Einbeck is full of unexpected layers. Just when you think you have the character of the town well in hand, you turn a corner and stumble upon another nuance of the place. Thus, it seems that nothing can be taken at face value.
For example… Einbeck is home to more half-timber houses in preserved condition than any other place in Germany. Oh, you think, what nice old homes. How well kept they are! Yes, because no one ever lived in them.
They aren’t homes. The vast majority were breweries! Each innocent historical face hides brewmasters and ancient stone cellars full of kegs of the potent Bock beer. ;-)
Bock beer was invented in Einbeck, and the first record export was in 1351. The beer made the town famous, and served to protect it. No matter how angry you get at a place, it just plain goes against human nature to burn, bomb or break down houses full of kegs of beer. Especially when its really, really good beer.
So with all that beer, you’d think you could write Einbeck off as yet another boozy German beer town. Ah, but then there are the Lutherans. Not just a lot of Lutherans, but big powerful ones too. The Mühlenberg family was recruited from Einbeck to come to Pennsylvania as ministers. They went on to form the backbone of American Lutheranism. You can see their home and visit several Lutheran churches in the area.
Of course, the Lutherans and the beer don’t explain all the American high school students in Einbeck in the summer. During the summer months, it seems as though every local family has sprouted a new accessory in the form of a gangly teenager from Utah. They stand out more because the local children are all missing!
Well, okay, not missing. They are all with families in Roy, Utah. The GAPP (German-American Partnership Program) does an exchange every summer for the highschoolers and it is massively popular. All the youth culture moving around also keeps the old town feeling very young and hip.
The young influence contributes to the festival life, too, another layer of Einbeck. There are eight festivals and market fairs, including a 2-day rock festival in May. Those of drinking age, though, will want to be here in late September for the Barrel Rolls, Bar Music Fest, and the cracking of the first kegs for the Oktoberfest season.