HOFBRÄU HERITAGE FEATURE #4
The Bavarian Inn, Frankenmuth MI
This summer, the Hofbräu USA team visited the Bavarian Inn Lodge in Frankenmuth, Michigan, for its annual team meeting. “Frankenmuth is a very special place for our brand in the United States, as we consider it the “birthplace” of our import business and the launch of our brand in America,” says Hofbräuhaus of America CEO Steve Ksycki.
In 1997, Hofbräu Oktoberfestbier was first introduced at the Oktoberfest in Frankenmuth, Michigan. Don Keller, a member of the Zehnder family that runs the Bavarian Inn, had made contact with Hofbräu München. He, along with Fred Schumacher, a German businessman based in Frankenmuth, took care of the paperwork to get the beer in time for Oktoberfest, and also helped register our brand in the United States. Fred Schumacher himself later became the first president of Hofbräuhaus of America.
During our visit and after speaking with Martha and Michael Zehnder, the third generation to run the Bavarian Inn and Lodge today, we were able to witness the impact Fred Schumacher had on the local community and that “Uncle Fred” was truly considered part of the family. We enjoyed reminiscing about old stories and coming across Hofbräu relics from earlier times in the historic Bavarian Inn Lodge.
We highly recommend a visit to Frankenmuth – often referred to as “Michigan’s Little Bavaria”! Stay at the Bavarian Inn Lodge, see the Glockenspiel at the Bavarian Inn, enjoy Zehnder’s famous Chicken Dinner and our Hofbräu beer at one of the many venues in town. Frankenmuth celebrates its Bavarian roots through architecture, events and traditions. On top of that, Frankenmuth is a very family-friendly place with water parks for the little ones and, yes, the world’s largest Christmas store.
Thank you to family Zehnder for fostering our heritage and German culture and for being such great hosts to the Hofbräuhaus of America Team.
Experience the charming and picturesque town and its hospitality yourself.