German Brewmaster Chats

Franconia Brewing Dennis Wehrmann

A conversation happens once a year when my local homebrewing club meets at the Franconia Brewery. Each year we are greeted with some new equipment. This year the 6000 square foot brewery was is fitted with a bottling line. Dennis Wehrmann and his loyal crew have been on the scene six years and counting. New equipment means more beer for the masses. As a homebrewer I've learned better questions get better answers on brewery tours. When quizzing a German brewmaster those questions should also be proper for making long-term-pure-beer not trend-seeking-thrill-beer. Those terms I completely made up but you get my point. I seek to understand the classic styles in an effort to harness creativity. Last year's conversation was about the merit of professional brewing programs. We touched on volunteer training and brewing operations. This year we chatted about the billowing Dallas beer market its challenges and its hope. I'd like to understand tap capacity, keg prices, market share, and brand overload. The current tap space seems limited for the amount of breweries coming online. This year alone 20+ breweries were approved by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. Shelf space and tap space will be even more limited. Yet the race for space continues. My question: How will the new comers fare in this brand sensitive industry? I want to know which beers will stand market clasp? I'd also like to know if it's safe to get in? Well fortune tellers that's a million dollar question for palm readers. My hope is simple "Get In Where You Fit In" –stop there with the rapper quotes.

I believe the Dallas area breweries are here to stay. I'm in agreeance with consistency being far more reaching than hype. German styled beer have been around for a very long time. Their merits seem lackluster to thrill seekers yet there is no replacing repeatable quality and craft. The beers I like the most are creative. I am learning on a production scale thrill-beers can also expand or cripple a market. Specialty has its price. I'd like to see this creativity continue by way of local agriculture. The farming industry could use more local support –back to beer. The limited almost nonexistent damned if you don't Franconia IPA will return. This time with organically grown hops. Thank head brewer Cam Horn for that one. I'm looking forward also the Franconia Triple Dunkel. At some point I think the craft beer industry started making things up not for creativity but just so we over zealous types could fumble for words. I also believe this is thrill marketing. Post shake down Dallas craft beer will have some long term beers to be proud of.

After the club meeting I walked away with 10lbs of base malt and some aged hops. This screams sour beer but I have reason to make session beers. My next homebrew will be a well styled malt tilted classic. The hops I will saved for sour brewing.

Franconia Brewery Malt Hops Homebrew

Works Cited:
photo by Abhishek
http://franconiabrewing.com
Malt gifted by BB of dallashomebrew.com
Aged hops gifted to NTHBA.org club members
http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/cityofate/2014/02/brewing_questions_with_francon.php
http://www.texascraftbrewersguild.org/our-members/
https://label.tabc.state.tx.us/esd3-tlabel/

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