American-Bavarian brewing power

Max Senner (left) and Bryan France from Yankee & Kraut
Max Senner (left) and Bryan France from Yankee & Kraut

Here on the drinktec blog, we are going to start taking a regular look at the most significant newcomers to the craft beer scene. This time it’s the turn of the innovative start-up ‘Yankee & Kraut’ from Ingolstadt, which will be presenting its creative brews at the place2beer in Hall B1.

Sometimes, the name of a beer gives you a hint as to its origin: as is the case with ‘Yankee & Kraut’. Bryan France, the master brewer, originally comes from the USA, making him the ‘yankee’ of the team. His business partner Max Senner is a born-and-bred Bavarian, the ‘kraut’ of the pair, and is responsible for marketing and distribution. France came up with the idea to found his own label whilst studying brewing at the Munich Technical University in Weihenstephan. There, the 34-year-old made it onto the list of finalists in an innovation competition with a hoppy lager entitled ‘Hopulenz IPL’.

This creation became the first Yankee & Kraut beer in 2016. In order to make his dream a reality, France – who had studied biology back in the States – roped in his old friend Max Senner. Their first brew was followed by a pale ale called ‘Eden’, which bears a certain similarity to a fruit cocktail thanks to its blend of flavors. Later, they came up with a spectacular stout called ‘Sommerfinsternis’, a strongly hopped creation fermented with wheat beer yeast. Their latest masterpiece falls under the category of unusual stouts. So what is so special about ‘Room 101’? In addition to malt and hops, salt, and lemon juice, its creators also threw some eucalyptus, peppermint, and juniper berries into the mix. So hardly a beer that would pass muster under the German Purity Law. The flavor of their ‘Room 101’ is somewhat reminiscent of cough medicine, but this doesn’t bother its makers, as the US-Bavarian team’s main aim is to come up with surprising and imaginative brews.

Although the Yankee & Kraut duo do not yet have their own brewery, both creators are now members of the creative elite of the German craft beer scene. Like many young brewers just starting up their own craft beer label, these newcomers practice what is called ‘gypsy brewing’. This means they make use of free capacity at the Binkert brewery, located to the north of Bamberg, in order to produce their innovative beers. They are constantly tinkering with new recipes, and tend to mostly brew beers in collaboration with international brewing partners.

All of Yankee & Kraut’s specialties will be available for craft fans to taste at drinktec’s place2beer area, where they can savor the innovative flavor combinations. However, the beer section of the fair has a lot more than that to offer: it will play host to perhaps the most creative and exciting newcomers of the craft beer scene, who will be happy to welcome you to their stands and talk about their projects. This will be sure to make Hall B1 a hot spot for any beer lovers wanting to sample some truly unique brews, with the space of around 500 square meters providing attendees with the opportunity to taste creations from a whole range of brewers free of charge. There will also be live tasting sessions and panel discussions on hot topics such as ‘women and beer’ and ‘beer and food’.

Mareike Hasenbeck

Mareike Hasenbeck is a freelance journalist with her own craft beer blog (Feiner Hopfen), she is also a beer sommelier and an international expert for beer sensory certified by the DLG (German Agricultural Society).