There’s never been a better time for beer. Breweries across the globe are making the most creative, interesting, and reputable beer the world has ever seen. Craft beer has come and conquered, changing how people think, drink, and value mankind’s favorite beverage. Breweries are popping up everywhere. New styles are being born and long-forgotten ones resurrected. Beer bars are the new cocktail dens, beer knowledge the hip pursuit. Beer “geeks” are not so geeky anymore. New magazines, podcasts, blogs, and websites sing the praises of craft beer and artisan cuisine. Sophisticated new apps tie it all together. People everywhere, it seems, are excited about beer – talking about it, discovering it, celebrating it.
Never before has beer mattered as much. In most places, anyway.
In Germany things are different. Here beer tends to be an afterthought, something that’s just there. There are a lot of breweries and a lot of brands, but the whole is considerably less than the sum of its parts, and consumer choice should be mistaken for neither diversity nor dynamism. Holding companies and consortiums dominate a landscape of increasing uniformity, competing primarily via pricing and advertising, in a market not unlike the US after Prohibition ended in 1933. Pilsner, or what passes for it, makes up more than half of yearly sales. Beer culture remains traditional, wedded to ritual and ceremony, little else. People celebrate with beer, but beer itself is rarely celebrated, other than for being, well – beer. The innovation, passion, and excitement in much of the beer world is, for the most part, lacking here. In Germany beer, and beer culture, are far from their finest hour.
BIERFREIHEIT is a vehicle for change, an impetus, part of an undeniable and unstoppable vanguard. Beer matters, and it should in Germany, of all places. But for something to matter there must be passion, love – a connection. And so BIERFREIHEIT is a call to arms, a rallying cry, an education and an introduction.
Free your mind. Free your beer. Fall in love again.