This blog was born with the idea of being able to search for other ways of brewing, to travel around the world, to learn about other cultures and also to share with all of you, my passion for beers. Honestly, I didn’t want to do some of the typical tours around the breweries where you can pay and that’s all. I always wanted something more, something different, something that would also allow me to be in direct contact with the whole process by the hand of the Brewmasters. However, you can’t always get what you want. That’s why my stubborn pride was defeated and I just surrendered to a tour offered by one of the largest breweries in Germany – I have no regret, for sure-. I went to Warsteiner. I took a train in Fulda (a city close to Frankfurt) and then I took a bus to Warstein.
Warstein, is located in the State of Nordrhein-Westfalen in Germany. It is small but pretty. I was short of time and I couldn’t go to many places but I went to the most important place: The Brewery. It’s the largest employer in Warstein and one of the largest breweries in Germany and in the world.
Warsteiner Brauerei Haus Cramer KG is one of the oldest and most modern breweries in Germany. It was created in 1753 and it survived wars and different tragedies during its history. It is a family business that passed down from generation to generation and over the time it has had to reinvent itself over and over again but without losing its essence.
Best of all, you can do a virtual tour on their website. I just love it.
It costs 10 euros per person. It includes a one hour tour and at the end, you could taste two beers. Upon entering the brewery you can find a shop, an exhibition of some of the brands they have been represented through all of those years, some of the advertising campaigns they have done over the time, a bar and then in the backside you can also find a Beer Garden. Everything is simply, beautiful and modern.
Initially, the tour started in a room where a multimedia presentation was projected. There, they explain you all the history of the company, the brewing process, the products they offered and their distribution around the world. I love that it’s a 360° screen and everything is controlled by a platform rotated around the room – Just amazing!-. It is translated, so if you say you don’t speak German you can use earphones with an English translation.
And then, the tour within the company begins with a bus throughout the plant. They explained you step by step with an audio, therefore you can learn about the Warsteiner beer from mashing, lautering, boiling, whirlpool, fermentation, filtration, bottling and finally, the distribution area. But you couldn’t get off or even have direct contact with the whole process.
Auf die Flaschen, Fertig, Los…? it means Ready, set, go!. But here they use other words just related to the bottling process, which in English would be like: In the bottle, set, go!.
And …The flag of Venezuela.
The best for the end. We tasted some of their beers at the Beer Garden.
Warsteiner has different types of beers, but I will describe just three of them that I have tasted before:
König Ludwig Dunkel
It is a dark beer brewed with a bottom fermentation. It is created by the brewery “Schloßbrauerei Kaltenberg” – a partner brewery from Warsteiner-. It has a medium body. You can perceive the aroma and tasted the roasted flavor from the malts they used to produce it. The bitterness is not remnant and is not high. It is a beer with a fine and permanent foam. I like it, but it’s not my favorite.
König Ludwig Hell
It is a Weissbier (a wheat beer), the body is medium and the foam is thick but not permanent, the bitterness is low and not remnant. It’s not my favorite Weissbier, but I recommend it and then everyone can give me their own opinion about it.
Warsteiner Pilsener Premium
It’s a clear beer with a thick and permanent foam, it has a balanced hop aroma (Hallertau hops) and the bitterness is high but not remnant. It is my favorite from this brewery.
And to finish, I want to thank a friend from Polar who is one of the Brewmasters there: Herman Barboza. He was doing an internship in Warsteiner at that moment.
Some of the brewer tips:
What is a Beer Garden?: It’s a type of restaurant typical from the south of Germany (Bayern) where people can sit outdoors surrounded by nature. The idea was born in the nineteenth century and it’s characterized because they always sold just dark lagers beers. Nowadays you can get any kind of beers there and some of them brewing their own beers too. You can also find long tables to share with other people, the typical German food (white sausage or Weisswurst from Bayer and beers in mugs). The most famous is the Bier Garten of Royal Hirschgarten in Munich, Germany. It is famous because it has a capacity about 8000 people and it’s considered the largest one in Europe – It opens every day if the weather is perfect.
PS: Sorry for the quality of the photos in this PROST. It wasn’t easy to take the best pictures from the Bus.