The liquors from the Ettal Abbey Distillery are well known far beyond the Zugspitze Region. It isn't easy to keep a clear head during a visit to the attached museum.
Liquors from Bavaria with a history
The monks from the Ettal Abbey mix and experiment with indigenous herbs and plants within the thick monastery walls. The result: fine liquors stored in huge 5,000 liter (1321 gallon) wooden kegs where they mature. The exact ingredients that Father Vitalis mixes together to produce the Ettal monastery liquors is a well-kept secret. No more than two monks receive the current recipe from the abbot. Insiders talk about yellow (honey and saffron), red (blueberry), green (40 herbs), and brown (bitter) liquors. Besides these, they also produce the popular Ettal hay liquor, semi-bitter hops liquor (Hopfenhalbbitter), and the clear liquor - without sugar, full-flavored and dry. As if that weren't enough: The monks have also created tinctures made of arnica and mountain pine shrubs for tired muscles, not to mention special ladies' and gents' aromas.
The Ettal Brewery and Distillery Museum, founded in 1998, is an attraction in itself. The four centuries of the history of the Ettal Abbey Brewery are documented on an exhibit area of over 400 m2 (4306 ft2). You also learn some interesting facts about the distillery, like for example, that the monks have produced their liquors without the use of additives and artificial flavoring from the very start.
The recipe in the medicine cabinet
In the 19th century, the abbey, Kloster Ettal, was dissolved in the process of secularization. When this happened, the abbey's medicine cabinet ended up in the Byschl family's possession. The old recipe for the "Ettaler Monastery Liquor" was discovered in this medicine cabinet. In the second half of the 19th century, the family, which opened the first pharmacy in Garmisch, began producing this liquor again. The Ettal Abbey was rebuilt by the monks of the Scheyern Abbey in 1900. Soon afterwards, the recipe for the "Ettaler Klosterliqueur" was returned to the monks. The distinctive "Baroque Bottle", which underlines the uniqueness of the patented "Ettaler Klosterliqueur", was developed around 1911.
Come and visit the Ettal Brewery and Distillery Museum during your vacation in the Ammergau Alps for a truly memorable "spirited" experience.