Besenwirtschaften Explained: Learn More About the Broomstick Inns

During the fall and winter months, local wines and traditional cuisine can be sampled throughout various Besenwirtschaften, or broomstick inns. (Image: Neckar Magazin via

Many cultures have their unique seasonal practices, and among these are the Besenwirtschaften. While the Besen might not be something you’ve heard before, it comes with an exciting approach and can be something tourists are also welcome to experience.

If you want to learn more about the Besen and the meaning behind the peculiar broomstick on top of the door, read more to know the whole story. This intriguing seasonal tradition has a story behind it.

Let’s start by first learning what precisely the Besenwirtschaften is.

What is the Besenwirtschaften?

The Besenwirtschaften is a seasonal tradition also known as the Besen. It usually happens around the fall or winter season and involves broomsticks being placed outside of homes.

This season comes after the wine is harvested, which signifies that the home serves lunch and dinner with their local wines.

The origins of Besenwirtschaft: Exploring its roots and history

Besenwitschaften is an old German word for old little taverns in the 9th century. It was often heard in the south of Germany and could also be called Strausswirtschaft, Strausse, Besenchänke, or its most straightforward word, Besen.

Its origin is simple, and Besen happens when the vintners or winners have harvested wine and are selling it from the comfort of their own home, barn, or basement. The broom outside is a sign that they are open for business.

The Besen is a treat for the locals, allowing them to enjoy a glass of wine with a usually affordable home-cooked meal.

So far, it’s hard to tell when this tradition began, but the word was used as early as the 9th century, which still meant the same or similar thing.

This tradition's limited nature makes it unique, meaning it only happens for a few months.
This tradition’s limited nature makes it unique, meaning it only happens for a few months. (Image: Heinz Heiss via Stuttgarter Zingtung)

The determinative compound: Broom and economy

People would want to participate in the Besenwirtschafts because it was tax-free, allowing the owners to make straightforward profits without worrying about filing or how much they needed to pay the government.

This tradition is still encouraged today, and many people follow this practice as they get to keep 100 percent of their profits free of business tax. These include everything from wines to homemade meals. 

Another reason this tradition is economically beneficial is that not only are businesses selling to locals, but they are also selling to tourists who hop into town to experience the festivity of the Besen.

While it might not be met with as much song and dance as some would expect, the central fact that people would be invited into a person’s home and served food that they cooked themselves already gives an authentic experience.

A closer look at Besenwirtschafts: Characteristics and experience

There is so much to take in from the Besenwirtschaft because of its rich tradition and very personal experience. Here are some of the things that participants can expect from the Besen.

Seasonal inns: Limited availability and authenticity 

This tradition’s limited nature makes it unique, meaning it only happens for a few months. Because of its fixed nature, participants, visitors, or customers can get a richer experience as businesses or homes usually do their best within that limited time.

The experience is also very authentic as the people selling products often invite others into the private parts of their lives. Sometimes, guests and customers are even met with stories, warm welcomes, and conversations about the products and how they were grown, harvested, or processed.

Since most products are made by those selling them, guests and customers can also ask more about making them or other details like what makes a good wine. Some hosts love to share stories and take pride in their work.

The best part about the Besenwirtschaft is the wines and brandies, mostly the wine.
The best part about the Besenwirtschaft is the wines and brandies, mostly the wine. (Image: via Pixabay)

Homemade wines and brandies: A pride of Besenwirtschaft

The best part about the Besenwirtschaft is the wines and brandies, mostly the wine. Most households sell wine and brandies they made themselves, allowing people to taste something intimate because of their hard work.

During the Besenwirtschaft, it’s also recommended that people try out more than one place to see the difference in taste and how the wine or brandy is brewed. While some may taste similar, others can have an incredibly unique flavor due to the secret recipe of each household.

Simple, hearty dishes: Delighting palates in Besenwirtschaft

While the menu varies depending on location, potato salad, sauerkraut, smoked hams, brown bread, or homemade sausages are often served. These are among the types of dishes one can expect from a house.

However, some houses share intimate recipes passed down from generation to generation, allowing guests to taste something they’ve never experienced before that was cooked in a very personal way.

It’s also important to remember that because these houses often decide to sell, they won’t always serve a comprehensive menu. They might also take longer to cook since not all homes prepare the meals beforehand.


The Besenwirtschaft is an exciting seasonal tradition that people should try if they can. It doesn’t just give visitors and guests a one-time experience but a peak into the culture and homes of those participating in the Besen.

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  • Mike West

    Mike West is a tech/blockchain enthusiast that keeps an eye wide open to the world. He doesn't cower behind a desk but rides into the sunset in search of a way to better understand the world. Through his written works, he hopes to provide a deep dive into the beauty and intricacies of humanity emerging with a fascinating story to tell.