Glühwein pyramid to make big debut at Carmel’s Christkindlmarkt


Carmel’s Christkindlmarkt will be a bit bigger this year.

Organizers of the second annual Christmas market recently unveiled the Glühwein Pyramid, a 33-foot tall wooden structure that will serve a variety of flavors of the sweet German wine.

“To our knowledge it is the only one in the U.S.,” said Maria Murphy, market master. “There are other large pyramids, one in Texas in particular, but it doesn’t have the Glühwein base and it doesn’t function the same way that ours does.”

Workers in the pyramid’s base will serve 11 variations of alcoholic beverages and two non-alcoholic ones. Glühwein was a big success at the inaugural market last year, with 10,000 boot-shaped mugs primarily for the sweet drink selling out in just nine days. This year organizers are ordering 30,000 boot-shaped mugs and 30,000 train-shaped ones.

Carmel’s pyramid weighs an estimated 10 tons and will have more than 3,000 lights. The market partnered with Steinbach, a German company known for its nutcrackers and handmade Christmas products, to bring the installation to Carmel.

“When (Steinbach officials) came to visit their different markets and see how everything was going, they were blown away by Carmel’s market,” Murphy said.

Nonprofit Carmel Christkindlmarkt Inc. is purchasing the pyramid and did not disclose its cost. The market is supported through a grant from the City of Carmel. The city provided $400,000 to help launch the market last year and is giving $125,000 this year. Murphy said she expects the market will be able to operate without funds from the city in the near future.

Although new to the Midwest, Murphy said the towering structures are common at winter markets in Europe.

“You’ll usually see a Ferris wheel and you’ll see a Glühwein pyramid,” she said, adding that a Ferris wheel won’t be making an appearance at this year’s market but is something planners might consider at a future date.

The Christkindlmarkt will kick off Nov. 17 and run through Dec. 23 at 10 Center Green. Learn more at


Beverages available at the Glühwein are:

  • Red mulled wine
  • White mulled wine
  • Spiced rosé mulled wine
  • Blueberry mulled wine
  • Cherry mulled wine
  • Spiced cranberry mulled wine
  • Glühbier-mulled beer
  • Radeberger German beer
  • Egg punch
  • Baked apple punch
  • Elderberry punch
  • Children’s non-alcoholic punch
  • Cranberry orange non-alcoholic punch