Chamamè IPA: One beer brings two countries together

The India Pale Ale Chamamè
© Kronprinz & Lindenberg

When you hear the words “Germany meets Argentina” you might instinctively think they refer to a thrilling encounter in the FIFA World Cup. But no, the India Pale Ale Chamamè IPA combines German hops, Argentinian citrus fruits and an international passion for great beer. The idea behind it was brewed up by Eber Andriuolo, head brewer at Lindenberg in Argentina, and Tobias Seidel, brewmaster at Kronprinz in Bamberg, Germany. They might never have teamed up if it weren’t for drinktec, however.

Beer, says Eber Andriuolo, is more than just a drink: “Beer is culture. It’s history. And it’s a way of life.” And in Andriuolo’s case, it’s also his career and his calling. The Argentinian is head brewer at the Lindenberg brewery and one of the masterminds behind Chamamè, an extraordinary beer with an extraordinary story behind it: It was created by Andriuolo and German brewmaster Tobias Seidel. As a result, the beer combines not only hops with citrus fruit and beets but also the German art of brewing with that of Argentina — capturing perfectly the course that Andriuolo’s life and career have taken. 

Born of a passion for the finer things in life

According to the man himself, Andriuolo developed a love of beer in Germany. He lived and worked in Munich for many years while running his own communications agency until one day he decided to make a career out of his passion for the finer things in life. He learned to cook in Italy and to brew beer in Allgäu and Lower Bavaria before ultimately leaving Germany to take over a brewery in Argentina. The craft-beer scene there is currently thriving, and Andriuolo is getting in on the act with his own Lindenberg beer. “We’re a small brewery with a strong focus on quality, and we put people at the heart of everything we do.” This also includes efforts to continuously improve his skills and those of his team. For this reason, Andriuolo attended a drinktec presentation in Buenos Aires; he was so impressed, he decided to take his entire team to Germany to get a first-hand experience of the trade fair in Munich. 

This proved to be quite a worthwhile trip as the seeds for a very special partnership were sown at drinktec 2017, seeds that would eventually grow into the invention of an equally special beer: Chamamè. While in Munich, Andriuolo met Seidel, a multiple-award-winning brewmaster for the Kronprinz brewery in Franconia and all-round beer sommelier. “We were on exactly the same wavelength,” Andriuolo says. Both men love and live for brewing beer. Seidel even started collecting beer coasters and labels at a young age: “For me, brewing was shrouded in legend. It’s always fascinated me.”

A project close to the hearts of two good friends

The two men stayed in contact, with Andriuolo even travelling to Bamberg to complete four weeks’ practical training with Seidel. These two professionals really made the most of this month spent together: They wanted to jointly develop a beer that would combine the cultures and the very best of Germany and Argentina. “Working together was a really amazing experience. We developed a true friendship,” Seidel fondly recalls, and Chamamè became a project close to the hearts of the two good friends.

The India Pale Ale, with its intense red color and distinctive citrus notes, is made using barley malt, wheat malt, organic beet juice, organic grapefruit and the hop varieties Chinook, Hallertauer Saphir and Spalter Select as well as dry hopping with Cascade hops and grapefruit peel. It’s an exciting combination, even for the experienced brewers themselves: “The addition of grapefruit presented us with a challenge,” Andriuolo says. “It changes the color and the bitterness, so we were in unchartered territory using it.” Seidel’s main concern was that the beet might make the flavor too earthy. “I have to admit that when I heard the suggestion of using pink grapefruit and beet juice in an American India Pale Ale, I was skeptical. At the end of the day, we are, after all, in the area most usually associated with the German Beer Purity Law,” Seidel recalls. “I guess you could say we provoked the German Beer Purity Law a little,” Andriuolo adds, laughing.

Chamamè – A beer as an aperitivo

The inspiration behind the beer was for it to be seen as an aperitif — the kind of beverage served at the start of a full-course dinner. The vibrant, intense, fierce and bright color of the product (that’s to some extent rather provocative and unusual for a beer) makes it look like a typical Mediterranean “aperitivo.” The pleasant bitterness and citrus fruit flavor, primarily dominated by pink grapefruit, make this beer the perfect accompaniment to antipasti or a first course. As such, the two brewers’ top tip is to use a 0.2-liter glass like a TeKu (Rastal) or Sensorik (Sahm) goblet. “Chamamè is perfect as a relaxing drink,” Seidel says. Incidentally, the name was inspired by a dance from northern Argentina.

The beer is currently available as a limited edition in Bamberg but should also be available in Argentina in the future. Andriuolo is sure it will represent “an important step for the Argentinian craft-beer scene.” And if Seidel has his way, this won’t be the last time the two of them team up: “The next beer will be developed in Argentina as we definitely plan to stay in contact.” This is also the great thing about drinktec: “You meet other great people from within the industry.” And sometimes these encounters result in beers that push boundaries and transcend borders.

drinktec Blog-Team

The drinktec team writes reports on everything to do with drinktec and gives insights into what is going on behind the scenes of the trade fair.