Author Topic: The Death of German Brewing?  (Read 1777 times)

Offline dbeechum

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The Death of German Brewing?
« on: March 02, 2011, 12:33:48 PM »
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Offline bluesman

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Re: The Death of German Brewing?
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2011, 12:48:46 PM »
I think it's sad but I'm not surprised as the up and coming generation in Germany want more than traditional beer offerings. I also point to Reinheitsgebot as the culprit. I think it puts a damper on freedom of choice as there is "relatively speaking" a limited offering within Germany due to the restrictions of the purity law.

As you may already know, I am a big German beer fan. I love a good Munich Helles and a rich Dopplebock. I am hopeful that this is just a downward trend that will turnaround in the near future.



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Offline euge

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Re: The Death of German Brewing?
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2011, 12:53:26 PM »
Quote
"At first I think they were like, 'Oh look, the American has come to learn how to brew from our great brewers,'" recalls Oliver.

*said in Beerfest-style German accent*

That Schneider Hopfen-Weisse is one of my all-time favorite beers.

What's happening to the Germans already happened in America when lagers became king. Just a different mechanism. Sad though. And I have tasted alcopop like Joose. That stuff is aimed at kids.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: The Death of German Brewing?
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2011, 12:57:49 PM »
I think it sounds great - they can learn some stuff from what we've done here, and hopefully become innovators in their own right.  The Reinheitsgebot is too limiting, people don't want the same old beer anymore.  I think it will be tough for some to adapt, but those that do should do very well moving forward.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: The Death of German Brewing?
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2011, 01:03:29 PM »
The trend was underway when I lived in Germany in '98-'99.  The bigger breweries are doing OK.  It is the regional and local family owned ones that are shutting down.  Many of the family owned breweries shut down when the kids don't see spending their life doing hard physical labor for little financial reward, and the parents are at the time to retire.

There are still the small brewpubs that have opened since I lived there.  So that trend has started in Germany.

England has gone farther down this path.  Many regional brewers that I had pints of in the 90's are long gone.  Getting ready for gathering in the basement bar, I was sad to see many of the pub towels on the bar are from now defunct breweries.

Innovation may take hold, but most Germans that I know think Belgian beer is "suspect" due to the use of ingredients not allowed in the Reinheitsgebot.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2011, 01:06:11 PM by hopfenundmalz »
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Offline punatic

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Re: The Death of German Brewing?
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2011, 01:12:08 PM »
If I'm not mistaken, the Reinheitsgebot is no longer law.
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Offline dbeechum

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Re: The Death of German Brewing?
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2011, 01:18:37 PM »
That's what it says in the article, but it does mention that most breweries still hold to it in a sort of "It's Tradtion and we market to it" sort of way.
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Offline beersk

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Re: The Death of German Brewing?
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2011, 01:31:01 PM »
That's what it says in the article, but it does mention that most breweries still hold to it in a sort of "It's Tradtion and we market to it" sort of way.

Well isn't this the problem then?  If they're refusing to innovate and move away from tradition on such a strict basis, they're doing this to themselves...
Go big AND go home.

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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: The Death of German Brewing?
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2011, 01:33:44 PM »
There is something to be said for tradition, but that something need not be favorable. :)

We don't need to abandon history, but there is room to incorporate new ideas and ingredients while still saying "no poisons".
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Offline punatic

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Re: The Death of German Brewing?
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2011, 01:40:15 PM »
I think it's a swinging pendulum.  I don't think there is a culture that is more tied to beer than German culture.  They are fiercely traditional too.  I can't imagine losing German beer tradition to a flavor-of-the-month fad.

To my taste, German beers are the best.  I spent a lot of time in Bayern in the '80s.  They are what inspired me to start brewing; I couldn't find fresh German beer, like what I had there, here in the US; so I decided to try brewing them myself.
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Re: The Death of German Brewing?
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2011, 02:20:16 PM »
My concern is that innovation does tend to be brash.  It would be a devastating loss to completely dismiss or "abandon history."  That said my favorite homebrews are non-Reinheitsgebot German brews.  The rest of this decade will be interesting; it seems that we're all in for significant changes (economy, politics, beer, etc.)  No doom and gloom just changes.  cheers, j
« Last Edit: March 02, 2011, 02:22:41 PM by jaybeerman »

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: The Death of German Brewing?
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2011, 03:11:47 PM »
You can scroll down to the Rheinheitsgebot Today part.

Top fermenting beers can use other grains and sugars.  Bottom fermenting cannot, still water, malted barley and hops.

http://www.europeanbeerguide.net/reinheit.htm
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Offline MrNate

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Re: The Death of German Brewing?
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2011, 02:25:24 PM »
And by the way, a German friend made me try one of those beer-and-cola abominations. It's about as god-awful as you might expect.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: The Death of German Brewing?
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2011, 05:10:59 PM »
I saw a girl drinking a hefe and cola mixture in Bamberg :o

And the hefe/syrup mixtures were popular in lots of places in Berlin, some had 20 bottles of different flavored juices.  I'd never seen banana juice before.  ::)
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Offline punatic

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Re: The Death of German Brewing?
« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2011, 06:37:55 PM »
I saw a girl drinking a hefe and cola mixture in Bamberg :o

And the hefe/syrup mixtures were popular in lots of places in Berlin, some had 20 bottles of different flavored juices.  I'd never seen banana juice before.  ::)

Maybe it was Berliner Weiße?
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