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Snapshots from the Long History of Göller Brewery

Updated: May 3, 2023

Holy Roman Emperor Henry II proclaimed the Alte Freyung as a refuge for those fleeing the law. No secular magistrate could exercise his office inside the Sanctuary. Henry II was Holy Roman Emperor from 1014-1024 AD. He and his wife Cunigunde are still represented in the Coat of Arms of Göller Brewery.


The Bishop-Prince of Bamberg grants the Alte Freyung – The Old Sanctuary – a license to brew beer. The proclamation also confirmed the privilege granted 500 years earlier by Emperor Henry II.

Josef and Margaret Göller bought the ancient brewery hidden behind the picturesque half-timbered façade. They focused on expanding the brewery to include a restaurant and a large beer garden with several chestnut trees. Originally, chestnut trees were planted on top of German beer cellars in order that the shade from the tree would keep the cellar cool. When tables and chairs were added under the tree, the biergarten was born.

The expanded brewery now borders the ancient city walls of Zeil am Main.

Josef Göller bought a farm just outside the town of Zeil am Main in order to supply the Brewery. Josef's brother, Baptist Göller, a local sensation and notorious gambler, worked the farm for the family Brewery. The tradition of acquiring local grains continues to this day, with farms around Zeil supplying 100% of the malt-grains for Göller Brewery.

Josef builds an a dance hall and restaurant adjoining the Brewery. It comes to be known as the Göllersaal. This addition will turn Göller into a local legend as the host of famous bands, excellent food, tasty beer, and lots of dancing.

The second generation inherits the Brewery when Franz Göller takes over the business. His wife, Maria, ensures that the brewery restaurant becomes known far and wide for its home-style cooking.

The young Franz-Josef Göller graduates top of his class at the Doemens Brewing Academy in Gräfelfing. Joining his father's business as junior manager with the sole responsibility for the brewery, Franz-Josef makes a Dunkel that is awarded the "Beer of the Century," the Grand Prize of the prestigious DLG, (Deutsche Landwirtschafts-Gesellschaft). Not bad for his first year!

Franz-Josef Göller takes over the family business - still as a private brewery and with sole proprietorship. During the years he managed the brewing, he increased the output from 4,000 barrels of beer per year to 21,000 barrels. Franz-Josef was known for his hard work and drive to make the highest quality beer.

Due to investment into superior technology beginning in 1989, the Brewery reaches an annual output of 30,000 barrels. Even though there are many good breweries in the area, Göller grows rapidly in popularity. In order to make room for brewing at the Alte Freyung, Franz-Josef had to move bottling operations to another building just outside town.

The young Felix Göller wins "Brewmaster of the Year" for the German youth competition. This sets the stage for Felix to become the future brewmaster of the family business.

Since about 2002, Göller Brewery began to invest heavily in energy saving equipment like the Schoko gentle cooking system and solar panels. It's no surprise, then, that Göller was officially honored as the most sustainable brewery in the Mainfranken region in 2015.

The fourth generation fully takes over the Göller family business. At a young age they knew that they wanted to run the family business together. They accordingly planned their individual educations to form an optimal team for managing the brewery. The eldest brother, Fritz (right), studied to become the master brewer. Felix (center) studied the more technical side of brewing in order to lead production. Max (left) studied business and now manages sales, distribution, and even the restaurant.

Two Göller beers win the European Beer Star in one year! With over 2,300 participating beers from 51 countries, the European Beer Star is the toughest beer competition in the world. In each of the 65 categories, a jury of 144 experts only awards one gold, one silver and one bronze medal. At the EBS 2018 Göller's Dunkles Bockbier won bronze. Rauchbier won Gold. This also marks the third year that the Rauchbier won gold from the International Craft Beer awards. It's no exaggeration to say that Göller's Rauch is the best smoked beer in the world.

The three brothers have managed the business so well that they increased the annual output to 50,000 barrels and have racked up hundreds of awards. Some of their top winners are the Rauch, the Dunkle, the Dunklesbock, the Weizenbock, the Steinhauer Weisse, the Original Pilsner and the Lager. The number of awards is stunning, and certainly surpasses any other brewery this size.

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