Beer has always been brewed in Cologne. However, the first written evidence of Cologne’s beer history dates back to the early Middle Ages. In 1302, for example, a brewery at Eigelstein 41 was listed for the first time in the city’s Schreinsbuch (land register). For almost 100 years, this was our address. Since the brewing capacity could no longer be expanded in the current residential area, we had to move with the brewery to Cologne-Porz in 2016.
Founding of Gaffel
On May 24, 1908, the Becker brothers founded our brewery. They had clear ideas, rebuilt the house in the style of an old guild house and named it “In der Gaffel”.
The gaffels were the medieval table societies of the craft associations (guilds). The name was derived from the two-pronged fork spike. With the peaceful revolution of September 29, 1396, the noble families, the patricians, no longer constituted the majority in the council of the city of Cologne, but the representatives of the 22 gaffs or guilds. The so-called Verbundbrief, the Cologne city constitution, was valid for almost 400 years. It was not until Napoleon’s French troops occupied the city on October 6, 1794 that the constitution was abrogated.
Gaffel house brewery
Eigelstein 41 became a popular place for the people of Cologne. The excellent, top-fermented Gaffel beer and the good cuisine were well-known in the city. Even before the Second World War, the “Brauerei in der Gaffel” was considered the largest home brewery for top-fermented beer. The 1950s and 1960s were the time of the great upswing. The home brewery became a medium-sized company.
The brewery family Becker
The Becker brothers were experienced entrepreneurs who ran an agricultural business in the north of Cologne, in Roggendorf-Thenhoven. Grain, fertilizer, but also coal were their metier. They owned a roof tile factory and a steam sawmill in Worringen and, since 1884, a brewery in Dormagen. Today, our brewery is still run by the fourth generation of the Becker family. The managing partner is Heinrich Philipp Becker.
The private brewery Gaffel today
Today, we supply 3,000 pubs, restaurants and breweries alone through our beverage wholesalers. In addition, there are numerous restaurants outside the Rhineland. Gaffel is represented in major German cities as well as in the USA, Brazil, Asia and the most popular vacation destinations. In the restaurant trade, Gaffel is by far the most popular Kölsch, with a market share of almost 30 percent. This means that almost one in three Kölsch beers tapped in the core sales area (Cologne administrative district) is a Gaffel.
Our Brewery house Gaffel am Dom
In 2008, we opened the Gaffel am Dom, which is located in the traditional Deichmannhaus. The brewery between the main train station and the cathedral is one of the city’s best-known houses and has absolute cult character. Guests also enjoy the special Cologne atmosphere beyond the carnival: at the Friday performances of Björn Heuser, the many events such as the Brings Brauhausrock or the Südkurvenstimmung at the live TV broadcasts of the 1. FC Köln.