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Likes, Hashtags, (Craft) Beer – Part III

May I introduce Mareike Hasenbeck and her account “FeinerHopfen” (Exquisite Hops)? Mareike is meanwhile a well-known beer journalist, beer sommelière and a jury member for international beer-themed competitions. And she also writes a very successful craft beer blog, which some of you will doubtless be familiar with. In the interview, she explains precisely what themes her blog addresses.

Why not take a look at it and see for yourself? Maybe you will find the combination of her blog and her Instagram account just as fascinating as I do. And to all the English-speaking fans out there: though Mareike posts only in German, perhaps you will find one or two of the contributions quite interesting, and you can use a translator.

Mareike, you were one of the first bloggers in the craft beer sector. How did this come about?

I used to drink almost no beer at all. At most a shandy in a beer garden or a light ale from the bottle at a barbecue on the banks of the River Isar. At a US event almost seven years ago, I then stumbled across my first Californian pale ale. I didn’t have any particularly high expectations of an American beer. But after the very first sip, I fell in love with this highly aromatic hop bomb. This moment sparked my curiosity for creative brews, and turned me into a beer connoisseur. This was also the hour of birth for my blog https://feinerhopfen.com/. When later on I sampled my first IPAs, stouts, porters and Lambics, I was totally smitten. Since I’m a cross-medially trained journalist and also an epicure into the bargain, it all fits together very nicely.

Had you anticipated this huge response and your international success?

No, not at all. At first, the thing with the blog was planned as more or less a fun project. I would never have dreamed that I would be so active in the beer sector. But it didn’t take long before I was being invited to national and international tastings, beer-themed trips, beer festivals, and to the most important global beer awards as a jury member.

What are you hoping to achieve with your blog?

My goal is to continue helping the German craft beer scene achieve its well-deserved breakthrough with its wonderful creations. My readers are also epicures, who take inspiration from my tastings. And lots of brewers interested in innovative breweries, different beers, and their creators, consult my blog for information. What’s more, I always try to keep my readers up to date on what typologies, raw materials or brewers are currently trending. Meanwhile, too, the entire process environment involved, from packaging technology to a complete brewery, is becoming progressively more exciting, and some brewers have already asked me to establish this range of topics in my blog.

You also have a well-visited Instagram account. If you had to decide, which would you give preference to? Instagram or your blog?

There’s no simple answer to that, because the two of them are interconnected and benefit from each other. I’m primarily a journalist, and I love writing. Instagram enables me to reach more beer fans more quickly, not least abroad, but lengthier, more informative texts under the photos are simply ignored.

One last question: what does beer mean to you?

Beer is for me a source of absolute enjoyment, which with all its facets repeatedly comes up with new surprises – sometimes pleasant, sometimes less so. What’s more, creative hop and malt-based concoctions make wonderful accompaniments to food, are exciting aperitifs or highly aromatic drinks for long evenings. Above all, though, good beers offer a lot of fun and joie de vivre.


Photo: Elena Hasenbeck


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