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Fire & Brew-Stone: The Real Story of Steinbier

The idea of making beer with flaming-hot rocks conjures an indelible mental image, yet the common understanding of what “steinbier” was is almost totally wrong. Here, Lars Marius Garshol explains the methods of a lost farmhouse style.

Lars Marius Garshol Apr 18, 2022 - 12 min read

Fire & Brew-Stone: The Real Story of Steinbier Primary Image

Photo: Matt Graves/

As we all know, steinbier is an old lager style from Franconia, made using hot stones to boil the wort.

The problem is that none of that is true.

We can trace our misunderstanding back to Michael Jackson. In his Beer Hunter TV series in the 1980s, when visiting the Rauchenfels brewery in Neustadt bei Coburg, Upper Franconia, he said the brewery came up with the idea of making a stone beer when business was going poorly. The recipe came from an earlier tradition for brewing beer with hot stones, in the time before people had metal kettles. Rauchenfels used the stones to boil the wort, Jackson said.

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