Interview with a Brewmaster

Interview with a Brewmaster – Hans On Brewmaster


It is my pleasure to introduce to you, the brewmaster from one of the most well known and well respected Weissbier breweries in the world.  I had to dust off and tighten up the Comfy Computer Chair of Fame for this interview as I did not want anything out of place.  The man carrying more that 140 years of tradition on his shoulder and doing a fine job of it.  Please welcome to CellarMonk, Hans-Peter Drexler 

Name(s): Hans-Peter Drexler

Brewery Name: Weisses Bräuhaus G. Schneider & Sohn GmbH

How long have you beer brewmaster there?
I have brewed there since 1990

Any type of formal training in brewing science or art? If not, how did you learn the craft?
Weihenstephan degree as Diploma (Degree) Brewmaster

If you will, a brief history of your brewing experience (where have you brewed)?
After finishing my studies in Weihenstephan, I worked for the experimental University brewery there for two years.  I also spent one year as an assistant brewmaster in greece.  I started with Schneider Weisse in 1982 as an assistant brewmaster;

How large is the brewery (# of barrels annually)?
The brewery produces 250000 Hectolitres per year (approximately 215000 barrels (US))

Is it automated or is there a lot of exercise involved in your brewery’s operation?
Almost everything is automatically controlled except for the fermentation. The fementation is still operated and controlled like a hand crafted process (see image)openferm

Have you ever had a bad batch? 

Is there more pressure put upon you as brewmaster in a brewery with a such a long and outstanding history as Schneider-Weisse?
It is not so much pressure as it is a challenge every day!

Can you give a hint if anything might be coming from your brewery (new brew, special brew, etc.)?
Once a year we want to send a new special brew to the market

Most every workplace has some type of tradition. Does your brewery have some type of tradition on brew day or at another time? For example, using a special tool that has been around for a very long time, play specific music while brewing, etc.
Our tradition is to brew Bavarian Weissbier in open fermenters and bottle conditioned in the same way the founder of the brewery did 140 years ago

collabHave you traveled outside of Germany to experience another beer culture, in say, England or America? 
I have traveled many times to find new inspirations and new ideas behind the philosophy of brewing. I know all the traditional beer countries like Belgium, England, Czech Republic and the “new born” beer countries like United States and Italy.  It seem that in all of these countries there has started a new craft beer movement.

If you had to pick a favorite beer from the brewery and offer it to a stranger, which one would it be?

As Schneider is still a smallish, family run brewery, does Georg VI every come in to brew alongside you?
He is very busy with commercial part of the business.

Do you have a favorite beer and food pairing?
I like all my beers and I enjoy to match these beers with good and sometimes strange food to find out how it works. Hopfenweisse and spicy Indian cuisine or SW Original and sea food.

What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?
When away from the brewery I enjoy mounaineering, mountain bike and race bike and cooking at home.

Are you married? Any children?hansandmalt
I am married and have 4 boys.

Describe your perfect beer day (outside the brewery). For example, a day with family or friends at one of Schneider’s Brauhaus’, a picnic with family or just a quiet day at home (sipping on Schneider beers).
Just to cook a 4 or 5 course beer dinner together with my sons with matching Schneider beers or sometimes different finest international beers

You are German, favorite Fußball team?
No Fußball!!

***Final Question:****

If you were in charge, what would you change (first) to improve our beer universe?
The best beer education for everybody!

For more images of Hans-Peter, follow this link.