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Craft Beer versus Classics

Während der Bücherwurm sich am 23. April, am „Welttag des Buches“, durch die Neuerscheinungen der Kontinente arbeitet und sich an geistiger Nahrung berauscht, sind es in Deutschland durstige Kehlen, die etwas zu feiern haben. Der „Tag des deutschen Bieres“ sorgt mit zahlreichen Aktionen in Gastronomie und Brauwelt dafür, dass die Gläser gut gefüllt werden. In der bayerischen Landesordnung wurde am 23. April 1516 festgeschrieben, was als „deutsches Reinheitsgebot“ in die Geschichte einging und in einem Satz zusammenfasst, was ins (damals bayerische) Bier gehört: „…dass forthin allenthalben in unseren Städten, Märkten und auf dem Lande zu keinem Bier mehr Stücke als allein Gerste, Hopfen und Wasser verwendet und gebraucht werden sollen.“ Auch wenn heute die Bierverordnung (BierV) von 2005 alles rund um den Gerstensaft regelt – dieses Gesetz wird auch nach mehr als 500 Jahren medienwirksam auf den Sockel gehoben.

David und Goliath: zwei Typen, ein Ziel

Dass auch in Deutschland ein Wettbewerb zwischen David und Goliath Kontur bekommt, sehen wohl die etablierten Brauereien ebenso wie die neue Kreativ-Szene gelassen. Während die einen wie riesige Containerschiffe durch den weiten Ozean der Getränkebranche dampfen, hat sich eine kleine Armada formiert, die am Horizont „fishing for compliments“ betreibt und klein, aber fein die Ozeanriesen im Auge hat.
Beide haben ihre Existenzberechtigung. Während der Ozeanriese – sprich die Classic-Line – für Kontinuität, stabile Produktpolitik und maßvolle Innovation steht, versucht es die Kreativ-Flotte mit frischem Wind und neuen Trends: Craftbier gilt als jung, trendy, geschmackvoll. Doch weil beide nur „mit Wasser brauen“, sind sie sich in vielen Dingen auch ähnlich.

Vielfältig und regional – die traditionelle deutsche Brauszene

In Deutschland existiert seit Jahrhunderten eine sehr vielfältige Brauereilandschft. Hausbrauereien, Brauereigasthöfe sowie große und kleine Brauhäuser haben zwar stürmische Zeiten erlebt, aber neben den großen Konzernen haben sich immer auch kleine und mittlere Betriebe behauptet und ganz individuell produziert – die gängigen Biersorten wie Helles oder Weizen ebenso wie regionale Spezialitäten oder Festbiere zu traditionellen Anlässen. Ohne „Annafest-Bier“ geht nichts in Franken, und ohne das „Kölsch“ wäre Köln (vielleicht) nur eine von vielen Metropolen. Die „Berliner Weisse“, ursprünglich ebenfalls ein sehr regionales Gebräu, hat selbst im Bierland Bayern seine Fans gefunden.
So gesehen würde die amerikanische Definition von Craftsbeer „small, independent, traditional“ auf die meisten unabhänigen Braustätten Deutschlands zutreffen … war Bier-Deutschland also schon immer „Craftbier-Land“?

Vom Homebrewer zum Craftbrewer

Eine klare Definition für deutsches Craftbier gibt es nicht – „Craft“ ist kein Begriff, der als Wortmarke geschützt werden kann. Der Trend zur Mikrobrauerei in den 1970er Jahren entstand in den USA als Gegenbewegung zur Phalanx der drei Brauriesen Anheuser-Busch, Miller und Coors, deren Produkte sich geschmacklich überhaupt nicht mehr unterschieden. Einige Hobby-Bierbrauer wollten ein Zeichen gegen das Einheitsbier setzten und experimentierten – ein „Spiel ohne Grenzen“, das einige auch mit Erfolg spielten und gewannen. Seit 1978 dürfen die „homebrewers“ ihr Bier nicht nur für den Hausgebrauch produzieren, sondern vermarkten – so wurden sie zu „craftbrewers“. Ein Trend wurde zum Handwerk und schwappte auch nach Europa über. Auch wenn die Märkte nicht wirklich zu vergleichen sind, der Schritt zur neuen Vielfalt fand schnell Anhänger.

Die Kreativ-Armada sticht in See

Natürlich kann man einen etablierten Ozeanriesen nicht einfach versenken, aber ein paar Knoten abnehmen möchte man ihm schon … Nicht nur aus diesem Grund, sondern wohl auch, um die Szene etwas zu bündeln, hoben einige Brauereien – vorwiegend „Mikro-Produzenten“ – 2016 den Verband „Deutsche Kreativbrauer e. V.“ aus der Taufe , der sich für die „Förderung kreativer und natürlicher Biervielfalt“ stark macht. KREATIV ist das neue Zauberwort, um den in Deutschland eher ungeliebten Begriff Craftbier aus dem Sudhaus zu verbannen.

Wann ist ein Bier ein Craftbier?

Dass die amerikanische Definition nicht ausreicht, um das Frühlingserwachen im Sudhaus zu beschreiben, wird schnell klar. Der bereits erwähnte Verband hat für Mitglieder und Mitstreiter einige Kriterien bezüglich Unternehmensführung und Brauverfahren aufgestellt. So müssen Mitgliedsbrauereien inhabergeführt sowie rechtlich und finanziell unabhängig von Nicht-Verbandsmitgliedern sein. Alle Roh- und Hilfsstoffe sind auf dem Etikett zu deklarieren, Angaben zum Brauverfahren, zur Braustätte und zu eventuellen Teilhabern sind Pflicht. Mindestens eine Sorte aus dem Sortiment der Brauerei muss im Rahmen des „Natürlichkeitsgebots“ produziert werden. Keine Garantie gibt es aber für handwerkliche Herstellung. Ob der Brauer selbst Hand anlegt, industriell produziert oder seine Anlage per App steuert – das ist ihm überlassen. Brauereiromantik – oft Fehlanzeige!

Craft-Bier und das Reinheitsgebot

Vielfalt bedeutet nicht, dass das Reinheitsgebot nicht gilt, aber es ist … dehnbar. Auch heute verlangt es in Deutschland die Verwendung nur von (Gersten)malz, Wasser, Hopfen und Hefe. Außer in Bayern und Baden-Württemberg kann der Brauer nach dem Vorläufigen Biersteuergesetz von 1993 aber einen Antrag auf das „Brauen besonderer Biere“ stellen, der seine Gestaltungsmöglichkeiten erheblich erweitert.
Das „Natürlichkeitsgebot“ des Kreativ-Brauer-Verbands kommt dem Reinheitsgebot in vielem nahe, lehnt Zuckerzusätze und chemische Filterstoffe sowie Pasteurisierung ab, bejaht aber bierhistorisch bedingte Zusätze wie z. B. Koriander. Vom Können und Wollen eines Craftbeer-Brauers hängt also ab, wie weit er „back to the roots“ geht – schließlich waren Zusätze wie Porst, Gagelstrauch, Wacholder und Zimt schon vor 1516 sehr beliebt.

Fazit

Vielleicht wird die Craftbier-Szene überschätzt, denn ganz gleich, ob Craft-, Kreativ- oder Ganz-Normal-Brauer – Know-how, gute Zutaten und eine ausgewogene Komposition machen aus einem simplen Durstlöscher ein Aha-Erlebnis!

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