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A beer like an Alpine meadow

Stinging nettles in beer? “I think I’ll give that a miss” is my first, spontaneous reaction. Somehow the plant recalls too many memories of stung legs from my childhood. At the Brewcraft Live!, however, I then faced up to my fear – and was emboldened to taste a herbal beer called Allgäuer Kräuter-Märchen from the Allgaeu Brewing Manufactory. That’s how I came to be talking to Kathrin Meyer, who was at the Brewcraft for the third time with her family-owned brewery, and had very much more to tell me than just about stinging nettles.


Your father has been managing the Allgäu-based family firm since 1968. Is that also the year it was founded?

The brewery itself is in fact very old, and has existed since 1650. But it’s only since 25 January 1883 that the company has belonged to us. My sister Stephanie is now the 5th generation.


This company also includes the Post Brewery, the brewery tavern, and also the Brewing Manufactory lasso. How should I imagine the overlaps and delimitations applying to the Post Brewery and the Brewing Manufactory?

The Allgaeu Brewing Manufactory is the sales and marketing company of the Post Brewery in Nesselwang. It has specialised mainly in creative beers, like our herbal “Allgäu Kräuter-Märchen” or our Whiskey Bock.


Your product range includes various “classics”, but also some rather more unusual creations, For how long have you been brewing and selling your upmarket beers?

We’ve been brewing creative beers since 2013. The idea for this took shape in the years 2010 to 2013.


On your stand, you had quite a few different beers on show. Is there any particular one that attracted special attention and gained a lot of fans?

We thought our “Hop Royal” and the “Hop Cat” were very well received. The Hop Cat is a cold-hopped cellar beer that we premiered only last October.


You also had your “Special Beer” the herbal “Kräuter-Märchen” on the stand. I was very pleasantly surprised by its summery freshness and the taste of Alpine meadows – do you have this beer on sale all the year round?

The herbal “Allgäu Kräuter-Märchen“ is our pride and joy. It’s not our front-runner, but nevertheless we sell it throughout the year


On the website and in the names you give your beers, you repeatedly include allusions to your homeland, the Allgäu. Does this commitment to your regional roots play a special role for you personally, for the company, and for the beers?

The Allgäuer have always been a fiercely independent mountain-dwelling people settled between Old Bavaria and Swabia. Sure, we’re proud of coming from this region. Our herbal “Allgäu Kräuter-Märchen beer is a love poem to our Allgäu. Brewed with herbs that grow on our local mountain.


You repeatedly come up with new beer creations. Which of you is involved in this creative brewing process? Is this a joint “family project”?

Primarily my sister. She comes up with the recipes, and selects the appropriate hop variety for them.


Do you have a fixed division of labour in the company? So far, my impression is that your sister is more involved in the craft brewing side of things, while you are more responsible for communication, marketing, and so on – is there something in that, or have I got it wrong?

You’ve got it exactly right. That’s the way it is.


With beery recipes and “women’s beers”, you’re targeting female beer-drinkers. Do you think that this is the only way to get women on board?

I think the craft beer movement will automatically be reaching more and more women. But we, meaning our beers, are not targeting women explicitly. We want men to like the beer as well, of course.


You and your sister are both enthusiastic beer-lovers. Has this always been true?

In my sister’s case, this kicked in very early. In my case, not until I was about 5. I “acquired the taste” later.


Do you personally have a favourite beer and /or a favourite hop variety?

Well, you know, I’m a girl, and I’m simply very fond of the fruity hops. That’s what appeals, to me, to my taste buds and my predilections.

That’s why I really like the “Mandarina Bavaria”, it’s simply great, delicious, sweet, summery! I like Galaxy Hops as well.


On 11 April, Bavarian TV broadcasted a film called “The Beer Rebels”, which deals with creative craft brewers, but also with traditional beers and long-established brewers. What’s your personal stance in the debate on the Purity Law?

I’m basically in favour of the Purity Law. It just needs to be adapted to suit our modern-day era. For example, I see a problem in that you’re not allowed to sell old, traditional beer styles like “Milk Stout” or “Leipziger Gose” in Germany. This is disrespectful to the evolution of beer over thousands of years, featuring lots of fantastic recipes.


How did the idea for the film take shape?

I just really love beer. It’s almost a sort of fetish for me. You’re dealing with it every day, you see, and you get to know lots of producers and their stories. So the wish to make this film was already born over 3 years ago. It was conceived as a kind of “Bavarian road movie, but tongue in cheek”, and I think I pulled it off rather well. But I also had a sensational team at my side.


What goals do you have for the Brewing Manufactory? For example, would you like to expand, or are your roots in the region more important to you?

Our roots in the region are very important to us, and we aim to strengthen them. What could be nicer than to stroll up to a mountain hut behind your home, and find they’re serving your own beer?



For this plan, I wish you and your family all the best, and I thank you most sincerely for a very enjoyable interview!


You can find the film here:

http://www.br.de/mediathek/video/video/die-bier-rebellen-100.html (in German)

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