Georg Schneider

The beer that came from the ice

The Schneider Weisse brewery in Kelheim combines old and experimental brewing methods to create truly special beers.

The beer that came from the ice

The Schneider Weisse brewery in Kelheim combines old and experimental brewing methods to create truly special beers.

Eisbock is a speciality beer which, with its wintry aromas, warms you up from within during the cold season. The Schneider Weisse brewery in Kelheim ages its Aventinus Eisbock in a very special way: Brewery manager Georg Schneider VI. (50) ages the beer like a wine; namely in a barrique cask. And that is not the only innovation in use by the traditional Bavarian brewery.

When it comes to creating Eisbock, the different aspects of what goes into the beer are used to the full, as Georg Schneider explains: "Eisbock is a Bock beer made with frozen water. Beer is a mixture of alcohol, water and extract, and all three substances have a different freezing point. If I cool the Bock to -18 degrees, the water and the extract freezes, but the alcohol remains in liquid form. I fish out the ice and this makes the beer stronger."

'Eisbock is a Bock beer made with frozen water.'

At Schneider Weisse, the result is a strong, mahogany-coloured beer with 12% volume alcohol and a flavour encompassing plums, bananas and cloves, as well as hints of bitter almond and marzipan. "It is very quaffable – not too strong, with a good malty character. It is warming and, thus, perfect for wintertime", says Schneider.

Aventinus Eisbock von Schneider Weisse

Schneider coaxes out new aromas from his Aventinus Eisbock, which he markets under the name "TAPX Mein Aventinus Barrique" and ages in barrique casks – an innovative approach not followed by many of his fellow brewers. Schneider: "There are no books about this; we learn through trial and error." Schneider buys casks, which have previously been used to store wine, from a cask manufacturer and experiments.

'There are no books about this; we learn through trial and error.'

He has been chasing one target with his Eisbock experiments: "I want to create the perfect beer for roasting game. Roast venison or wild boar are relatively heavy-tasting meats. You need the tartness of red wine to cut through the flavour." Beers tend to lack this tartness, as otherwise they would be too sour. A problem that Schneider hopes to remedy by using the wine casks: "We want to add the hints of tartness from the red wine to the beer without making it taste sour."

Bier aus dem Barriquefass

The Schneider Weisse brewery has been characterised by a love of innovation and tradition for many years. Georg VI's father, Georg V, declared the following guiding principle back in the 1960s: "Preserve the old, create the new". Schneider explains how the old and the new are brought together in Kelheim: "We are very conservative when it comes to the brewing process for our original beers. We use traditional open fermentation and 100-percent bottle fermentation. We have used the latest analysis methods to investigate this and discovered that these processes are decisive for the quality of our beers."

'Preserve the old, create the new.'

But there is also a lot of experimenting in brewing and not just with the Eisbock. New beer creations are constantly being added to the "TAPX" range. "We are also leading the way when it comes to things like energy provision and environmentally-friendly technologies. We are currently working on a pilot project with the TU Munich and the Fraunhofer Institute to create energy from the waste material from our brewing processes", says Schneider.

Georg Schneider believes that innovation and tradition go hand in hand – and it is an approach that no doubt contributed to the members of the Bavarian Brewing Association electing him as their new president at the beginning of 2016.

Georg Schneider
Biergarten von Schneider Weisse
Schneider Weisse G. Schneider & Sohn GmbH
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address: Emil-Ott-Straße 1-5, 93309 Kelheim
Tel: +49 (0) 9441 7050
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email: info@schneider-weisse.de
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web: //www.schneider-weisse.de