When we decided to bring back Hofmeister, we knew we wanted it to be a superior quality beer, and identified Bavaria as the place to brew an authentic Helles Lager. From here, our task was simple (in theory, at least): find a brewery with access to the best possible raw ingredients to help us produce the finest Helles lager we could.
With the goal of producing the world’s best lager, finding the perfect brewery in Bavaria to suit our needs was never going to be an easy task. With hundreds of breweries in Bavaria alone, our work was cut out for us to find somewhere that was both perfect for the brand and capable of producing the highest quality lager.
In this post, we’ll discuss our requirements for choosing a brewery, our method of identifying the perfect one, and also a little bit of a backstory to our award-winning Helles Lager.
We were quite clear about what we were looking for: a brewery which could make small batches but with the potential to scale up, and which offered handcrafting with the capacity for large volumes. It was vital to combine the traditional heritage of the Bavarian brewing expertise with modern equipment, to produce the consistency and the quality we were looking for.
We were also clear we wanted a privately-owned brewery to make our craft Helles Bavarian lager — not a big industrial outfit. This not only resonates a sense of traditional authenticity but we also wanted it to be a brewery where we could take buyers.
The Searching Process
Everyone knows that the Germans love beer. But it’s not until you do a bit of research and establish how many breweries there are that you realise how much they love making the stuff too. We identified 700 breweries in Bavaria alone, but narrowed it down to those that were closer to Munich, which is also the home of Oktoberfest. You’d think this would only give us a handful to choose from, but at this point, we were still faced with 100 breweries.
We were then lucky enough to get in contact with a wonderful woman named Filiz Gultekin, who was previously a drinks sector buyer with Tesco. She helped us shortlist around seven or eight brewers in this single county who, on paper, matched our requirements. Finding the perfect brewery for our Helles lager took about a week, until we visited and fell in love with the final brewery in Schweiger.
The Schweiger brewery is a 4th generation, family-owned brewery which carries on the tradition started by their great-grandfather over 120 years ago. This was a massive selling point for us as it would allow us to make our Helles Lager in a brewery that lives and breathes the craft.
The Perfect Brewery for Perfect Helles Lager
We were taken on a tour of the brewery, which gave us an excellent opportunity to find out more about the brewing process, and also for them to ask us lots of questions about Hofmeister. During our tour, we found out that they are one of only a handful of slow brewing certified breweries in Bavaria. Add to that the fact that they own their own malthouse and underground mineral water source, drawn up via a well. To say we were impressed would be a massive understatement!
The moment of truth came when we were poured a glass of their Helles export lager directly from the fermentation tank. It was a real “love at first taste” moment, and we knew instantly that this was where we needed to brew our Hofmeister. Little did we know that one year later we’d have an award-winning genuine Bavarian lager on the market.
We returned to England knowing that we had sparked their interest and sure enough, their Export Manager visited us. Our discussion was successful, with both us and the brewery feeling satisfied and confident that we could make something special. Together we created a unique brew of Helles lager especially for Hofmeister, and that is the award-winning beer we are so proud of today. The rest is Helles history.
Have you tried our Helles Lager yet? Hofmeister is stocked in pubs and bars all over the UK. If you want to find some check out our ‘Where to Find Us’ page, or if you need more information get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.