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Their love of beer is at peak level

It’s amazing what beer can lead to … In the case of these guys from Kelheim quite unequivocally it’s to success! It was four years ago that they began producing their caps with an edelweiss motif, and meanwhile they have a huge assortment. One of their biggest hits and our definite favourite: their brewery caps. We are, of course, talking about Bavarian Caps, who have set themselves to celebrate Bavaria’s vast and diverse array of breweries. I was keenly interested to learn how the enterprise came into being, how its creative process works, and, of course, what their plans are for the future. So I decided to investigate! And here are the answers from what I found to be some very likeable guys:


How many founding fathers were you originally, and how did you get to know each other? And how large is your team meanwhile?

Bavarian Caps has five founding fathers. We all come from the picturesque town of Kelheim, and we’ve been close friends since our early childhood. At first, Bavarian Caps was a project that we all pursued as a sideline. The caps were stored in Hannes’ former children’s room, and were packed in the kitchen. Over the last four years, our team has grown a bit, and now consists of five full-time and five part-time employees.


Why did you want to make caps, of all things?

In September 2014, Peter was at the Oktoberfest in Munich, and as was only meet and fitting (after all, he’s a dyed-in-the-wool Bavarian), was dressed from head to foot in traditional costume. What you now need to realise, because after all you don’t know Peter: normally, he wears a cap every day (yes, he really does, always has, always will). A real capaholic, so to speak. And now comes the punchline: then, in September 2014, he wasn’t! Because: there simply weren’t any caps that went with our traditional costume. And as a dyed-in-the-wool Bavarian you naturally want to embrace the traditions of your homeland and not to look like a complete idiot. Well, ultimately it happened to Peter a couple of times at the festival that he met friends and colleagues who didn’t realise it was him, not without a cap: “Oh Peter, it’s you! I just didn’t recognise you, what’s with you not wearing a cap!” That’s more or less what happened.


Your original motif was, of course, the edelweiss – how did you then hit upon the idea of imaging breweries on your caps?

If somebody’s a big fan of Bayern Munich, he can demonstrate this at the matches, and in everyday life as well, by wearing a Bayern Munich cap. But now what can a fan of a brewery do? How can he show the outside world that he rates his brewery highly (apart from drinking the beer, of course)? This was the basic thinking when we launched the “Bavaria – Our beers” project. The aim is to design high-quality, creative caps for breweries, and not just slap the brewery’s name on a cheap cap.


Do you have a favourite cap in your brewery collection? And does that perhaps coincide with your taste in beer?

Johannes and André bravely volunteered to tour the beer gardens and taprooms of many Bavarian breweries for “Bavaria – Our beers” and devotedly sampled the beers. What we like best is that every brewery cap is a one-off, and that for the numerous different caps we have used many different materials and finishing techniques. Thus each brewery cap symbolises the character of the brewery and the particular beer concerned.


I had never realised just how many different breweries there are in Bavaria. Did you realise this right from the start, or were you also amazed when you started off with your brewery caps?

Andrés father was himself a brewmaster. Which meant we had a rough idea of Bavaria’s brewery scene. We ourselves enjoy sampling our way through all the different Bavarian beers, and with more than 600 breweries, of course, that’s quite a sizable assignment.


Speaking of “sizable assignments”, do you think up all the motifs for the caps yourselves, or do you have some help?

All motifs, ideas and products come directly from us. Our designer Hannes is the creative mind here, who develops the ideas and also puts them on the caps, though, also come to us spontaneously over a beer or during our shared creative weekends.


What are you most proud of, or what’s your favourite product?

We like each and every one of our products, of course. But we have a rather special relationship with our classic Edelweiss Dark Grey. The cap is very simple, can be combined with anything, and is absolutely timeless. It was with this cap, by the way, that everything began over four years ago and Bavarian Caps was launched on the market.


Had you realised how large this market could become or were you completely overwhelmed?

Bavarian Caps was at first nothing more than a zany idea we came up with over a beer. None of us ever dreamed that one day we could make a living out of it. But perhaps that’s precisely the reason why this zany idea has turned out so well. Without any pressure to succeed, and out of sheer enjoyment in jointly creating a cap, plus the irresistible fun of translating our shared idea into marketable reality, Bavarian Caps just kept on growing. It all developed quite organically, without any sponsors or outside capital. At some point, the kitchen became too small for packing the parcels, so we set up the first storeroom. Besides our caps, at some point we started to include the first beanies and shirts in our range, and so it went on.  When we saw a guy (from outside our circle of friends) wearing one of our caps, we could hardly believe it. And we react just the same nowadays: when one of our crew sees someone wearing a Bavarian Cap, he immediately whispers “Hey, look. He’s wearing one of our caps. Cool guy.”


Apart from your brewery caps up your sleeves, do you already have any plans for a new collection?

Our new winter collection will be unveiled in early October. Jaunty beanies, headbands and scarves: all of them crafted in Bavaria. But for next year, too, we have quite a few plans. There’s a complete new cap collection on the way. Something to look forward to.


If we’ve awakened your interest, then follow Bavarian Caps on Instagram, to keep yourself up to date on their latest releases. Their feed is really quite something; cool is an understatement!


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