Isarkindl: Bavarian Brewing Culture Updated

(v.l.) Rainer, Nina, Xaver und Simon. (© Christian Büttner)

Here on the drinktec blog, we regularly take a look at the most impressive newcomers to the craft-beer scene. This time we’d like to introduce an innovative startup named “Isarkindl”, based in Freising near munich, which will be showcasing its creative specialty beers, including the highly successful Märzen variety “Schmankerl”, at the place2beer exhibition in Hall B1.

Having moved through highly aromatic imperial stouts, heavily hopped double India pale ales and high-percentage barley wines, the trend is now turning back toward subtle and straightforward specialty beers. The buzzword of the moment is drinkability. For this reason, many brewers in the international craft-beer scene are turning their attention to traditional lagers like pilsners, Helles or Märzen varieties, albeit with their own new, creative interpretations. Isarkindl’s Xaver Amler and Simon Klur are two such proponents of this philosophy.

Isarkindl – A Uni Project

The two Bavarians studied at the Technical University of Munich in Weihenstephan and first saw their chance for success in 2014, when they entered the Innovation Competition for Food and Beverages (IGL) organized by the university’s Faculty for Brewing and Food Technology. Each year, this contest gives students the chance to show their creative skills. The teams taking part work together with professionals from the industry and the field of research to develop the most unusual beverages and foods possible along with an appropriate marketing strategy. The results are presented to a panel of select judges, who then choose the winning team.

A Special Helles and a Delicacy

Amler and Klurs’ basic concept was to brew a Helles, which was not just fermented with the traditional bottom-fermenting yeast. They also added Belgian Brettanomyces yeast to the brew, which has a typical horse-blanket character in terms of its aroma. The Freising-based duo did not actually win the competition, but that did not deter them: they went away, came up with some new ideas and then set up “Isarkindl” in 2015. Alongside their modern take on Helles, refined with aromatic hops, there is also now a specialty beer on the shelves with the name “Schmankerl”, or delicacy. This copper-colored Märzen is brewed using Vienna malt and special caramel malt. The aroma therefore has a strong malty accent, but the overall feel is complemented by flowery hop notes, reminiscent of pilsner. This unusual kick sets this beer apart from traditional standard varieties. “We combine Bavarian brewing culture with an open mind for new ideas,” agree the Freising pair.

Success As a Team

However, Amler and Klur knew that simply having a great beer in the brewing kettle was not enough to achieve success. So the young brewers also brought their old school friend Rainer Pieknik into the Isarkindl team as a business economist and recruited Nina Bachmann to design the labels. The creative collective is planning to add more beers to its range, but first wants to concentrate on its current varieties in order to drive the brand forward.

Their most recent project is yet to leave the storage tanks at another brewery. Together with 18 brewers from around Germany, including the “Munich Brew Mafia”, “Hoppebräu” and “Yankee & Kraut”, Amler and Klur helped develop a modern, light wheat beer for the event “Die lange Nacht der Brauereien” (Long Night of the Breweries), held at the Giesinger Bräu brewery in Munich.

Place2beer – an ideal place for beer lovers to meet

All of Isarkindl’s specialties will be available for craft-beer 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, the space of around 500 square meters will provide 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”, “beer and food” and “beer and cheese.”

place2beer supporters:

  • Barth Haas Group
  • Bayerische Brauerbund
  • Brewing, Food & Beverage Industry Suppliers Association (BFBi)
  • Deutscher Brauerbund
  • Gebo Cermex
  • KHS
  • Sahm GmbH
  • The Brewers of Europe
  • William Reed Business Media

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).