Tuesday 15th April 2014
As I approached this cider house I observed that it had a rather plain exterior, being on the ground floor of a four-story apartment block. Yet what a difference there is inside. I entered and turned right into the principle room and was confronted with some unusual decoration in the main eating and drinking area. The walls are panelled with wood up to shoulder height and on the walls above hang a most eclectic collection of signs, notices and vehicle registration plates.
Dax in the title of the pub is a dialectic version of Dachs, the Badger. In fact the sign outside depicts one of these animals walking on its two rear paws and holding a glass of cider in one of its front paws. Oh, it is also wearing a roll-neck sweater with a big D emblazoned on the chest, honestly! The word has come into English with the word Dachshund, a dog once bred for chasing Badgers out of their setts, hence its strange shape.
After I received a glass of cider (apfelwein) I started to look around. The signs displayed are of many different varieties and are truly international, including a large number of US car registration plates. It is possible that every state is represented on this wall.
Another that made me smile warns that there is “No Dumping” permitted and is at the instructions of Wexford City Council in Ireland.
The furniture is classically wooden with benches around the walls and loose tables and chairs in front. The ceiling is also wooden and other signs that were observed included those of many streets from around the world. There’s also a route map that was once in an Amsterdam tram. The service area is very attractive with a nice wooden bar back on the top of which were a number of the blue and grey ceramic pots used to dispense the cider in to the customers’ glasses.
On the right of the entrance door there is a nice little room, again wood-panelled, yet instead of bric à brac adorning the walls, there are a number of old prints, paintings and photographs of old Frankfurt including some of apfelwein houses. There are a number of old portraits, including a nice one of a man sitting in a pub with a glass of cider. The glass is identical to those used today.
Out the back of the pub is a nice shaded garden (garten). So called even though the traditional tables and benches rest on concrete rather than grass; we are in the heart of the city after all!
On one of the walls is a nice painting in the vernacular style showing a waitress in the same garden with a tray of cider and a number of satisfied-looking drinkers. A photograph of it is shown; please note the traditional embossed jug left on the table for them to help themselves to further apfelwein. It can be purchased by the jug, if required.
There is a full menu and includes Frankfurt specialities, including the eponymous sausage. They are available all over the world yet these are the real deal as they produced by a local butcher here in Sachsenhausen. Other dishes are served with Grüne Sosse (green sauce) for which the province of Hesse is noted for.
The cider is Geiselbacher Gold from the village of Geiselbach, around thirty kilometres east of the city. It is naturally cloudy as it is unfiltered.
Unlike several Apfelwein house this one serves a beer and what a cracker it is. The brewery is Hölzlein in the village of Lohndorf, about eleven kilometres from the famous beer city of Bamberg in Bavaria. The beer is Vollbier (4.7%), their only product. I have never had it and it was not to be on this visit as it was a cider day.
So, all round, this is a great pub for cider and beer; totally recommended.
Apfelwein Dax, Willemerstrasse 11, Frankfurt-Sachsenhausen. Tel: 069 616437
Open: Monday-Sunday 12.00-24.00
The pub is around 200 metres from the Affentor stop on bus routes 30 and 36 and its many pubs.
The tram stop for routes 15 and 16 is at Dreieichstrasse/Lokalbahnhof, about 150 metres away.
The station of Lokalbahnhof is around 300 metres to walk and this served by S-Bahn lines S2-S6.