Enjoy eco brew in or out of the Bavarian Altmühl valley – The small Riedenburger Brauhaus and its great variety of beers

© Riedenburger Brauhaus Michael Krieger GmbH & Co. KG

Riedenburg, Berlin, Germany (Gastrosofie). Successful 150 years Riedenburger Brauhaus was already celebrated two years ago. On July 24, 2016, the beer garden of the brewery had been the place to be for real beer lovers who will long time remember

A big eco brewery celebration

© Riedenburger Brauhaus Michael Krieger GmbH & Co. KG

The feasting lasted from morning till evening. To the tunes of Bavarian folk music, the dancers did their turns as did the ox on the spit. Incidentally, this was an organic ox from the Benedictine Abbey Plankstetten nearby. Naturally, best organic beer from the Riedenburger Brauhaus was served to accompany this ox on a spit, and in huge quantities.
In addition, guided tours were offered by and into the brewery, during which the award “Best Organic Product Bavaria Silver” was shown, which had been presented a few months earlier at the IGW trade fair in Berlin.

The tradition

© Riedenburger Brauhaus Michael Krieger GmbH & Co. KG

There where in a Bavaria of 1866 the brewing of beer began, in Riedenburg, there the partnership with the Benedictine Abbey of Plankstetten was set up in 1997. And since 150 years the results of this Riedenburger Brauhaus in Altmühl valley are worthy to be seen, as is the 12th century Roseneck castle rising above it.

The brewery on the river Altmühl is a fourth generation family business and is today managed by Michael Krieger. Not only have the Kriegers been eco pioneers since 1991, brewing organic beer, but also they work sustainable in all areas. The brewery of the Kriegers has long been a specialty brewery with high standards in order to stand out from big companies. However, the brewery’s reputation comes from Unterkrieger and his wheat beer, as there were two Krieger breweries in Riedenburg, two of a total of six in one tiny town. Things like that made Bavaria great and still do in parts of Franconia, with a brewery to nearly every village.

The sustainability

© Riedenburger Brauhaus Michael Krieger GmbH & Co. KG

is capitalized. Michael Krieger from the Riedenburger Brauhaus Michael Krieger GmbH & Co. KG speaks in this regard of a regional circular economy. Organic brewing cereals from the monastery estate in Staudenhof are used to produce four Klosterbiere (spelt, special, dark, Maibock) according to specifications and recipes of the monks. The brewer’s grains are “used again in the sense of a closed cycle on the estate as protein-containing feed” assures Krieger even on the home page of the Riedenburger Brauhaus.

The organic brewery

© Riedenburger Brauhaus Michael Krieger GmbH & Co. KG

Only malt, hops, water and yeast are allowed into beer says the tradition, but unfortunately it does not state how they have to be. The products at Kriegers are 100 per cent organic, so organically produced. The raw materials are also 100 per cent eco, because they come from organic farming. In addition to that filtration and water treatment is omitted to 100 per cent. According to Krieger, the water comes from the breweries own well and is not treated chemically. And that using small spelt, emmer and spelt means contributing to the promotion of biodiversity is well known to Michael Krieger who deliberately buys only non-hybrid cereals from his farmers. In other words: Genetic engineering is out of the question. Umbel hop as well as hop pellets and own grown yeast would be used. The products would undergo a check at Kriegers and would be constantly monitored by BCS, Bioland and the EU organic label according to Michael Krieger, who is proud of his beers. And he certainly can be!

The beers

© Riedenburger Brauhaus Michael Krieger GmbH & Co. KG

come as “Plankstettener” or “Riedenburger”. The Plankstettener beers are a naturally cloudy spelt made from 50 per cent spelt malt and 50 per cent barley malt with an original wort content of 11.8 per cent and an alcohol content of 4.9 per cent by volume. The Plankstettener Spezial is also naturally cloudy, stronger and amber – in short: a typical monastic specialty beer made from light and dark barley malt with a gravity of 13.5 per cent and an alcohol content of 5.3 per cent by volume. The dark is – of course – from dark barley and tastes especially malty aromatic. The savoury dark boasts a 12.5 per cent original wort and 5.0 per cent alcohol by volume. All Plankstenner four are a pleasure. The conclusion is a strong beer. The maibock made in May is brewed exclusively from dark barley malt with an original wort content of 16.5 per cent and an alcohol content of 6.8 per cent by volume.

The Riedenburger beers can be counted neither on one nor on two hands. They add up to fruity wheat beer, malty “Urgetreidebiere”, traditional and non-alcoholic beers, as well as “Doldenbiere” and specialty beers such as the Riedenburger Weizendoppelbock. The beer, brewed with wheat and barley malt, runs from the good old clip-top bottle with an original wort content of 18 per cent and an alcohol content of 7.8 per cent by volume, into mouth and throat. “The fine aroma of fruity sweetness” supposes “reminiscent of plum” and the fine-sour finish … extends the winter bock beer time”. That sounds good and we drink “Riedenburger Ur-Weizen”, “Riedenburger Ur-Helles” and also enjoy a historic Emmer beer from Riedenburger.

© Riedenburger Brauhaus Michael Krieger GmbH & Co. KG

The original wheat is traditionally produced in open top fermentation. From the amber-coloured beer offered in the 0.5-liter bottle, many a contemporary may recognize carnations; we can find written on the tag the ingredients spring water, wheat, barley, emmer, aroma hops and yeast, as well as an original wort content of 12.8 per cent and an alcohol content of 5.3 per cent by volume. The top-fermented and naturally cloudy yeast wheat beer may offer a bouquet of malt to nutmeg and in addition to malt also taste of caramel. The Riedenburger Ur-Helles is golden yellow in colour and unfiltered, fine spicy in the bouquet and full-bodied in the taste. The traditional beer is a typical Bavarian light full beer with a wort content of 11.8 per cent and an alcohol content of 4.6 per cent by volume. The Emmer beer is one of the primary cereal beers with 50 per cent emmer, small spelt, spelt, barley and wheat malt. The dark amber colour beer inspire the gaze and on the palate. The original wort content is 12.8 per cent and the alcohol content 5.1 per cent by volume. These three Riedenburger beers we had are real stuff. Something for you to look forward to!

The film

Worth seeing and to get another impression is the film by Bertram Verhaag, listed in the BR -Mediathek under the title “Der Ökobräu im Altmühltal” in the series “Unter unserem Himmel” (in German).

Riedenburger Brauhaus

Michael Krieger GmbH & Co.KG Hammerweg 5, 93339 Riedenburg

Phone: 09442/99 160, Email: info@riedenburger.de, Web: www.riedenburger.de


Christopher Prescott – article based on a text by Ole Bolle

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