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Munich celebrates the fifth season.

Munich Celebrates the Fifth Season

Bavarian city oozes of hospitality during strong beer season and Salvatorfest, a 350-year-old Munich tradition.

Gemutlichkeit, the warm atmosphere of open and generous hospitality, can still be found. While once the required attitude of the brewing trade, this convivial display of acceptance and good naturedness, as defined by the Germans many years ago, seemed to have disappeared in these modern competitive times. But, alas, gemutlichkeit has not vanished; rather, it is still actively practiced and enjoyed in the land where it was born: Germany.

In a nation which boasts over 500 beer festivals a year, one need not look too far to find Germans celebrating in a traditional beer garden or beer hall while lively bands entertain in native costume and song. One particular festival, however, salutes beer or "liquid bread" as a "spring cure."

For over 350 years, the city of Munich has played host for a two-week-long celebration featuring liters and liters of bock beer, authentic Bavarian food and traditional entertainment. Attracting over 12,000 people from around the world each day, this annual festival is known for its civility and orderliness. Not Oktoberfest--that's another story--Munich's Salvatorfest celebrates the city's "fifth season," the strong beer season.

Monks brew

Paulaner-Salvator-Thomasbrau AG, largest brewer in the beer-producing mecca of Bavaria, is the present-day successor of the Paulaner monastery where monks produced beer to support "their own pressing needs." According to Bavarian folklore, each year at the end of Lent--the holy season preceeding Easter--the monastery celebrated the "Feast of the Holy Father" to honor the birthday of its founder. A special springtime bock beer was produced, Salvator, and each year the first glass presented to the Prime Minister of Bavaria.

Today, just as in the 1600s, Paulaner Salvator is a doppelbock of high original gravity. A deep red-brown in color, the seasonal beer has an alcohol content of about six percent by weight, which is high, even by German standards. Salvator is described as a full-bodied beer with a creamy malt taste and hoppy, dry finish. Brewed in strict accordance with Germany's Purity Law, of course, Salvator, as well as the brewery's other products, is made from barley, hops and crystal-clear water from springs more than 240 meters below the ground's surface.

Headquartered in Bavaria or Germany's Black Forest, the Paulaner Brewing Group encompasses 12 brewing sites which produced 5.3 million barrels of beer in 1987. Paulaner holds a 15-percent market share in Bavaria--an area which contains close to 800 breweries--and four percent of the total German market, which claims 1,160 breweries. Unlike the U.S., Germany has no nationally-marketed beer brands.

According to Paulaner, the brewing division produces a total of 19 beers year round, including Munchner Hell, Paulaner Original 1634, Paulaner Oktoberfest, and Paulaner Hefe-Weizen. Of the total beer line, 56 percent of total sales are among the company's lager beers.

Other brands include Thomasbrau, a non-alcoholic beer acquired in 1928, and the Hacker-Pschorr beer line, a recent acquisition. In addition, Paulaner owns Compania Cervecerias Unidas S.A., a brewery in Chile.

The company's non-alcoholic beverages division, meanwhile, produces about 3.5 million barrels of soft drinks a year. That operation, which consists of 11 soft-drink units, Paulaner said, is the largest bottler of Coca-Cola in all of Europe. Combined beer and soft drink gross sales are reported at $470 million a year. The firm employs some 6,000 employees.

Almost completely destroyed in World War II, the Paulaner brewery was reconstructed at its original site during the 1950s and 1960s. However, construction continues even today as a $75 million, one-million-barrel expansion is presently underway.

"Engineering aimed at future demands and experience based on a long tradition are our guarantees for high efficiency and constant quality," says the company, adding that these are the points upon which its brewery installations have been designed and installed.

Paulaner's "far-sighted operational planning and responsibility" was evident at a recent visit to the Munich brewery. A highly automated brewhouse and state-of-the-art brewing equipment now join century-old brewery artifacts.

Computer panels abound at the brewing facility, from the malt house to packaging area. Approximately 120 tons of malt is dispatched to Paulaner daily. The "green malt," which contains 14 percent moisture, is cooled for 6 1/2 days and then transported to the kiln where hot air is blown in to dry the wort. The malt is heated at 80 degrees Celsius for five hours. The automated kiln reads the water and room temperature.

Paulaner's brewhouse features eight 750-hl. brewkettles and 16 lagering tanks. Twelve batches a day are brewed, into which hops are added in three stages.

Yeast, which is used a total of four times, is separated from the wort and compounds removed. Fourteen computer-controlled fermentation tanks with a capacity of 3,800 hl. each are in use at the brewery. The beer undergoes its second fermentation in the tanks.

Following filtration, a process carried out by some of the most modern filtration tanks available, the beer is pumped underground from the brewery to the packaging area. There, automated equipment packages the beer into bottles, cans and kegs. According to Paulaner, a capacity of up to 1.7 million bottles a day is possible.

Outside the brewery, Salvator and the other Paulaner beers are sold in 16,000 on-premise locations in Germany and 7,400 off-premise sites. Distribution in Munich is carried out by Paulaner while beer is shipped to 64 depots for distribution throughout Bavaria. National distribution is accomplished through 200 independent distributors, the company said.

In Germany, beer is often considered the traditional drink of natives, and so, malt beverages are very much a part of the German culture. The equivalent of 157.9 million barrels of beer was produced in West Germany in 1987, and with a total population of 61 million, per capita consumption stood at 38.6 gallons a year. Per capita consumption of beer in the U.S. in 1988 was 23.6 gallons.

The importance of beer in Bavaria, however, appears even greater as per capita consumption in that region in 1987 was 61.8 gallons. Bavaria, with a population of 11 million, holds a 15-percent share of the German beer market.

Paulaner beers, including Salvator, are exported to the U.S., Italy, Spain, France, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Austria, Greece, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and Australia.

It is the U.S. market, however, where Paulaner sees particular success for its beer. Stating that the "U.S. import beer market is for sale," Albert Bellschan van Mildenburg, Paulaner export manager, envisions a steady growth for his beers over the next 10 years. "We are most pleased with our initial markets," van Mildenburg told U.S. beer importers and wholesalers during the 1989 Salvatorfest. "And we are committed to the future potential."

Available in 14 states currently, Paulaner beer "is the sleeping giant of the U.S. imported beer market," the export manager continued. However, he said, that will soon change as Paulaner-Salvator-Thomasbrau begins to meet its goal of national distribution in the U.S. The beer is packaged in six-packs and cases of 12-oz. bottles and in kegs. Paulaner Leicht, a reduced-calorie beer recently unveiled in Germany, is also planned for the U.S.

According to the brewer, promotional support includes broadcast and print advertising and point-of-sale items such as posters, T-shirts, glassware, coasters, mirrors and table tents.

While Paulaner realizes that the U.S. beer market has become quite competitive, the brewery says that adherence to its philosophy of far-sighted planning can ultimately mean success in the U.S. "Not bad," says van Mildenburg for "a conservative, traditional Bavarian brewery."

PHOTO : Two-liter steins of Paulaner and Salvator are the source of refreshment for Salvatorfest

PHOTO : attendees.

PHOTO : Traditional German entertainment is featured at the festival.

PHOTO : U.S. beer wholesalers and importers were among the 12,000 attendees of the Munich

PHOTO : festival.
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Title Annotation:Munich Salvatorfest beer festival, Paulaner-Salvator-Thomasbrau AG
Author:Finnegan, Terri
Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Date:Jul 10, 1989
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