And from a town that sort of exemplified the DDR, it being the one they changed the name of: Karl-Marx-Stadt, or Chemnitz as it’s once again called. I’m still getting used to the name Chemnitz, even after 25 years. Hardleers, is what the Dutch would call me. (Not sure what a correct English translation of that would be.)
Friedrich August Kupfer founded the Feldschlösschen Brauerei in 1868. It was an early example of the new Lager breweries established in the North of Germany. The breweries which would sweep away the old top-fermenting styles of the region. Later it adopted the name Braustolz.
As a relatively large business, Braustolz left private ownership in the first round of nationalisations in the 1950’s and became VEB Brautolz. At the time there were five breweries in Karl-Marx-Stadt, of which one other, Schloß was also nationalised and three privately owned, Einsiedler, Germania and Reichenbrand. Surprisingly, both Einsiedler and Reichenbrand are still in business.
In the second round of nationalisations in 1972, all five breweries were grouped together as the VEB Getränkekombinat Karl-Marx-Stadt. Lumping together all the breweries in a region into one group was a feature of the late DDR.
In the 1990’s, Braustolz was bought by the Kulmbacher Brauerei. One of my least favourite in Franconia, if I’m honest. Though it has continued to operate the brewery in Chemnitz. It currently produces beer under the brads Braustolz and Kappler (named after the part of Chemnitz where the brewery is located). It brews around 150,000 hl a year. This is their current range:
|Braustolz beers in 2015|
|Braustolz Helles Lager||Helles||9.7||4%|
|Braustolz Spezial Export||Export||12.1||5.4%|
|Braustolz Bockbier||Dunkler Bock||16.1||6.6%|
|Braustolz website http://www.braustolz.de.|
A couple of interesting beers in there. I’m amazed that they still brew Doppel-Caramel, though it can’t be the same as the DDR-period version, as that contained some alcohol. The Helles Lager has a very odd gravity for a German beer. Being under 11º Plato, it doesn’t count as a Vollbier. Though the high degree of attenuation means that it’s probably almost the same ABV as their old Hell.
The Pilsner and Bock are most likely the beers that have changed the least. Landbier is a popular, but essentially meaningless, name. All sorts of beers of different strengths and even colour have the name plonked on them. I guess the idea is to make it sound like an old-fashioned country beer. Schwarzbier also tells a story. I can’t recall there being any example, other than Köstritzer. There may have been, but I’ve never even seen a label for one. The style has grown in popularity since reunification and many breweries in Saxony make one.