This time, however, everything’s different, because today there’s only one item on the agenda: the Steinecker Brew Center. At seven o’clock on a dark, drizzly morning, I’m already meeting up with the four students: Alexander Auer, Kilian Lürweg, Christoph Schreieder and Michael Wex. They’re in their third semester studying Brewing and beverage technology at Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University.
Why are they here? Once a year, there’s what’s called a “Brewing Competition”, organised by the students of the fourth advanced semester. Here, my four guests formed a team, and in a blind tasting won over the jury, comprising professors and students, with a traditional-style German beer, a Munich Dark brew. As the youngest team in an environment of many other entrants, they’re the proud winners of the competition – and thus the brewing partners we want. Which is why we invited them to spend a shared day of brewing at the Steinecker Brew Center.
A brew with a difference
As the recipe, the guys have chosen a rather unusual beer: with a targeted original gravity of 15° Plato, we’re half-way between a traditional-type festival beer and a potent stout. Using a certain proportion of Munich malt, moreover, adds a gleaming yellow colour to the beer that almost shades into orange.
And the hops, too, are something rather special. The now rarely used and almost forgotten “Northern Brewer” hop variety ensures a spicy, almost herby aroma of hops, without imparting an unpleasant note of bitterness to the beer.
It’s not only because the brew is something rather special and out of the ordinary, that I had a lot of fun brewing the beer together with my visitors. All four of them arrived here with safety boots and a readiness to get stuck in. From grinding the brewing malt, then sampling, all the way through to the final analysis, they insisted on lending a proactive hand, making the brew really into their “own” beer.