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When fairy-tales come true …

It’s only recently that we came to realise that beer is a woman. Now we have living proof of this. And it’s like a fairy-tale come true. 🙂

Once upon a time, there were three young beer fairies. Each of them stood for one particular ingredient of beer: one for malt, the next for hops, and the third for yeast. Water (as beer’s fourth constituent) linked the three fairies and so they decided to get together in order to brew a very special beer. A beer for the gentler sex. They called it: “HolladieBierfee” (Hail the Beer Fairy).

We’re talking about Monika Meinel-Hansen, Gisi Meinel-Hansen and Isabella Straub. The three of them are qualified master brewers from Upper Franconia, and for most of their time they actually look after the house beers of the Drei Kronen Brewery in Memmelsdorf and the family-owned Meinel-Bräu Brewery in Hof. But since 2012, the three friends have additionally joined forces to brew their HolladieBierfee – a beer for women.

The idea for this came to them while they were enjoying a convivial get-together at their favourite pub. Since many women do not drink beer, because it’s “bitter and gives you a beer-belly”, the three brewmasters resolved to challenge and indeed overcome these prejudices. So they brewed a beer whose taste was to be “surprising and vibrant – typically feminine, in fact”. They opted for a rather dry beer, “not too sweet, flowery, fruity – fresh and bewitching. The fragrance, too, is designed to be seductively inviting, tempting the nose to track down the taste.”

The result was a beverage that’s fragrant, full-bodied and expressive. The high malt content provides a valuable bouquet, and, of course, a relatively high abv of 6 per cent.

For the name, the three of them took their inspiration from Grimms’ Fairy-Tales: the call of “HolladieWaldfee” comes from these tales, and in the south of Germany denotes “surprisingly different – just like our beer.”

The beer fairies get their raw materials almost entirely from their homeland. All of the malt comes from Upper Franconia, as does the water used. For hopping, they select both traditional Franconian varieties and international aroma hops. And when it comes to the yeast, the beer fairies use the breweries’ own strains, plus international yeast cultures. The inspiration for brewing their beer from spelt came from their eminent role model, Hildegard von Bingen, who back in the 12th century brewed her beers with spelt and hops. She described spelt as a velvety-elegant cereal imbued with harmony and happiness. A perfect foundation for a woman’s beer.

The “typically feminine” touch is also manifested in the bottles’ design, which features a distinctively attractive shape. They are available in different sizes and quantities. “You can buy our HolladieBierfee in two different sizes: either in a 0.75-litre variant, perfect for a girls’ get-together full of festive conviviality, or in the smaller 0.33-litre version as a getting-home-from-work pick-me-up or for your handbag,” explain the beer fairies with a wink.

So far they’ve brewed four different types. And the fifth will hit the market at Easter: “A specialty beer glittering in orange and red, with a full-bodied tingle and a fragrant note of hops. Fruity ale yeasts and cheeky prosecco yeasts swirl like shooting stars through the spelt-based ale.” Sounds as if it’s straight out of Grimms’ Fairy-Tales then.

As you can see, the brewing fairies know what they’re doing. This is reflected in the sales figures as well. The longest journey for the HolladieBierfee took it to South Africa. And the fans of the fairy-brewed specialty have long since ceased to be exclusively female. It’s gratifying to note that the buyers now also include plenty of men.

And it’s precisely due to these successes that the brewing fairies have no intention of stopping. In the future, too, they will be conjuring up further limited-edition HolladieBierfee types from their cellars.

So to stay with the Grimm brothers:

And so they brewed happily ever after. 🙂

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