Becher Bräu (Oberfranken)
Bayreuth's oldest brewery
Tradition since grandfather's time – under this motto is brewed in the district Altstadt in St.-Nikolaus-Straße for über 230 years finest beer, which has cult character not only for Bayreuth. Currently, master brewer Johannes (Johnny) Hacker stands at the brew kettle – the owner of the Becher Bräu. Together with his wife Cortney, he runs the small family business in Upper Franconia in the sixth generation. With a lot of heart and soul and a lot of passion.
Traditionally good – the beer of Becher Bräu
Until the 80s, the Bechers still brewed their beer specialties in a communal brewery. Now, a brand new, modern stainless steel and glass brewhouse stands on the property. There, Johnny Hacker brews a handful of classic beer varieties according to the old craft and strictly in accordance with the Bavarian Purity Law. A Helles and a Pils, for example, or seasonal beers like the Volksfest beer and the Weihnachtsfest beer. No matter what you drink – the beers from Becher Bräu have a distinctive, wonderfully full-bodied taste. Especially the „Kräuß“, an unfiltered naturally left pilsner. This is tapped fresh from the barrel in the traditional brewery guesthouse, which is located in the brewhouse's back building.
Urig – fränkisch: The brewery pub Becher Bräu
Unimaginable, would the Brauereigaststätte Becher-Bräu no longer exist. For many Bayreuthers, Bayreuth clubs and regulars' tables the älteste brewery inn of the city is the second living room. Here, people meet for a "Feierabend-Seidla"“, enjoy a drink in a relaxed atmosphere, party and dance in the Becher-Saal on the second floor or listen to rock, jazz and country music or cabaret and theater performances. If you want to experience real Bayreuth tradition, you should definitely make a stop here in the old town. Not least because it's a wonderful place to be and you can also enjoy traditional freshly tapped beer and traditional freshly cooked dishes. We can only say Sunday roast with homemade knuckles and homemade boiling sausages. By the way, these are served exactly four times a year, when it is slaughtering day at Hackers. The same goes for the butcher's chickens. If you miss the date, you can buy the sausage in jars or cans all year round. Speaking of buying.... of course you can find the beer of the cup Bräu also with us in the assortment. Not yet tried? Then we recommend the Bayreuth classic to start with: the Kräußenpils. Have a nice evening! Web presence of the brewery: Becher Bräu
Brewer Johannes Hacker in interview
How did you get into brewing and how long have you been brewing?
As a teenager I wanted to learn either cooking or brewing. Because of the better working hours I decided für a brewer apprenticeship. At 15 I started this and have been in breweries since then, I am now 39. I completed my training at the brewery „Schinner“ here in Bayreuth. Then it was off to Torbräu in Augsburg and to California to „Island Brewing“. In 2009, I finally;took over the Becher Bräu from my father
How many types of beer are brewed with you and why just these?
Currently we brew four main varieties: The Becher Kräußenpils, an unfiltered Pils. (My father was über 20 years ago the first brewer in Franconia, which abfüllte an unfiltered beer). The Becher Original, a true Bavarian Helles. I will rename it Becher Vollbier in the future. Hopefully, people will be a little more familiar with this term (grins). Mann´s Bräu Dunkel – which we brew for the Mann brewery in Bayreuth, as well as Mann´s Bräu Hell. My plan is to gradually add four more types of beer to the range this year: Becher StadtBier (I don't like the term country beer). The Becher Zwickl (that's what they call unfiltered beers in Franconia). The Manns Bräu Weizen (because I actually like to drink wheat) and a Märzenbier, because Märzenbier could be one of the next trend beers in my opinion.
What makes a really good beer for you?
A color that shines at you. Gloss one often associates with a filtered beer, but I find: Even an unfiltered beer can shine at you if the color is schön intense. Also a schöne foam crown and a good aroma make für me a good beer.
What excites you about brewing beer? Why do you love this craft?
If you like me „with beer“ groß has become, the brewing craft already as a child to know and even likes to drink a Seidla, you can only love the craft. What particularly appeals to me about this profession is that you can work creatively. From technology to production - you can experiment an incredible amount and also give the beer an individual character.
You've been brewing since 1781. Which traditions and values are important to you to maintain, which new ones are added for you?
Important to me is Eigenständigkeit, so that we produce everything in one house or from one source . We boil, store, filter, bottle. Except for malting, which we don't do, because malting is now a different profession for me, we are completely independent at the moment. That's important to me because I want to be responsible for the complete product myself.
Where do the biggest challenges currently lie for you?
The biggest challenges? To bring tradition and modernity under one hat and we try that. In front the modern brewhouse – behind a brewery museum. That's how it is with us. We have an ancient house and still try to integrate modern things. We want to find a good mix and live it. The contact with our guests and customers is often very personal, which has developed over the years. Traditions like these will always exist with us – New we refuse nevertheless not. On the contrary.
Which activity makes you particularly much fun in the brewery?
The end of the day (laughs).
Do you provide training? And what must bring a brewer of tomorrow?
Yes, we train! I think an apprentice must be open-minded für new, can try out or dürfen. After the apprenticeship it depends in which category brewery he wants to work. Small, medium or large. In small breweries you have to be able to get dirty sometimes, you must not be afraid and you should try to accept a lot. It doesn't matter if it concerns technology or craft. It's different at large breweries. Everything is computer-controlled and as long as the technology is running, you don't have to do anything. There just has to be someone to set up the computer - this is usually done by external companies. You can contribute less of your own personality here.
Last but not least: Your favorite beer / favorite beer style and what dish tastes best with it?
I like to drink a wheat beer and of course our Kräußenpils. As a Franconian tastes best to me a classic fränkisches Schäuferla.