The Draught of Princesses
Those who believe that women are not keen on the taste of beer haven’t indulged in ‘the draught of princesses’ from the Klosterbräu brewery. And those who stick to the old-fashioned belief that a cool glass of beer can only be enjoyed by the males of the species will have to change their minds after a visit to the microbrewery of brewing gourmet Köhle.
When we think of how beer is produced, we associate it with hardworking and pious monks in brown robes, practising the art of brewing at its highest level. People used to say that brewing beer was a form of prayer for the monks. In the Klosterbräu microbrewery, it’s less of a form of devotion and much more a kind of love of experimentation. To find out what the real story is behind ‘The Draught of Princesses’ and the microbrewery, I made my way to the Hotel Klosterbräu, where I was welcomed by Friso Köhle, the man behind this brewing venture.
The microbrewery of enjoyment
I was already expecting things to be on a smaller scale, given the word ‘microbrewery’, but I was fascinated to discover that the brewing space was only 14 square metres. As if he had read my mind, Mr Köhle explained that the term ‘microbrewery’ relates to the amount of beer produced each year and not to the dimensions of the brewery. How much is a microbrewery then allowed to produce each year? With a grin, Mr Köhle explained that he is allowed to produce up to 300 litres of beer from each brew, something that staggered me. Even more impressive was the fact that Mr Köhle has only been working as a brewer for the last three years. Despite this, the microbrewery in the Klösterbräu managed with the discriminating taste of Mr Köhle won the title of ‘Microbrewery of the Year 2015’ from beer guru Conrad Seidl. An unbelievable award for a newcomer to the brewing scene.
Passion of brewing
The layout of the microbrewery is not designed for mass production, rather to fulfil the needs of the Klosterbräu. At the moment four regular varieties are produced: Märzen (note: es gibt kein Übersetzung!) , wheat beer, pils, and a dark beer. Additionally, a special seasonal beer is produced. For example, a champagne beer was produced for the 500th anniversary celebrations of the Klosterbräu. The development of a new beer, says Mr Köhle, requires a lot of preparatory thought: colour, smell, gravity and alcohol content must all be estimated and calculated in advance. The brewing process itself (for 300 litres a day) requires a fermentation period of 1 to 1 ½ weeks. The beer is then put into storage. The coming winter season promises an India Pale Ale as a seasonal beer – a top-fermented brew with British origins. We can look forward to a tasty beer experiment from the Klosterbräu microbrewery.
The legendary ‘Draught of Princesses’
Herr Köhle also managed to clear up my question about the origins of the phrase ‘the draught of princesses’. The draught is an amber-coloured malt beer, known as a ‘Bubis’, which is served in a 1/8 litre (0,125 l) beer glass (perhaps an over-small beer glass J). Designed for us refined ladies, the small glass should introduce us to the world of beer sip by sip and this, as it turns out, with great success. It should be easy enough to persuade any lady to try the ‘draught of princesses’. But be careful – this pleasing, malty, mildly-flavoured beer with a hint of sweetness could develop into a lasting love affair.
Do you wanna taste a sip?
Foto: Heidi Jehle/Klosterbräu