Notes from last night: A conversation with Radeberger Gruppe's Udo Schiedermair

With the passing of the 500th anniversary of the German "Purity Law", I sat down with Germany's Udo Schiedermair from Radeberger Gruppe. With a strong focus on German Pilsners, Udo has established a reputation a sought-after pilsner from Germany.
image of Udo Schiedermair source from Shorepoint

Birth. Born in Bavaria and raised into brewing by his father, Udo believes that Germany's established Reinheitsgebot works for most consumers in Germany, but isn't often applicable to brewers beyond the borders of Germany. This isn't a critique towards brewers from Belgium, the United States or England. Rather, it's a fact that a German pilsner inspires assurance that a liter won't result in a morning of regret. But Udo isn't above enjoying an English Strong Ale, American India Pale Ale, or Belgian Lambic - some of which the Radeberger Gruppe's "Die Internationale Brau-Manufacturen GmbH" import from countries including the United States. Based on the reactions from German drinkers to beers like Firestone Walker DBA, the inclusion of non-German beer has been mostly positive.
Is the term brewmaster applied too freely? In Udo's mind, whether the brewer has received formal education or not is irrelevant. What is relevant is whether that person is familiar with their equipment, ingredients, and recipes. Or to look at it a different way, a true brewmaster does not simply brew beer. A brewmaster is the custodian of the brewery, and the beer and brewery should reflect that commitment.

Is Radeberger Gruppe still a craft brewery? In his opinion, the brewery represents the definition, given the private ownership, and its production volume. Furthering the point he is quick to mention BraufactuM and their development of award-winning, craft, beers - like Indra Weizen India Pale Ale and Clan Scotch Ale, which echo the practices associated with craft brewers throughout the world.


image sourced from Radeberge Gruppe's US Twitter account

German beer from a barrel? Finally, I asked Udo why it was important for people to enjoy his beer from the barrel. Indifferent, Schiedermair simply wanted people to enjoy his beer no matter where it's poured. But if the opportunity is made available to enjoy a Raderberger Pilsner, he would encourage anyone to try it from the barrel. After all, much like Germany's historic Reinheitsgebot, Radergerber respects tradition while sharing it with thirsty drinkers.
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