Bitburger and Deschutes – a True Brewing Friendship
While one side has been brewing premium Pilsner taste in the Southern Eifel National Park in accordance with the German beer purity law since 1817 and constantly thrilling patrons with new creations, the others have been experimenting every year since 1988 – sometimes with outlandish flavor combinations – and prefer to store their beers in old oak barrels. Although our two breweries might seem to be quite different at first glance, there is a great deal that unites us with our brewing friends from Deschutes Brewery in Bend, Oregon. Both breweries have been under family ownership since their founding and are closely linked with their home regions. And the commonalities are quickly apparent when it comes to sustainability: sustainable business has been a matter of course for us in all areas over our 200-year history, just like our “young” friends from the United States. We used the occasion of our shared passion – quality, passion for the craft of brewing, and a true pioneering spirit across generations – to share our knowledge and our experiences to create a beer that combines the best of the two family-owned companies. The beer brings together fresh American hops with the bitterness of Bitburger Siegelhopfen and the fruitiness of German Callista hops.
How It All Started ...
Bitburger and Deschutes – a harmonious friendship across many levels! But how did the brewing collaboration come about? It all began in 2019, when the two Deschutes brewers Jake Harper and Jim Lazenby took part in our Bitburger Challenge at Prost! Portland, with their creation winning out over seven other US breweries. The beers were evaluated by a panel of experts along with the spectators, who came together in large numbers in the pub to crown the winner. Jan Niewodniczanski, our seventh-generation managing director, was also on hand to witness the creativity and technical expertise of the brewery for himself. The prize for winning the challenge was a trip to Germany, specifically to our home city of Bitburg, as well as a collaboration with our family brewery. In addition to the tour of our brewery, we also tasted beers and went to the Craft Beer Festival in Trier together.
Brewing Together: Let the Hop Shine!
Plans were made, recipes were shared, and everything was prepared for the mutual brew. But it sometimes works out differently than you planned. The year 2021 required a special type of collaboration: our brewing experts Jan Niewodniczanski, Stefan Meyna, and Nele Gänz were in virtual attendance in September when our friends from Oregon used fresh hops to prepare our collaboration brew – a fresh-hop IPA that will be available exclusively on the US market beginning in mid October.
Stay tuned for everything that we still have planned with our brewing friends from Deschutes – we’ll be at it again soon enough, getting creative together in the brewhouse in Bitburg.
To be continued …