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Headquarters of Flecks Brauhaus Technik GmbH in Frohnleiten, Steiermark, Austria (photo: Ulrike Rauch)

Small brewing plant | About six metres high, with an unusual tank design enclosed by a spiral staircase, the fully automatic Flecks Helix is a real eye-catcher. Who built the tower brewhouse? What was the idea behind it, and – first and foremost – what are its notable technical features?

A new analytical approach | The contribution of different malt types to the beer aroma is traditionally assessed by trial-and-error testing in pilot scale. In this article, we describe a new analytical method that shows promising results in predicting specific aroma properties of bottom-fermented beers based on the analysis of marker volatiles in the malt mixtures applied for brewing without the need for extensive brewing trials and beer sensory evaluation.

Creative beers | At its premiere at the European Beer Star competition held in 2021, the new specialty beer category “Free-Style Beer” immediately evoked an outpouring of excitement and enthusiasm. More than 60 breweries submitted their beery creations for consideration, which otherwise would not have fit into any other category. Along with beer quality, aspects such as the concept behind the beer and its story were part of the evaluation. But what is it exactly that makes this particular category of specialty beers so special? This article provides insights and background information to the new style category at the European Beer Star, in which storytelling plays a central role.

Trend spotting | In February 2022, Walter König, Managing Director of the Gesellschaft für Hopfenforschung e.V. (Society for Hop Research; GfH) in Hüll, Germany, visited the USA and spoke with BRAUWELT International author Horst Dornbusch about his trip, German hops and the U.S. craft beer market.
Welcome to Massachusetts, Walter, and thank you for agreeing to an interview. Let me jump straight into my questions: You are the General Manager of the Society for Hop Research (GfH) in Hüll. Why are you here; and why now, on this wintery February day?

Positive impact | As time goes on, the one issue that has not waned in the public conscience due to fads and headlines across industries is sustainability. According to Euromonitor’s Voice of the Consumer Lifestyles survey, in 2021, 65 % of consumers highlighted they are concerned about climate change’s impact on their life and 67 % of consumers reported trying to have a positive impact on the environment through their daily actions. This translates to their support of the diverse array of industries and products that they interact with on a daily basis. One that has not by the very least been left out of the fray is the alcoholic drinks industry.

Europe | In an ideal world, a marketer knows what her customers want even before they do. Beer marketers think they have got closer to this, thanks to the clever use of data. As they see it, the world contains an unimaginably vast amount of digital information. This makes it possible to do many things that previously could not be done: provide fresh insights, spot business trends, unlock sources of economic value.

Strategic marketing | Messe München South Africa, organisers of IFAT Africa, food & drink technology Africa and analytica Lab Africa, have moved to enhance the value adds and strategic marketing for their exhibitors.

USA | Heineken, AB-InBev, Molson Coors – all the world’s major brewers want to move beyond their traditional male, beer-drinking image and attract more female and younger drinkers. Fact is: beer has lost its oomph to other alcoholic beverages like wine, spirits and a host of beverages, which defy previous classifications.

Making sense of the world | Narratives help us make sense of the world and ourselves. Take globalisation. It was presented to us as an inevitable process, forging global champions in its wake. In the brewing industry, the narrative of “biggest is best” was countered by the craft brewers’ own narrative, which was modelled on the biblical story of David and Goliath. These narratives have reached closure. Do we still need a compelling new narrative to maintain a conversation around beer?

Testing the rule of thumb | The average beer drinker is still usually not familiar with the concept of original gravity or original extract. It is a common rule of thumb though that the ratio of 2½ (original extract, OE divided by the alcohol, as ABV) would be “about right” in most bottled beers. The authors have decided to find out in what way the rule of thumb factor of 2½ holds true and have, during the course of this investigation, discovered links to attenuation and inferred drinkability especially in lager type beers. These concepts were also checked against the portfolio of beers produced by Schilling Beer Co., a craft brewery situated in the northern part of New Hampshire, USA.

Krones AG | On 30 November 2020 a virtual Krones showroom went online.