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Maker Of Samuel Adams Teams With German Beer-maker On A Premium Brew

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FREISING, Germany – The Boston Beer Co., maker of Samuel Adams, will team up with a venerable German brewery to jointly produce a new craft beer to be marketed in Germany and the U.S. next spring.

Boston Beer founder and master brewer Jim Koch, and Josef Schraedler, managing director of Weihenstephan, told The Associated Press last week that their two companies have been working together for nearly two years on the beer, which they will make and market jointly.

It has yet to be named but will be marketed in bottles with corks instead of the usual metal caps. It will pack a punch, with more than 10 percent alcohol. Both men described it as a champagne-like “crisp pale brew.”

The Weihenstephan brewery, owned by the state of Bavaria, dates back to 1040, when Benedictine monks began making beer at their cloister outside Munich.

The new beer also will follow Germany’s famed Reinheitsgebot, or purity law, which stipulates that beer can be brewed with only four ingredients: water, malt, hops and yeast.

“We’re creating a brand, a product that never existed before, a very premium brand” Koch told AP. “Beer can stand with dignity and respect with the best of wine and spirits.”

Koch, a Harvard-educated, sixth-generation beer brewer with German heritage, said he was elated when Weihenstephan called.

“No brewer can walk up this hill and not have a reverence for this place; this is the longest-going brewery on earth,” he said.

Weihenstephan is headquartered at the idyllic site of the original monastery – a hilltop not far from Munich.

“Nobody knows more about beer than Weihenstephan. There is more knowledge about beer within a mile than anywhere on earth,” Koch said.

The brewery has close ties with the Technical University of Munich’s beer studies program, located at the base of the hill – a place where Koch has sought experts and answers for his own company.

Schraedler said some of his staff members were skeptical about the project but were gradually won over.

“You need different ideas and perspectives sometimes. You need this atmosphere in which something new can be done. The first step is a long history. The new style will surprise a lot of people,” he said, but added he doesn’t expect Weihenstephan to become a mass-market brand.

Both brewers said they hoped the new brew could win more wine and spirits drinkers over to beer. They also hope the new project will make their other products more known in Europe and North America.

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Thursday, September 21, 1:39 am

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