“We all dream of someday pulling off the perfect heist and in 2016 two plucky Brits did just that. Stealing gold from right under the noses of its creators, they righted a forty year wrong that saw a fake passed off as the real thing, and a much-loved hero left out in the cold.”

In the beginning

Back in the eighties, Hofmeister was launched in the UK as a German-style lager. George, a charismatic bear in a yellow jacket and a pork pie hat, emerged from the Bavarian Forest to promote it, and many people were enticed to follow him ‘for great lager’. But this 3.2% beer was a weak imitation, a fugazi brewed entirely in Britain, that had more to do with Berkshire than it did with Bavaria. Though popular in its day, by 2003 most people had seen past the artifice - the beer was axed and George the Bear quickly forgotten.

Two friends

Had it not been for two friends and their unshakeable belief that the real gold was out there somewhere, the story could have ended there. But Spencer Chambers and Richard Longhurst dream big, so after buying the Hofmeister brand off the multinational company that owned it, they bundled George into the back of their Mini and headed to Germany in search of treasure!

Best lagers in the world

Spencer and Richard knew that the best lagers in the world come from Bavaria where a 500-year-old purity law means the beer is brewed from only the very best ingredients. They spent months casing the joint before finding the perfect place just east of Munich: a fourth-generation private family brewery that uses the purest water drawn from an underground lake beneath the Ebersberger Forest, local barley processed in their own maltings, and traditional hops grown just a few kilometres away. Real gold.

All new Hofmeister

In the kind of heist that would make Charlie Croker proud, Spencer and Richard persuaded the brewery to produce Hofmeister Helles, an all new 5% Hofmeister beer that’s uncompromising, authentic, and proudly independent. What’s more, they even got them to agree to send it over to the UK for discerning drinkers to try!

Early success

Since its launch, the new Hofmeister has done a whole lot more than simply blow the proverbial doors off. Within a year, Hofmeister Helles won the title of best lager in the world, and it’s gone on to win gongs in pretty much every major beer competition since.

Classier Bear

As for George, he’s all grown up now, and more than happy to have played a part in this audacious scheme that transformed Hofmeister from pseudo-German Eurofizz into the 24-carat winner it is today.