Local news translated – April 8, 2024

Graphic by U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart Public Affairs Office

Host Nation Update, April 8, 2024

The Music Summer on the Marketplace

These are the bands for Sindelfingen rocks Five Wednesday evenings, five live concerts from July 31st to August 28th – the summer is packed with excitement. And with the Beatles band “Help!” a familiar face returns, who enchanted the people on the marketplace seven years ago. Sindelfingen. “Sindelfingen rocks” no longer has much in common with the pure rock music series of the early years. Organizer Johannes Leichtle has long since expanded the portfolio. “Sindelfingen rocks means that the people of Sindelfingen rock. Rocking means celebrating,” he has explained several times. And thus also prepared the ground so that in recent years, groups have taken to the stage singing Abba hits or imitating Udo Jürgens. That’s what it’s all about with the so-called tribute bands: They don’t just play the hits of the greats, they also want to get as close as possible to the originals in gesture and demeanor. The mix makes it, and so every evening is a bit different and some very special. Like the one on August 23, 2017, when it got a little wet in between and an almost British summer drizzle set in, which soon disappeared again. Shortly afterwards, pairs of eyes became moist, including those of Johannes Leichtle from Leonberg. “I’ve never experienced such an atmosphere,” he likes to think back to how a gigantic choir sang “Yesterday” on the marketplace.

The mushroom heads on stage have neither much to do with Liverpool nor with London’s Abbey Road, to which Beatles fans still pilgrimage daily to recreate the legendary Beatles cover of the eleventh studio album with the zebra crossing at house number 3. The musicians who are now returning to Sindelfingen come from Slovenia – which is pretty irrelevant for the matter itself. “Let it be,” “Yellow Submarine,” “A hard day’s night” – it’s about the classics.

The program The final chord belongs to the Slovenian band “Help!”. Here is the complete program for the Music Summer in Sindelfingen:

July 31: Rox (Roxette Tribute/Netherlands) August 7: True Collins (Phil Collins and Genesis Tribute/Germany)

August 14: Mothership (Led Zeppelin Tribute/Italy)

August 21: Queen Mania (Queen Tribute/Italy)

August 28: Help! (Beatles Tribute/Slovenia) For those who can’t get enough: The bands play in Kornwestheim on Mondays, in Eislingen on Thursdays, in Bietigheim on Fridays, and in Leonberg Strohländle on Engelbergwiese on Saturdays, each corresponding week. (SZBZ 07 April, 2024)


These breweries exist in and around Stuttgart.

The small brewery Weissacher Tälesbräu is insolvent. But Baden-Württemberg and the region around Stuttgart are still home to many breweries. A selection. No one can beat the Bavarians – even if this principle is currently less applicable in football: When it comes to beer, no one can compete with the southeastern German state. Nowhere are there as many breweries as in Bavaria: According to the Federal Statistical Office, there were 624 brewing sites in 2022. This puts Bavaria firmly in the lead. But right behind, in second place – albeit with a considerable distance – follows: Baden-Württemberg. The Federal Statistical Office counted 212 brewing sites in the southwest two years ago. “Baden-Württemberg is less characterized by large breweries, but by many small and medium-sized breweries,” says Andreas Schwarz from the Baden-Württemberg Brewers’ Association. But now one of these is disappearing from this group: The small brewery Weissacher Tälesbräu from the Rems-Murr district is insolvent (we reported). However, this does not change the fact that Baden-Württemberg and the region around Stuttgart are still home to many breweries.

  1. Family brewery Dinkelacker-Schwabenbräu in Stuttgart: The Dinkelacker-Schwabenbräu brewery not only offers various brands such as Sanwald or Wulle, but also has an “extensive repertoire of beer styles,” says beer expert Andreas Schwarz: From Export to Pilsner to dark beers or Helles. Company CEO Christian Dinkelacker told our newspaper last year: “We are the only true Stuttgart brewery.” But the biggest competitor in the city has something against that…
  2. Stuttgarter Hofbräu: … because in the state capital, in addition to Dinkelacker-Schwabenbräu, there is another major brewery. Stuttgarter Hofbräu also has its home here, which is why the competitor responded to the Dinkelacker statement and clarified: “As a beer named after its place of origin, Stuttgarter Hofbräu is only brewed in Stuttgart.” Otherwise, the slogan “Proud to be a Stuttgarter for life!” would be out of place.
  3. Cannstatter Keller Bräu in Bad Cannstatt: “An honor to our Cannstatt” is how the Keller Bräu from the Stuttgart district is described on the microbrewery’s website. For years, Markus Schmitt has been brewing hobby-style in his cellar. Today, Cannstatter Keller can be found in supermarkets, bars, and online.
  4. Kraftpaule in Stuttgart: Kraftpaule is the self-proclaimed expert for Craft Beer in Stuttgart. The brewery offers a total of twelve different beers. “All with high flavor and low resistance to drinking!”, as they advertise on their website.
  5. Rossknecht Brewery in Stuttgart-Feuerbach/Ludwigsburg: The Rossknecht brewery has now moved to a new location in Stuttgart-Feuerbach, with its main branch in Ludwigsburg. There, in addition to the beer experience, you can also “eat excellently,” says Schwarz.
  6. Schönbuch Braumanufaktur in Böblingen: In Böblingen, the Schönbuch brewery is known for its “extreme variety of styles,” as Schwarz describes it. As one of the first regional breweries, they have added classic Craft Beer styles like Pale Ale to their range.
  7. Fischer’s Brauhaus in Mössingen with the Brauhaus Neckarmüller in Tübingen: “This is a real family brewery,” says Schwarz. Today, daughters and son lead the brewery in the next generation with “many great beer varieties,” says Schwarz. You can also enjoy these while dining at the Neckarmüller restaurant brewery in Tübingen.
  8. Schimpf Brewery in Remmingsheim (Tübingen district): Since its founding in 1870, the Kronenbrauerei in the small village of Remmingsheim has been managed in the fourth and fifth generations. Within a radius of about 50 kilometers, Schimpf beers can be found in restaurants, clubhouses, and beverage markets.
  9. Hirschbrauerei Schilling in Römerstein (Reutlingen district): “Drinking is more than quenching thirst – it is sociability – it is satisfaction – it is society,” says the family business on its website. According to the owners’ family, the Hirschbrauerei was first mentioned in writing in 1826.
  10. Singh Brewery in Weilheim/Teck (Esslingen district): With great passion, effort, and attention to detail, colleagues in Weilheim/Teck brew, reports Andreas Schwarz. Craft beer varieties are also part of Singh Brewery’s offerings.
  11. Schwanen-Bräu in Filderstadt-Bernhausen (Esslingen district): The Swabian-Bavarian tavern brewery spoils its guests with delicious dishes and, among other things, with the house-brewed Schwanen-Bräu Pils and wheat beer. In addition, there are different seasonal beers tailored to the seasons.
  12. Lammbrauerei Hilsenbeck in Gruibingen (Göppingen district): The Lammbrauerei Hilsenbeck is mainly known as “Gruibingen beer,” says Andreas Schwarz. The special feature: Seasonal beers are brewed in Gruibingen to match the time of year: Gruibinger Meister Bock (dark bock beer) for the 1st Advent, Gruibinger Osterhäsle in spring, and summer beer for the hot season.
  13. Hochdorfer Kronenbrauerei in Nagold-Hochdorf (Calw district): The Hochdorfer brewery can look back on a history of more than 350 years. The family-run business is now brewing in the twelfth generation.
  14. Foxy Bräu in Bad Wildbad (Calw district): At Foxy Bräu, “extremely exciting beers are brewed,” says Andreas Schwarz. For example, the Creamy Chocolate Stout, a dark specialty beer – or the Foxynator, “our Lenten beer, following the tradition of the monks,” as it says on the website. “A very creative brewery in terms of wording and recipe,” says Schwarz.
  15. Kesselhaus in Schorndorf (Rems-Murr district): At Kesselhaus, you can practically taste the food directly in the brewery. “You can see all the kettles – and the beers are excellent companions to food,” says Schwarz. In addition, the owner is a beer sommelier and can explain the different varieties and make recommendations on which beer goes with which food. (SZBZ 07 April. 2024)


Lidl’s Recipe Against Empty Shelves

The Schwarz Group in Neckarsulm (formerly Lidl & Schwarz) is increasingly producing its own goods. This is intended to ensure the supply to Lidl and Kaufland. Products such as ice cream, coffee, chocolate, pasta, baked goods, and mineral water are manufactured. Empty shelves in supermarkets are a nuisance for customers, and for food retailers, they are a nightmare: First, sales decline, then customers vanish. Retailers have learned from the corona crisis and are trying to become less dependent on suppliers by producing highly demanded products of their own brands. Schwarz Production, a sister company of Lidl and Kaufland since 2022, with 5,500 employees and a turnover of 3.4 billion euros, is a kind of hidden champion – and Germany’s largest pasta manufacturer. Jörg Aldenkott, CEO of Schwarz Production, outlines the clear mission of the production plants: “We operate wherever there have been supply shortages in the past” – or where such shortages are looming. Products such as pasta, baked goods, ice cream, and coffee: These are all products of interest to Schwarz Production. “We focus on products that are in high demand,” says Aldenkott.

The company’s own production within the Schwarz Group began in 2008 with the acquisition of the insolvent MEG, formerly Mitteldeutsche Erfrischungsgetränke. The concern was that if the beverage manufacturer in Weißenfels in Saxony-Anhalt – the current headquarters of Schwarz Production – were to disappear, the supply of mineral water to Schwarz’s retail business would no longer be guaranteed. “Drinking water will become a scarce commodity. By buying such a company, one also wants to secure the sources,” says Carsten Kortum, course leader in business administration – retail at the Dual University of Baden-Württemberg in Heilbronn.

Lidl’s Water Sources Schwarz Production now has many goods in its portfolio: for example, the coffee roastery Bon Presso in Rheine, North Rhine-Westphalia, with 130 employees. In this federal state, there is also the ice cream manufacturer Bon Gelati with factories in Übach-Palenberg and Waldfeucht-Haaren, employing a total of 720 people.

Using ice cream as an example, Aldenkott explains another advantage of in-house production: “We can produce our ice cream exactly as our two partners wish” – Lidl and Kaufland don’t have to negotiate extensively with external suppliers. Schwarz, as the largest food retail group in Europe, can also better utilize its own production than a smaller retailer, says Kortum. While in-house production ties up capital, high-quality own brands can also be produced, and in the event of a separation from suppliers, “gaps on the shelves can be filled,” says the retail expert.

High Demand for Pasta and Baked Goods Schwarz is also involved in pasta: in 2022, the company took over Erfurter Teigwaren GmbH. Germany’s largest pasta manufacturer, according to its own information, has since produced noodles exclusively for the Schwarz Group under the brand name Bon Pasta, with 170 employees. According to Kortum, Edeka had to look for a new pasta supplier and bought a manufacturer in Italy. The Edeka headquarters in Hamburg confirms the purchase but says nothing about whether it was a response to Schwarz Production taking over the pasta factory.

At the beginning of the year, the business of the bakery manufacturer Artiback in Halle an der Saale was taken over. So far, 150 employees have been working there. The company’s own bakery division, named Bonback, has been expanded through the acquisition. “We will also expand Artiback itself,” Aldenkott announces. Artiback is by no means the largest bakery producer in the company. In Übach-Palenberg, 830 employees bake.

Lidl and Kaufland Own Brands Schwarz Production manufactures own brands for Lidl and Kaufland – but not all own brands come from in-house production. Overall, their share of the offering on the shelves of Lidl and Kaufland is “in the single-digit range,” says Aldenkott, adding immediately: “We do not pose a threat to medium-sized food manufacturers.”

And something else is important to him: “All our 5,500 employees are unionized; there is a works council at every site.” Currently, Schwarz Production’s turnover is 3.4 billion euros. But it is likely to continue to grow – also because Lidl and Kaufland are expanding their store networks further.

Other Competitors Edeka Edeka Südwest, a consortium of various independent retailers based in Offenburg, employs around 47,000 people and generated a turnover of around eight billion euros in 2022. Around 2,500 employees work in the production facilities. They generated sales of 1.1 billion euros. The consortium includes the meat and sausage manufacturer Edeka Südwest Fleisch, the bakery group Backkultur, the mineral water bottler Schwarzwaldsprudel, the Ortenau winery, and the fish specialist Frischkost. Edeka Südwest’s sales area includes Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, the southern part of Hesse, and parts of Bavaria. Edeka Südwest is one of seven regional companies in Germany. The total turnover of the Edeka Group in 2022 was 66.2 billion euros with 408,900 employees. According to the Hamburg Edeka headquarters, three mineral water bottlers, 14 bakeries, 14 regional meat plants, two fruit filling plants, two wineries, and a pasta factory are among the production facilities of the Edeka Group.

Aldi Aldi practically has no production facilities of its own but relies on cooperation with long-standing suppliers. However, Aldi Nord entered the mineral water production for the first time in 2022. (SZBZ Ulrich Schreyer 06.April 2024)