Dear members of the Berlin Craft Beer group,
The beer scene in Berlin has progressed significantly since the Berlin Craft Beer group was formed over three years ago. This is a message to inform you about the changes taking place this week and why the group will dissolve shortly on meetup.com.
History of the Group:
Although I have been tracking all interesting beer locations in the Berlin Craft Beer map since 2008, I founded the group on meetup.com in May 2012 in order to have a place for beer enthusiasts to meet and explore the microbreweries around Berlin. Remember: at this time, not a single Berlin brewery had a continuous Pale Ale, IPA or Stout in their regular lineup and ‘craft beer’ was pretty much an unused expression in Berlin. How much has changed in the last three years!
In 2013, I was invited to give tutored tastings of British ales at Hudson’s Café in Kreuzberg (now closed). The interest in these sessions led to more tastings throughout 2014, many at Szimpla and Getränkefeinkost Berlin, with several more technical sessions, deep dives, brewing lessons, the founding of Berlin Homebrewers and eventually Berlin’s first annual Homebrewing Competitition earlier this year.
Since Berlin now has numerous dedicated beer bars and a thriving community, with regular events being organised on Facebook and other platforms, meetup.com is no longer suitable for dedicated beer events. You will have noticed that there have been no unique events posted to the meetup.com group in the last six months, as there simply have been so many beer events taking place every week.
- The Berlin Craft Beer blog will continue to be updated at www.berlincraftbeer.com
- Berlin Craft Beer updates on Twitter here: LINK
- Join the Berlin Craft Beer community on Facebook here: LINK
- …. but the meetup.com group will be closed permanently at the end of this week
And finally…. thank you for your support
Thank you for all the support, interest and laughs over the last few years! I have met several hundred beer lovers, made many friends through the community and swapped many experiences with other beer enthusiasts.
Best regards & Prost!
Szimpla Kaffeehaus Budapest on the corner of Boxhagener Platz in Friedrichshain (map link) has long been known as a cosy place to hang out, with strong connections to Hungary and the east European community. Behind the scenes, Szimpla has also hosted beer tastings and supported events for homebrewers.
Building on this success Szimpla has launched the new Craft Beer Bar with a specific focus on new and unique craft beers Eastern Europe (especially Hungary and Poland) as well as from some familiar Berlin craft beer breweries.
Watch out for special beer events, like the Hungarian tap takeover this Thursday, 09.07.2015 (Facebook link), with 7 kegged beers from Hungary being served in parallel.
The following are the results of the 2015 Competition, as selected by the Competition Judges.
Congratulations to all winners. Many thanks to all brewers for entering!!
Category 1: Pils & Helles
- PH004 / Jörg Schloemer with ‘Vienna Calling’ entered as Vienna Lager
- PH003 / Tilo Schwarzbach with ‘U Cerneho Konicka’ Bohemian Pilsner
Category 2: Wheat/Weizen beers
- WB001 / Sokratis Theodosiadis with ‘Random Encounter’ Hefeweizen
- WB002 / Dirk Nolte with ‘WHIPA’ Weizenbock
Category 3: Pale Ale & IPA
- PI015 / Jörg Schloemer with ‘Astro Pop’’ American Pale Ale
- PI016 / Daniel McIlmoyle with ‘BOOBY (Best of the Ordinary Bitters You’ll ever drink)’
- Special Mention (close 3rd place): PI029 / Clement Bel with ‘Citrarillo IPA’
Category 4: Brown Ale, Porter, Stout
- BPS007 / Tilo Schwarzbach with ‘Schwarzer Winter’ Baltic Porter
- BPS012 / Jörg Schloemer with ‘Dirty old town’ Extra Stout/Irish Stout
Overall Competition Winner: PH004 / Jörg Schloemer with ‘Vienna Calling’
- Category Winners: All category winners can select 1kg of hops (up to 4 types) from Hobbybrauerversand (Hopfen & Mehr).
- Runners-Up: All runners-up can select 25kg bag of malt from Hobbybrauerversand (Hopfen & Mehr).
- Competition Winner: The competition winner, ‘Vienna Calling’ will be brewed at Heidenpeters brewery, Berlin in the autumn 2015.
Many thanks to Johannes Heidenpeter & Hobbybrauerversand for their generous sponsorship!
Registration is now closed for the first annual Berlin Homebrewing Competition 2015.
A total of 66 beers have been registered by Berlin/Brandenburg homebrewers, in the following categories:
| Competition Category
||# Beers Registered
| Pilsner & Helles
| Pale Ale & India Pale Ale
| Brown Ale, Porter & Stout
Beers entries must be hand-delivered in two weeks, on Saturday, 02.05.2015.
Beer judging will take place at the end of May. Judges will be selected through technical and sensory tests in the next weeks.
Full details about the competition are on the official website: LINK
Homebrewing is relatively unknown in Germany. Rough estimates put the number of homebrewers in the capital city at around 200. Although rumours persist, Berlin still doesn’t have a proper homebrew supply store.
Yet, homebrewers have been key drivers of the renewed interest in beer in most other countries. In the U.S., there are over 1.2 million active homebrewers. Over 1,200 regional clubs have fostered a community of brewers and have been a launchpad for new commercial brewers in the last four decades. Homebrewing competitions have been a key driver in the formal definition of styles and beer judging criteria.
It is time that Berlin had its own regular homebrewing competition and I am delighted to announce that the first Berlin Hombrewing Competition will take place in 2015, with brewers having until May to brew and submit their beers.
Organised by volunteers, beers will be judged blindly by apanel of experienced brewers and homebrewers.
Four beer categories have been defined. These categories have been chosen carefully, as we wish to acknowledge Germany’s own strong brewing traditions (wheat beers and more recently helles and pils) while also giving brewers experimenting with British styles (brown ale, porter and stout) and modern craft beer favourites (pale ale and IPA) the opportunity to let their hair down.
The four categories are:
- Pils and Helles
- Wheat Beers
- Pale Ale and IPA
- Brown Ale, Porter and Stout
The key dates are:
- Registration of beer judges: 31.03.2015
- Registration of beers: 18.04.2015
- Hand delivery of beer bottles: 02.05.2015