where are we from and where are we going?

For 100,000 years, the land that will later become Grafing has been frozen under 500 meters of ice. Until 10,000 years ago the temperatures finally rose and the Inn glacier was thawing. What remains are the Inn, the Rosenheim lake basin and the beautiful, hilly moraine landscape around Grafing.

When the descendants of modern humans reach the foothills of the Alps, they penetrate into the Rosenheim basin, which becomes the home of the Bavarians. There they develop their very special Bavarian life and language culture.

The birth of Wildbräu: the world’s oldest private brewery

When Duke Heinrich II built the Gisling estate for his wife Gisela in 960, he laid an important foundation stone for the development of Grafing. Because when he loses a struggle for domination within the family with his uncle Otto I, Duke of Saxony and King of the East Franconian Empire, the property is withdrawn from him and passed on to the opposing Count, who renames it “Landgut Grafing”. This is how the ducal founding place Grafing and the birthplace of today’s Wildbräus come into being. 1060 – our founding date. The priest Konrad assigns a property in Sulding to the Benedictine Abbey of Ebersberg and receives annual donations in kind from the Gisling / Grafing estate, including a fixed quota of full beer (“cervesia plena”) that was already brewed there at the time.

The Wildbräu brewery parlour: a centuries-old meeting place

As early as 1205, the aristocratic Grafing estate was granted the “Ius Tavernae”, the right to serve beer as a tavern. A tavern has been operating there for 816 years. Today it is called the “Bräustüberl” of the Wildbräu.

Meanwhile, the struggle for power continues. The Wittelsbachs and Habsburgs went to war against each other for centuries. When the people of Grafingen supported their Ludwig IV of Bavaria victoriously in the decisive battle of Mühldorf in 1322, legend has it that they received a special honour.

After the battle, Ludwig thanked the Grafinger ensign: “You fought strong and brave like bears.” In addition to great gratitude, the people of Grafingen benefit from a generous tax exemption in the following years. And when Duke Ludwig IV fully asserted himself, first becoming king and five years later emperor, the people of Grafingen proudly adopted the bear as part of the town’s coat of arms in 1430.

From the brave little flag to the heraldic animal: the birth of the Wildbräu bear and the history of brewing

Hildebrand von Kitscher, the owner of the Grafing estate, had the brewery and the adjoining inn repaired after a fire in 1536. This is where the documented history of brewing begins – beer has been brewed in Grafing for 485 years.

At the end of the century, further private breweries set up around the market square. The family of Jörg Grandauer from Leitzachtal has been involved since 1590. Jakob Reiter and Hans Dosch also joined them. The breweries not only characterise the town centre and public life – some brewers are true benefactors for the town, even mayors are among them. They promote the town’s social life and allow Grafing to flourish.

In 1619, Duke Maximilian I finally had the manorial brewery entered in the brewing register. This meant that all breweries were now officially recognised. Finally, in the 19th century, major changes took place. In just 100 years, four breweries are gradually merged into one.

From guild to unity: the evolution of Wildbräu as the oldest private brewery in the world

One of Grafingen’s breweries, the “Reiterbräu”, is bought in 1857 by an ancestor of today’s brewer Gregor Schlederer. The manorial brewery, later also called Kasperlbräu, is renamed Wildbräu by the family. Grafing’s upright, courageous bear also becomes the trademark of this first large Grafing brewery. Wildbräu is now Grafing, and Grafing is Wildbräu. When Heckerbräu in 1901 and Grandauerbräu in 1993 were also incorporated into the thick, strong line of Wildbräu, the experience of 500 years of traditional Grafing brewing families was combined.

When the First World War came to an end in 1918, Bavaria was in danger of sinking into chaos, but courageous citizens of Grafingen intervened once again. In doing so, they supported the creation of the Free State of Bavaria and saved the young democracy.


In 1953, the brave 700 year old Markt Grafing was elevated to the status of town. Where previously 200 people lived, there are now 12,000. The city of Grafing is booming and growing. And today? Is the young, courageous Gregor Max Schlederer responsible for the fate of the Wildbräu as a direct descendant. Today Gregor Max Schlederer carries the wild brew and the legendary Grafinger brewing tradition from 1536 into the future. It unites the strength and history of many generations of Grafinger brewing families.

It is brewed at home in Grafing near Munich with the local ingredients barley, hops and yeast – according to the purity law of 1516. The water comes as young, fresh and sustainable water from the Grafingen basin. It is enriched with the minerals of the Alps, Africa and Europe – and the stories from the Ice Age.


Even the upright, battle-ready bear shines in full splendor again today. It not only embodies the courage of the city, but also adorns bottles, carriers and advertising space in the Grafinger area, in the greater Munich area and in all the places in the world where people love this wild, traditional Bavarian lifestyle.

The Wildbräu logo shows the bear standing upright with the Maischschait over his shoulder. The bear is borrowed from the coat of arms of the city of Grafing.

The Wildbräu logo pays tribute to two things:

The courage of the Grafingen soldiers who helped the Bavarian ruler to defeat the Austrian ruler in the Battle of Mühldorf in 1322.

The “Maischeschait” over the bear’s shoulder refers to the history of manorial and middle-class brewer families in Grafing.



After a journey through the rich history of Wildbräu, from the icy beginnings of Grafening to the modern art of brewing, we invite you to experience this tradition in person. What could be more authentic than seeing the oldest private brewery in the world with your own eyes? Visit us and immerse yourself in the world of Wildbräu, where history and modernity meet. We offer regular brewery tours where you can not only learn the secrets of our brewing art, but also feel the living heritage of the Grafinger brewing families. And, of course, there’s no shortage of enjoyment: the tour includes a few refreshing beers!


Click here to go directly to our guided tours