Back to the diversity
25 years ago the idea of event and micro-brewery triggered a worldwide trend back to the beer diversity. The concept of brewing beer right in front the guest’s eyes to increase their interest for the brewing process has been adopted and redefined by many of these small breweries. One example is the concept presented by the “Bayerischer Bahnhof” brewery in Leipzig.
Event catering is clearly a current trend. Whether it is someone from Spain, Japan or India – the event catering is present. The ordered menu will be cooked in front of the guests in the most spectacular way. And surely a master brewer can do just as good as a cook. So more and more home breweries are springing up like mushrooms every year. Prior to the industrialization this was the standard, which died due to expensive refrigeration systems, but is nowadays possible again and “in”. However, the brewing kettles do not stand in the cellar or backyard anymore, but good visible in the restaurant.
Back to the roots
In 1985, Reinhold Schadt was the first gastronome in Germany who dared to serve his own beer that was brewed in front of his guests. This way the brewing process was not an anonymous matter anymore but a real experience for every guest, who could suddenly enjoy the beer with all his senses. Additionally came the feeling of having an individual beer which stands out flavourful from the “standardised brews” of the major groups. It goes without saying that the big advantage for the gastronome is that his beer can be further customised to meet his guest’s wishes.
History is trend
The Gasthaus und Gosebrauerei Bayerischer Bahnhof in Leipzig is located in the oldest preserved terminal station of the world. Its golden time was in the year 1875 when about one million passengers departed from there. Until the bomb attacks of 1944, which nearly destroyed it completely, the railroad station in Leipzig was considered to be the “gateway to the south”. Curiously the railway service continued, even though the station was completely destroyed. After the end of the war there were no funds to renovate the building but it was possible to avert all demolition plans, so that the railroad station was put under monumental protection in 1979. In the year 1999 the “Deutsche Bahn AG” and brewery owner Thomas Schneider agreed to renovate the building and open a micro-brewery. Finally after 14 months under construction the “Bayerischer Bahnhof” opened in 2000. This history formed the concept of the micro-breweries with its various offers and events.
Gose is a beer speciality from Leipzig which became well known again through the “Bayerischer Bahnhof”. It is a top fermented beer with a characteristic slightly sour taste, which makes it a perfectly thirst quenching. Since 2003 Matthias Richter works as master brewer for the “Bayerischer Bahnhof” and brews the four standard beers Gose, Heizer (dark beer), Kuppler (dark wheat beer) and Schaffner (Pils) as well as seasonal beers like Maibock (editor’s note: bock beer), smoke beers and porter beers. But the main part plays the Gose: “This beer was consumed most in former times. Like Kölsch in Cologne. Its flavour is closely related to the Berliner Weiße and it is also regularly mixed with syrup or fruit juice”, explains Frank Wiegand (38), deputy general manager of the “Bayrischer Bahnhof”. This regional reference belongs to the successful concept of every micro-brewery. The guests are coming since they are searching for something special in their surroundings. In the near future we are going to play a part in the success of the “Bayrischen Bahnhof”. Up to now their kegs have been cleaned external. But their decision to purchase our semi-automatic keg cleaning machine was made in July and the delivery will be in October.
Against the current
The “Bayerischer Bahnhof” currently reaches an annual production of about 2000 hectolitre. More than 90% of their production will be drunk by their restaurant guests. The rooms of the historical railroad station are nowadays guest lounges. “The railroad station is as it is sightseeing in Leipzig. The Italian Renaissance style and the traditional brand Gose are simply an excellent match”, said Wiegand, “we are offering an alternative to the beer form the two big German producers”. Thus the trend is working in opposite directions but this does not mean that every micro-brewery is going to be successful. A good concept and a high quality beer are indispensable and only event and micro-breweries which take this into account, contribute to the resurrection of the beer variety.