Eiskeller der Brauerei Beuing

Useful Information

Location: Gooiker Pl. 1, 48341 Altenberge.
A1 motorway junction Münster-Nord, exit 77, B54 toward Steinfurt/Gronau exit Altenberge, at the roundabout town centre toward Steinfurt/Nordwalde. At the end of the town, turn right into Gooiker Platz/Grundschule Altenberge. Signposted.
(52.050064, 7.466803)
Open: MAY to SEP 1st Sun 11-16.
Fee: Adults EUR 2, Children (0-15) free.
Classification: SubterraneaIce Cellars
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours:
Bibliography: Manfred Weiß (2002): Die Eiskeller der ehemaligen Bierbrauerei Gebrüder Beuing in Altenberge, Altenberge Stadtmarketing. Wiermer Verlag, Altenberge 2002, ISBN 3-926813-07-5, € 3.
Address: Eiskeller Altenberge, Gooiker Pl. 1, 48341 Altenberge, Tel: +49-2505-8232.
Eiskeller Altenberge, Sebastian Nebel, Kirchstr. 25, 48341 Altenberge, Tel: +49-2505-8227. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


01-FEB-1860 Beuing brothers submit an application for the construction of a so-called "Bavarian" brewery.
1860 start of cellar construction.
31-JAN-1861 brewing of beer begins.
1871 steam boiler with a steam engine from the company Münnich & Co. from Chemnitz installed.
1879 additional artificial cooling system from the Linde company installed.
1927 fire destroys the brewery.
1929 sold to the Swedish merchant Andreas Okesson.
1930 bought back by Clemens Beuing.
1931 converted into a grain distillery, ice cellars were no longer needed.
1982/83 company building demolished.
1996 cellar facilities recognised as listed buildings and placed under protection.
11-SEP-2004 museum opened.


Eisernte. Public Domain.

Actually, these cellars have no name of their own, and so are paraphrased, either Eiskeller der Brauerei Beuing after their former owner, or Eiskeller Altenberge after the town where they are located. The cellars were part of the former brewery of the Beuing brothers in the municipality of Altenberge in the Münsterland region of northern North Rhine-Westphalia. On their website, they use the name Eiskeller Altenberge. There is a newly built pavilion above the cellars called Info-Zentrum Eisscholle with an exhibition on the history of the cellars.

The Beuing brothers applied for the construction of a so-called "Bavarian" brewery. They had bought a site on the outskirts of the village and wanted to build a brewery there and brew Bavarian beer. Franz Beuing was a baker and brewmaster, Johann Hermann Beuing a merchant. An advantageous combination, the Royal Prussian Government in Münster probably thought, and quickly approved the application and construction began. Exactly one year after the application was submitted, production began, although the cellar was not even finished.

The so-called Bavarian beer was a lager beer, a refreshing and extremely tasty beer. To produce it, the fermentation of the beer wort had to take place at a temperature between 5 °C and 7 °C and the young beer had to mature at temperatures between 0 °C and 5 °C. But since cellars have a temperature of 8 °C, additional cooling was absolutely necessary.

The cellar is laid out on three levels and is solidly lined with bricks. The upper two cellars were used for storing the ice, the lower one for the beer. The cold was conducted through several openings into the fermentation and storage cellars. The resulting meltwater was drained away by a drainage system of gutters and pipes.

Ice was usually obtained from lakes in winter, or artificially produced on ice gallows, sawn into blocks and stored in ice cellars. In Altenberge there were several so-called Eiswiesen (ice meadows), and one of them was in the immediate vicinity of the brewery on the other side of Borndalweg. The meadows were flooded in winter by damming up a stream. When the ice on the standing water reached a thickness of 12 cm, it was cut into large slabs of ice with rough-toothed saws and axes. These were pulled to the side with long hooks and cut into smaller pieces with hoes. Horse-drawn carts brought them to the ice cellar, and they were simply thrown into the ice cellar through openings in the ceiling. The chunks of ice were doused with a little water and froze back into large blocks.

To transport beer barrels into the cellar and back up again, there was a lift driven by horse power through a Göpelwerk. In 1883, it was replaced by a hoisting machine. There was also a spiral staircase connecting the cellars.