Thursday 28 September 2017

Broyhan getting even more confusing

I’ve wondered for a long while about when Broyhan exactly disappeared. My guess was around WW I. But it seems it might have limped on a little longer.

Too much information is becoming a problem for me. Flicking through yet another German technical book, I’ve come across a handy little article about beer from the late 1920’s. And it includes Brothan.

It’s just a single sentence, but has confused the hell out of me:

“Broyhan is a top-fermenting, dark, poorly attenuated, lightly hopped beer brewed from barley malt and wheat malt, which is mainly brewed in the province Hannover.” [My translation.]
Ullmann, Fritz ed. (1928), Bier in Enzyklopädie der technischen Chemie Band 2, pp 378, Urban & Schwarzenberg, Berlin and Vienna.

OK, I knew Broyhan was a low-gravity, half-fermented beer that just had a few hops waved in its general direction. But dark? That makes absolutely no sense. Broyhan is a classic Weissbier, i.e. a beer brewed from air-dried malt. (Weissbier originally did not mean wheat beer, remember. I’ve seen plenty of references to all-malt Broyhans.) It makes no sense for it to be dark.

But, Broyhan was around for a long time – 400 years or so. And brewed over a wide area. So obviously it wasn’t always going to be the same. No beer style ever stays unchanged for long. It’s possible it may have changed colour in its later days. Other beer styles have done. Like, for example, Mild Ale, which turned from pale to dark. Did Broyhan pull a similar trick? I’d love to know.


Roel Mulder said...

Interesting poster: the Lüttje Lage tradition of drinking a beer and a schnapps at the same time apparently originally was done with a Broyhan and schnapps; just as shown on the poster.
(A 'Lüttje Lage' was also a predecessor of the Dutch 'kopstoot', which was first mentioned in 1940 in a newspaper for German troops occupying the Netherlands, see my article in this month's Bier Magazine)
Interestingly, there's still a Lüttje Lage beer on the market in Hannover, which would be a (dark-coloured) descendant of Broyhan:
See also:

Elektrolurch said...

Uuuuuuhm. Maybe Broyhan even kind of survived in form of the modern, low alcohol Lüttje Lagen beers? This advertisement/label/picture whatever seems to suggest this-not only does it say Broyhan and Lüttje Lagen, the shot glass pictured looks also very close,if not identical, to the shot glasses used to drink Lüttje Lagen with today...

Roel Mulder said...

Who knows...

Ron Pattinson said...


I was wondering about that. SAdly, I've next to no information on Broyhan in the 20th century.