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Viel mehr als nur Hopfen und Malz © Julia Schwendner

Hamburg's craft beer scene growing

Micro breweries creating individual craft beers - presentation on Winter Beer Day in November

The trend toward independent breweries that produce small amounts of beer began in the United States in the 1970s and has been spreading to Germany since 2011. During a recent survey of beer drinkers in Germany conducted by Statista, some 20 per cent of interviewees said they buy craft beer once a month. The people of Hamburg are particularly fond of unusual beers and more and more microbreweries in the city are experimenting with new recipes. Apart from traditional ingredients like hops, malt, water and yeast, now coffee, herbs and even fruit are being added to the drink as well. Thus, today’s craft beers sometimes have a fruity tinge; taste malty and rusty, bitter, spicy or flowery. By emphasising originality and individuality, the unusual tastes are helping microbreweries stand out from corporate breweries.

Winter Beer Day on November 19, 2016

The Craft Beer Days reflect the interest in new beer and the 12th edition of Winter Beer Day will be celebrated on November 19, 2016 in Hamburg’s Schanzenhöfen. Then, 18 breweries from Germany, Denmark and Italy will present their winter and craft beers such as India Pale Ale (IPA) as well as typical stouts and porters. IPA is a hoppy beer style and often has a fine floral and citrus note.

Ratsherrn Brauerei – old brand, new concept

The Ratsherrn Brauerei, opened in 2012, is right beside Alten Mädchen (Old Girl). The brand itself has been in existence for over 50 years. Created by the Elbschloss brewery, it moved to Bavaria St. Pauli Brewery in Hamburg and then to Holsten brewery. Eventually Oliver Nordmann secured the rights to it. Today, it is brewed under the watchful eyes of five master brewers including Thomas Kunst, Philip Bollhorn and Ian Pyle.

Kehrwieder Kreativbrauerei – special permit for Coffee Milk Stout

The self-built southern part of Kehrwieder Kreativbrauerei consists of a former milk tank connected to a vintner’s used filling line and has an output of five hectolitres. And the daily beer output can be doubled. This is where Oliver Wesseloh, winner of the Beer Sommelier World Championship 2013, brews Coffee Milk Stout.

Wildwuchs moves to Hamburg

The Wildwuchs Brauwerk uses ingredients from controlled ecological cultivation. Friedrich Carl Richard Matthies, master brewer and beer sommelier, nicknamed Fiete, is trending with both bio-beers and craft beer. Customers are increasingly enquiring about the origin of the products and ingredient. And those, like Fiete, who can say the hops are from a Biohof Friedrich in Upper Franconia and the barley malt is from Rhön Malz GmbH, create trust.

Hamburg – Brauhaus der Hanse – Brewery of the Hanseatic

Hamburg can, of course, set the tone in the craft beer movement and in historic terms as the city can look back on an impressive beer tradition. The first beers were produced over 1,000 years ago for consumption at home in Hamburg and differed vastly from 21st century brews. The first brewers or Braxatores started their businesses in the mid 13 century and by the mid 14th century Hamburg had nearly 450 breweries. The city had 527 breweries in 1540 and was renowned as the Brewery of the Hanseatic.

Sources and further information:

"No Beer without the Alster Lake"

The “No Beer without the Alster Lake” exhibition is showing in the Museum für Hamburgische Geschichte until March 12, 2017. The exhibits include original objects, written sources and models outlining the development of beer brewing in Hamburg. Beginning with the first hop finds in the Viking settlement of Haithabu, the exhibition highlights the importance of beer as a staple food for the medieval population with a view to modernity and industrial production right up to the 21st century. The museum shows the evolution of the city of Hamburg from 800 to the present day and counts among Europe’s largest local history museums.

Winter Beer Day

Winter Beer Day origintes in Scandinavia. The Danes celebrate “Julebryg” (J-Day) in November when Danish breweries present their latest stouts. At 8.59 pm, beer taps are pulled all over Denmark. Winter Beer Day will be celebrated in Hamburg’s Schanzenhöfen on November 19, 2016.

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