The Magic Brewery

By | Category: Travel destinations
Thorsten AbraXas Ophaus as he appears on his business cards - the beer mats

Thorsten AbraXas Ophaus as he appears on his business cards – the beer mats

Glaabsbrau us the only privately held brewery within an hours’ run of Frankfurt. It also has a magician as the guide who takes you around and explains the brewery.

Founded just over 270 years ago in Seliganstadt, it isn’t the biggest brewery you will ever see but it will probably be the most entertaining! The reason is the guide that they have. Thorsten Ophaus, calling himself “Thorsten AbraXas Ophaus” is also a magician but, as part of his activities, he appears on certain days throughout the year to guide visitors around the brewery. Yes, things will appear and disappear as you walk around; sleights of hand will make it more likely that you will remember the tour and, in case you forget, his face appears on the beer mats that you will probably take away with you. In turn, he uses the beer mats as his business cards when promoting himself, getting bookings and travelling the country with his act.

and just before he "conjures" something out of his pockets.

and just before he “conjures” something out of his pockets.

The brewery is right in the middle of Seligenstadt, a town that is both picturesque and industrious. Here, every four years locals dress in eighteenth century costumes and celebrate the Festival of the Safe Escort! On that day the brewery can be expected to do well. But as a family concern in Seligenstadt going back to 1744 it has strong ties to the town and contributes a float to the celebrations.

Thorsten will tell you all this as he steers you around the copper fermentation vats and explains why the beers are slowly aged. But, as you go, his other role as a magician comes to the fore and things may disappear and reappear depending on his whim. As a “stage performer” Thorsten is used to having an audience and knows how to handle one whilst giving the punters what they want – an enjoyable and informative tour with a hint of magic.

If you can’t time your visit to the next festival in 2019, try to be there for Shrove Monday – called Rosenmontag – in any February. That is when the town has another procession complete with floats, costumes and fun. Forty thousand people come every year. Thorsten and Glaabsbrau will be there, he to talk and guide and the brewery to assist the thirsty!

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