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Explore the Sober Travel Trend in Southwest Germany

by Debra Bokur

Apr 18, 2023

Boar Gin © Jigal Fichtner


If the idea of traveling to Southwest Germany’s beloved wine regions or touring its historic beer halls and not, well, tasting anything along the way seems like a tough trip, consider this: Sober tourism is on the rise and, thanks to the tasty efforts of area producers, there’s not an ounce of hardship involved.

Skilled producers of wines, beers and spirits have risen to the sober tourism challenge, creating impressive and memorable alcohol-free versions of their beverages. Consider Piff Paff Hydrolat, which draws creative inspiration from a circus once found on Stuttgart’s Marienplatz. This alcohol-free gin is created through a process that pushes steam through flowers and herbs, resulting in a pleasing botanical flavor profile ranging from sage and rosemary to bee balm. The gin’s price tag is a cheeky take on a circus ticket hanging from the bottle’s neck.


© Applaus Gin Stuttgart

Max Leibinger brewery in Ravensburg is no stranger to creating new takes on familiar Classics. In 1901, they set a new standard with the introduction of the first bottled beer. Today, the master brewers at the historic “Bierbucket” brewery created a method that doesn’t require the early interruption of the fermentation process, and which utilizes an innovative yeast, allowing for a full retention of aroma, despite the lack of alcohol.

The label Böser Kater translates to angry cat, and the slang refers to a hangover — but the Schleihauf fruit distillery in Eppingen (between Heidelberg and Stuttgart) produces a gin alternative using organic juniper berries, leaving you smiling and headache-free. Bonus: With each purchase, Schleihauf donates to projects and programs that help protect cats.

© TMBW Dupper

If your Achilles heel involves something sparkling, reach for one of the “PriSeccos” produced by Jörg Geiger. Meadow fruits from the Swabian Alb, green tea and wild card ingredients such as oak leaves are skillfully combined to create refreshingly alcohol-free effervescent beverages.

Black Forest raspberries are the star of the Alfred Schleihauf distillery’s Vincent, a non- alcoholic aperitif benefiting from more than 175 years of distilling tradition. Natural herbal extracts also feature, and the contents are delivered in a beautiful, brilliantly hued, ruby-colored bottle with a tropical leaf label.


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