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South Africans in Germany

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A different type of Gemütlichkeit awaits you at Besen. It is a wonderful way to meet up with friends.

A Besenwirtschaft, also known as a Strausswirtschaft, Strausse, Besenschänke or just plain Besen, is a seasonal wine tavern popular in the wine growing areas of Germany.
Most Besens are only open for a short period in late autumn and early winter. By law they can be open a maximum of 4 months. Some now open for a short period in summer as well, as they are allowed to split their opening periods in two.
Many establishments will hang a broom outside the building to indicate that they are open.
The Besen is usually run by the Winzer ( Winery/ Wine farm owner) an offers simple food served with wine from the Winery.
The decoration is mostly simple, traditional and rustic, with long wooden tables and chairs.
People usually share a table with other patrons, and the maximum capacity is 40 people.
You can buy bottles of wine to take home.


You can expect some of the following dishes at a Besen

  • Schlachtplatte– Black sausage, boiled pork belly, liver sausage  and sauerkraut
  • Kalsbsbratwürste with bread or Swabian potato salad, which is served at room temperature
  • Kesselfleisch with Sauerkraut – Boiled pork belly and sauerkraut
  • Griebenschmalzbrot – Bread with lard (cooked out pork fat)
  • Liver dishes
  • Bread with cheese
  • Schinkenbrot – Bread with ham
  • Maultaschen mit Kartoffelsalat – Schwabian ravioli with potato salad. Regional to Swabia
  • Blaue Zipfel. Bratwurst cooked in vinegar and onions. Regional in Franconia
  • Wurstsalat – Shredded cold meat salad
  • Weck, Worscht un Woi – A bread roll, sausage and wine. Regional to the Rhenish Hesse and the Rheingau


  • Only wine and distilled spirits are allowed to be served. Beer is not allowed
  • Coffee can be served
  • At least one non alcoholic beverage has to be offered. This does not include tap water
  • Depending on the time of year you might find Most. Some also call it First wine as it is the first step in making wine. It is much sweeter than wine and is not filtered like grape juice.
  • Federweiße can also be on offer in late summer. Federweiße is between most and wine. “The term Federweißer is fermented grape must that has not yet completed the fermentation process. For the production, the grapes are processed into must immediately after harvest. After that, the yeast starts its work and converts the sugar into alcohol. As soon as the alcohol content has reached 4 to 5%, the feather white is ready for the first tasting. It is characterized by the turbidity caused by the active yeasts. When pouring it creates a slight foam, the liquid pearls in the glass. The fresh spring white is fruity and tingles slightly on the tongue. It’s relatively sweet because the yeast has not yet completely broken down the sugar in the grape must. After a few days of storage at room temperature, it has a significantly tart taste, has a higher alcohol content and is more similar to a wine.”


So far at all the Besens I’ve been to, dessert was always a piece of bread with home made jam and is called Gsälzbrot.  Gsälz is strawberry marmelade

List of Besens with opening dates