Apfelwein (apple wine) in Frankfurt

applewine murals

There’s one thing that Frankfurt is *really* famous for. No, it’s not the wurst (sausages) that derives from its name, it’s apple wine! Called Apfelwein (or Ebbelwoi) in German, the brewing of apple wine has been a source of pride for many Frankfurters.

schweizer strasse

It’s the (un?)official drink of the city!

sachsenhausen nord

There’s even an entire street in Sachsenhausen-Nord near the city of Frankfurt am Main that dedicates itself to apple wine! It’s informally called the Applewine Quarter and the street name is Schweizer Strasse. There are several establishments serving apple wine in Frankfurt (you can get it in most restaurants) but for the authentic experience, I highly recommend you go to a specialty shop!

zum gemalten haus

I was recommended two such apple wine houses by a knowledgeable local (our concierge haha) – both are located at Sachsenhausen-Nord. The first is called Zum Gemalten Haus and unfortunately, it’s closed on Mondays. The second is called Adolf Wagner (also known as Apfelwein Wagner) and I remember hearing about this place before – that’s how famous the apple wine bar is!

adolf wagner

Adolf Wagner has been around since 1931 – that means they’ve been brewing Frankfurt’s most famous drink for several centuries. There are actual long tables and chairs located both in front and inside the establishment. I recommend doing inside coz there’s a huge apple wine jug where they pour your drink from at the bar.

applewine quarter

The apple wine is brewed on the premises of Adolf Wagner itself! You can see it if you’re seated inside. There are also colorful murals depicting the good ol’ days of apple wine imbibing and scenes of general cheer.

apfelwein

You’ll expect a place like this to be expensive but it’s surprisingly affordable and all the locals come here. One glass of apple wine costs 1.90 Euro. That’s less than RM 10! It’s cheap even *when* you convert the currency. I had a 300 ml glass of their famous apple wine while my better half ordered the non-alcoholic apple wine.

apfelwein wagner prices

Surprisingly, the non-alcoholic apple wine costs slightly more than the regular apple wine. I’m not sure if that’s coz like decaf coffee, it goes through an extra step, but I very much doubt it. The non-alcoholic apple wine that my dear ordered (2 Euro for 300 ml glass) is clear and tastes like apple juice, albeit slightly rotten apple juice.

nonalcoholic ebbelwoi
A 300 ml glass of non-alcoholic apple wine

My apple wine is slightly cloudy from the unfiltered sediments and tastes like nothing I’ve ever come across. Apple wine doesn’t taste like apple cider – it doesn’t have that acidic bite to it. It’s smooth and delicious – but be careful, the alcohol content of these things can hit the two digit mark.

ebbelwoi
A 300 ml glass of regular apple wine

I’ve seen it quoted as 10.4% alcohol although every batch differs. Adolf Wagner also sells 1 litre bottles of their apple wine to go for just 2 Euros while the 5 litre souvenir jugs are just 13 Euros. Or you can just get their matchbooks (free) if you’re a cheapskate. ;)

matchbook

Protip: If you want to get apple wine from Frankfurt to bring home, avoid buying them at the touristy Romel square where every other shop (including the official tourist information center) offers nicely bottled and packaged apple wine for sale at a price premium. It’s not as authentic as grabbing a bottle (or jug) from Adolf Wagner, where the locals drink, so get it from a reputable apple wine bar instead of a souvenir shop!

wagner applewine

I highly recommend walking to Apfelwein Wagner and sitting down for a glass of apple wine when you’re in Frankfurt. It’s one of the few things which is unique to the city itself and even if you don’t consume alcohol, there’s a non-alcoholic apple wine to conform to your dietary/religious beliefs. It’s way better than grabbing a Frankfurter (and you can do the latter after some nice local apple wine in your tummy).

applewine prices

Apple wine is called the official drink of Frankfurt for a reason! :D

apfelwein wagner

Posted: 9:39 am Frankfurt time (GMT +2) – we just took the overnight Paris-Frankfurt am Main bus! :D

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22 thoughts on “Apfelwein (apple wine) in Frankfurt

  1. HB, wonder if able to find this apple wine in states? I head to the Cannery where they sell lot of food all over the world.

    • Yeah, I think the equivalent in the US would be apple cider! :)

      Frankfurt has a very long history in making apple wine and this particular bar/pub dates back to 1931 – before World War II!

      However, apple wine here tastes different from apple cider though.

    • There is an Ebbelwoi Express (the bus) but we were told it was a tourist trap! :)

      We went to the where the locals drink instead and one of the best two places in the Applewine Quarter to drink is Wagner.

        • My bad! I thought you meant the apple wine bus! :)

          The Paris-Frankfurt am Main bus price changes – it starts from 39 Euros (cheapest – 3 months before departure) to about 68 Euros per pax (which is the price we go it for).

          To be honest, if you get it at 68 Euros, it’ll be cheaper to go by 2nd class ICE train but the good thing is, the bus trip is from 9 pm to 6 am so you save one night on hotel! ;)

    • Haha! No, it’s just regular wine and I just had a glass! :)

      It does taste pretty good though and there’s a non-alcoholic version too!

    • Yeah, it’s a must have when you’re in Frankfurt! :)

      There’s two places in town where the locals go – try Wagner as they serve pretty decent food too and it has a looong history, it’s pre-World War II!

    • It’s Frankfurt’s official drink! :)

      They have been known to brew apple wine for ages and I remember there’s osmanthus (chrysanthemum) wine in Guilin, China too – that’s what they’re famous for.

      Tuak (rice wine) is a Sarawak specialty!

    • Nice! I didn’t know it was available in Singapore! :)

      Yeah, it’s a little different from cider eh? I quite like the taste myself but it’s hard to bring back considering the original jugs are 5 liters!

  2. Like Zappel with alcohol or not? Maybe the non-alcoholic one’s similar? I like white wine, not red – not into the taste of something like grape skin – maybe I’d love this but too bad I’ve given up drinking…can’t try. :(

    • You can try the non-alcohol version! :)

      There’s apple wine and also another variant which is 0.10 Euros more expensive, which has all the alcohol removed. The latter tastes like rotten apple juice though. Haha!

      It doesn’t taste like Zappel at all, even the non-alcohol version since the sugars has been fermented.

  3. mate. i have follwed u for the last 4 years. you have an amazing blog. how i found you was i was looking for sabah pork ribs which i had in an adelaide restaurt

    • Thanks mate! :)

      Yeah, I think that was the last time I went to KK, Sabah! I was station there for almost 2 years though, for my rehab.

      Cheers for reading!

    • It’s still less than regular wine! Red and white wine goes from 12-14% usually! :)

      It’s like a glass of wine, you won’t get too buzzed on it but you can feel the alcohol. There’s also a non-alcoholic version which is for some reason more expensive that Ling went for. That one doesn’t have alcohol at all but it tastes strangely like rotten apple juice.

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