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Three Centuries of Brewing Innovation Converge in Four Beers at the Weyermann® Pilot Brewery

Between September 27 and 30, 2016, the Weyermann® Malting Company hosted a crew of international brewers for a unique experiment. The objective of the project was to showcase modern variations of four classic Bavarian beer styles and to demonstrate their continued relevance for the future of the global craft beer movement.

Members of the brew team were Weyermann® brew master Dominik Maldoner; world-renowned beer recipe designer and author Horst Dornbusch of West Newbury, Massachusetts; John Lenzini, the head brewer of the Schilling Beer Company in Littleton, New Hampshire; and Deborah Wood, a Brewers Supply Group technical sales manager of Montreal, Canada.

Maldoner explained some of the thinking behind the experiment, “We are seeing growing evidence that so-called ´session beers` – a term invented by craft brewers in the United States for beers with great drinkability – are becoming an ever more important part of the craft beer portfolio in the New World.” Lenzini elaborated, “When people think of session beers, what comes to mind immediately are the classic lagers of Bavaria. Unfortunately, these highly quaffable beers also come with an undeserved reputation of being old hats without much potential for creative young brewers.”


To dispel this myth, Thomas Kraus-Weyermann, the technology CEO of the Weyermann® Company, decided to work with thought leaders of the industry to transform a selection of typical Bavarian beers from the 19th century into brews for the 21st century.

While the 19th century was the Belle Époque of beer style innovation, the 20th century was a period of enormous advances in malting technologies and malt varieties, which have spawned such highly flavorful signature Weyermann® malts as Carahell®, Carapils®/Carafoam®, Carafa® Special, Barke® Pilsner, and floor-malted Bohemian Pilsner from Bojos and Tolar barleys.

By comparison, the 21st century, though still young, has already given us a dramatic explosion in hop breeding, which has produced a huge diversity of new hop varieties. These include the cutting-edge red-berry Barbe Rouge, released in 2015, and the tropical-fruit Mistral, released in 2009, both from Alsace, as well as the honey-dew Hüll Melon and the white-grape Hallertauer Blanc, both released in 2012 and both from the Hallertau of Bavaria.

The Weyermann® project tried to combine the achievements of these three centuries into a single set of brews with a futuristic potential. The brew crew selected Dunkel, Schwarzbier, Märzen, and Helles as the foundation beers and brewed them with ingredients that were not yet available at the time when these styles evolved. According to Wood, the experiments proved that “traditional quality processes and super-modern quality ingredients – if combined by skillful and sophisticated brewers – open up as-yet-unexplored avenues of creation for the vibrant and growing craft brew culture of the world.”

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Weyermann® MalzfabrikBrennerstraße 17 - 1996052 Bamberg Telefon + 49 (0) 951 93 220-0Fax + 49 (0) 951 93 220-970eMail info@weyermann.de