Bamberg - On 11th November 2016, the long-established Bamberg company KASPAR SCHULZ Brauereimaschinenfabrik & Apparatebauanstalt e.K. hosted their own beer festival for the third time. Almost 100 different beers made by their international clientèle were available for tasting at the event. Over 400 guests accepted the invitation to the open day of the oldest brewery machine manufacturer in the world and enjoyed sampling the incomparably diverse range of brews.
A visit to the KASPAR SCHULZ beer festival is a must for anyone who wants to experience Bamberg as the beer capital of the world. The time-honoured company has been showcasing itself to invited trade guests for the past three years. Around 400 guests met in the modern assembly hall, whose unique architectural outer skin design has made it an icon of high technology in the Bamberg brewing industry. Visitors sampled numerous speciality beers and pulled pork that had been slow-cooked for 12 hours in a specially made smoker.
But anyone expecting to see copper-clad vessels, tangled pipes, valves and controls in the hall is missing the most important reason why everyone is here. It's all about how the beer tastes. For owner and beer sommelier Johannes Schulz-Hess, the focus is on his customers' products. Guests can look forward to around 100 types of beer spread over 15 tasting stations. From well-known classics such as Pilsner, helles and lager made by the best of the Bamberg brewers to delight the connoisseur's palate, to a wide spectrum of craft beers and to more unusual styles, such as sour beers or whisky-like beers, this is a showcase of good taste. And as we all know, taste is an excellent subject for debate.
In the 500th year since the Bavarian Beer Purity Law was passed, the brewing landscape is more colourful than ever. The joy of experimentation among craft beer enthusiasts has given rise to a multitude of breweries that have not only become well-established, but are also on a successful course towards expansion, always with an eye on taste and diversity. Pekka Kääriäinen from Finland runs the Bryggeri brewhouse in Helsinki and is a prime example. In 2003, he started making a few typical India pale ales and stouts. He quickly found enthusiastic followers – after all, Finns are very open-minded and enthusiastic. To meet the ever-increasing expectations, Kääriäinen brewed a good 50 different beers for his 700-seat brewery pub within a period of just over three and a half years.
Of course, he achieves this variety using a system from KASPAR SCHULZ. He puts his trust in the company's 300-year history, which he says is evident in every piece of equipment. Likewise, the brewing plants from Bamberg are the equipment of choice for many breweries, both established and newly founded. Around 75 of them are already being used in sparsely-populated Finland, and many more are in the works. This is great news for entrepreneur Johannes Schulz-Hess but means somewhat longer waiting times for customers. This is because the committed entrepreneur insists on manufacturing all the essential parts of his brewing plants in-house and in line with customer specifications. It therefore takes a good year to get from the order to the complex detailed planning and then finally to the first brew.
Dan Satterthwaite from California already brews using a KASPAR SCHULZ system. But craft lagers are his great passion. He is planning to expand and needs the right stainless steel tanks, naturally from Bamberg. At the beer festival, he was able to discuss the production status of his tanks with those responsible for the project and receive some wonderful inspiration at the same time. Where else do plant technicians, brewing engineers, master brewers and beer sommeliers get together in a relaxed atmosphere to talk shop? Accompanied by elegant jazz music, people got to know each other quickly at the many sampling stations. After all, they all had something in common: their love and passion for perfectly brewed craft beer.
Harald Schieder, the Nuremberg-based expert author of beer guides, was delighted with the incredible variety presented at the beer festival. 15 years ago, most of these beers would have come from distant countries, but this profusion of flavour can now also be found in German-speaking countries. Kronprinz, a new Bamberg brewery, presented amber delights for which guests of the modern brewery pub are prepared to wait for some considerable time. And at the same sampling station, brewers from Switzerland proved that even daring experiments can find widespread appeal. A forest beer, spiced with fir needles, pine tips and verbena, has grown from a seasonal beer into a permanent fixture in the range of the Swiss
Pilgrim brewery. Scheduling the beer festival at the end of BrauBeviale 2016 in Nuremberg proved to be a smart move, as it has on previous occasions. On the heels of the leading trade fair for brewing technology, raw materials, logistics and brewery marketing, visiting professionals from all over the world took the opportunity to discuss and share their experiences, to enjoy and be inspired. Bamberg is, as can be heard from many conversations, the city of choice for beer lovers. In addition to the diversity of beers and the world's largest concentration of breweries, the world-famous raw materials suppliers Weyermann® Spezialmalze and Bamberger Mälzerei and the innovative yet down-to-earth KASPAR SCHULZ Brauereimaschinenfabrik und Apparatebauanstalt give you many reasons for visiting the city on the banks of the Regnitz. The lasting impact of 500 years of the Beer Purity Law is demonstrated here by the 500-plus people employed in jobs related to brewing, malting and the manufacturing of machines, and also by the well over 500 types of beer made in and around Bamberg.
Author: Matz Reichardt, Kopfwerk.com