Reviews (Warning: blog only in German)

10) The Food - Yes of course because it's a German beer festival there's going to be a hell load of hearty food from the classic Nuremberg Drei Im Weggla (3 Nuremberg bratwurst in a bun and I feel I need to tell you again, don't fucking use ketchup), Pizza, Grilled Fish, Takeaway Schäufele (pork shoulder) and many more world foods. And fruit salad, weirdly. Fruit salad at a beer festival.

11) The Entertainment and Atmosphere - Honestly, if you want decent drinking music whilst chugging endless pints of lager, this is the place for you. At every single section of the festival there was a stage with live music going on, playing a mixture of German and Irish drinking songs (some of the Irish drinking songs were even in German, which was oddly amazing). Everyone has a nice time, sings and dances.

12) Just Visit Nuremberg - Look, guys, I've been banging on about how awesome this city is for enough years so it's about time you bought some flights! I've wrote several blogs on the subject!

13) Nuremberg is Close to Other Beer Tourism Destinations - It's only about 40 minutes on the train from the famed Rauchbier city of Bamberg and even less time to Forchheim with it's iconic Kellerwald (more on that one another time).

14) There are Very Few Foreigners - Yeah, this is a bonus. You won't bump into any idiotic British ladz or stag parties like you would at a similar festival in a larger city like Munich or Berlin. Hooray!

Overall The Franconian Beer Festival is just absolutely brilliant. The atmosphere, the people, the beers, the local attitude and mentality of it all is amazing. Drinking at the festival is a little more expensive than drinking in the pubs in the city, I'd assume due to breweries having to pay for their pitch and staff etc. but it's still not going to break the bank paying around 4€ a half litre, but you will have to factor in your returnable glass deposit.

The next Franconian Beer Festival is on 10-14 June 2020 and I am strongly considering going again so if anyone wants to join me, that would be an absolute vibe!




  1. Excellent list Nate. You have assisted me in persuading my wife to attend this with me. Nice one.

    1. Cheers! I can promise you will absolutely love it!


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