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A look at the Steinecker Brew Center

Once a month the members of the Club of Weihenstephan Alumni (or simply VeW for short in German, an abbreviation for “Verein ehemaliger Weihenstephaner”) have a convivial regular meeting. The location changes from meeting to meeting and recently we were able to welcome the VeW at our Steinecker plant and the Steinecker Brew Center. Together with my colleague Johannes Pfennig from the Freising facility, I would like to give you a little insight into the traditional regulars’ table.

Can you briefly introduce yourself? When and what did you study at Weihenstephan, and where did you go afterwards?

Before my studies in Weihenstephan I served an apprenticeship in malting and brewing and worked as a brewer in the quality assurance department of the Klosterbrauerei Andechs. I first of all wanted to learn the brewing trade and gain practical experience.

From 2007 to 2010 I then studied at the TU Munich in Weihenstephan and graduated as a qualified brewmaster. I like to think back to this time, during which I also got to know and appreciate the VeW.

Afterwards I decided to work in brewery equipment manufacturing – a decision I would make again any time. The feeling of seeing a running plant at the customer’s premises, which was only an abstract idea at first, is simply indescribable.

And since 2017, I’ve been working for Krones AG in Brewery Sales at the Steinecker plant.

For what purpose was the VeW founded, and what is its remit?

The VeW promotes and fosters links to the alma mater in Weihenstephan. What’s more, the club supports the exchange of news and views and mutual bonding between the former Weihenstephan alumni. Not only alumni meet up here, but lots of student members as well.

Often people go their separate ways after graduating, with all of them ending up in different companies. But at these convivial meetings, you meet up again quite often, to talk about the latest innovations – not least on a cross-company basis. This time, the whole thing was held at the Steinecker plant and in the Steinecker Brew Center.

How did the connection with Krones come about, and what does it involve?

The regular meetings involving the Upper-Bavaria-Weihenstephan Section of the VeW, together with Krones’ Steinecker plant, have been held for many years now. Since our Steinecker Brew Center was inaugurated, we’ve also been inviting them directly to our plant for their meetings and presenting our in-house pilot brewery and the many possibilities it offers.

In addition to the Brew Center, this year we presented our latest developments in the field of beer filtration. On the one hand, the Steinecker Phoebus membrane filter and, on the other, the precoat filtration of the future – filtration with a compressible filter aid.

In addition, our guests were of course able to taste various beers brewed by us.

Why in your opinion is it worthwhile going to the meetings?

The reasons are manifold. As you have already correctly said, it helps to keep in touch with each other even after your studies and to make new contacts. In addition, brewing technologists with very different fields of activity take part in the regulars’ table. Each of the members has a different point of view, influenced by their different professional careers. And this, in combination with the common basis of Weihenstephan, simply results in very exciting conversations and discussions.

All in all, then, a brilliant, tradition-steeped event. So next time, too, we’ll be pleased to welcome the Weihenstephan guys in our Steinecker Brew Center.

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