Interview with H.R.H. Prince Luitpold von Bayern

Beer Goggles Interviews H.R.H. Prince Luitpold Of Bavaria

Interview with HRH Prince Luitpold von Bayern - Bavarian Royalty
The Prince’s family have brewed quality beer since 1260, and have been responsible for so much influence on the beers we drink today both inside and outside of Bavaria.
The Reinheitsgebot that the royal family introduced in 1516, not only saw to it that Bavarian beer was a pure product, but it set a bench mark for outside competitors, and thus brewers around the globe had to take heed.
The fantastic Oktoberfest began in 1810 as the Bavarian royal family wedding celebration and is now the biggest fair or festival in the world with an incredible 6 million plus revellers. Rather perversely now though, Prince Luitpold’s own, Kaltenberg König Ludwig beers have no tent at the festival because the brewery falls outside of the required area.
Thwaites brewery has a unique on-going partnership with Prince Luitpold, so look out for more Kaltenberg König Ludwig beers in their pubs soon. They may seem strange bedfellows, but it’s a marriage made in beer heaven.
My thoughts on interviewing royalty.
As a young boy, I was truly the original Oliver Twist. The holes in my school shoes were not patched inside with the cardboard from Cornflakes boxes like the poor waifs in the movies. Instead, in my ragged shoes, the wet pavement was held back by the cardboard from cheap supermarket home-brand boxes.
OK, I now have a little more spending money, but I like many of you, have never been able to afford to munch Michelin meals, I’ve never had the required readys to relax at The Ritz and I’ve never shelled out saved shillings to stay in St. Moritz.
I tell you this, dear reader, to show the stark contrast between myself and royalty, and thus prove a maxim that I’ve always shouted loud and proud about the beer world. Unlike any other form of enjoyment, with a quality beer in your hand, you can actually live like royalty for mere pocket money.
In juxtaposition, the Prince may well live in a fairy-tale castle, above a fairy-tale brewery. He may watch jousting tournaments in his capacious grounds, but HRH Prince Luitpold Von Bayern feels just as enthusiastic about great beer and quality brewing as we do. He shares our passion.
Beer crosses the boundaries of class, creed, country, and culture. It is the universal language.
Words from the wise.
His Highness, Prinz Luitpold Von Bayern said: “I’m delighted to be in Manchester to celebrate Christmas with König Ludwig International’s British friends and brewing partners. The long bar has such a distinctively Bavarian feel, that I could almost be at home in my native Germany, Frohe Weihnachten (Merry Christmas).
His Magnificentness, Steve Magnall, managing director of Thwaites, said: “On behalf of Thwaites, we are delighted to welcome His Royal Highness Prinz Luitpold to Manchester at Christmas time. Bavarian beer has never been more popular in the UK, and we are honoured to be a licenced partner of König Ludwig International. The Long Bar is the perfect place to welcome our German friends and to toast the festive season with a glass of Kaltenberg.”
His Dishiness, Phil Dawson, The Long Bar’s manager, added: “The Prince’s visit has added a real touch of authenticity to the Bier Haus. The extent of his beer and brewing knowledge are astonishing, and it’s been tremendous to learn more about the heritage of Bavarian brewing.”

Beer Goggles-   Hello and welcome once again to Beer Goggles Reviews. I’m in the presence of royalty. I do pray forgiveness (for sound and picture problems). This is Prince Luitpold of Bavaria (Von Bayern). He is not just royalty, but he is royalty in brewing terms as well. I’ll leave the Prince himself to tell you. What influences have your family had on the history and traditions of brewing beer?
Prince Luitpold- Well, we have a very, very long tradition with beer. Our family was ruling the country of Bavaria since 1118, more than 800 years, but we have also had breweries in the family for 750 years. Beer in the early days was the most safe and best food product you could have. Water was always polluted and dangerous. Beer was always safe. Because of that, beer had a significant influence on Bavarian history and Bavarian economics. Over the centuries, our family have had breweries. Our first brewery in 1260 in Munich, and over the centuries we’ve had about 70 different breweries. Brewed beer was always one of the most important products to forward the country of Bavaria. We were interested in beer. To tell you what our interest in the beers was like, the family drank beer themselves. It is stated in the 16th century, the daily consumption at that time was 2 litres per head per day. Understandably, people were moving a lot and needed more liquid if they were running around a bit more. In order to protect the quality of beer, we put some legislation through, and the German purity law today (Reinheitsgebot) is the oldest existing food regulation law in the world. It was done by my ancestors in 1516 saying that beer could be made out of malts, hops and water, and no other ingredients. No cheaper ingredients, no sugar, no corn, no potato, and particularly, no other spices. At that time, many people were poisoned and killed by the addition of dangerous ingredients, by dangerous spices, poisonous plants and all. So limiting to hops, water and malt, was restricting the quality and so protecting folk. Later for many years, we had the only production of weissbier in Germany. We had about 40 weissbier breweries in the centuries. We started the Munich Oktoberfest with the wedding parties for my Great-Grandfather. We also started the brewing university in Munich, so that many, many, many connections with the brewing fraternity. But in particular, it was always a personal interest and also a pleasure in running breweries for the family, because it’s one of those industries where you are very close to people. If you are in a position of running a country, it’s important that you have a basis of speaking to your people. Beer does that. If you run a brewery besides, you hold a platform where an exchange of opinions goes out to the people, and I think we have got something which is rather unique in Bavaria which kept us together.
Beer Goggles-   Now you mentioned the Reinheitsgebot, the purity laws (1516) governing the ingredients included in beer. Do you still think that has relevance in today’s brewing?
Prince Luitpold- ABSOLUTELY! WHO WANTS AN UNCLEAN PRODUCT? Nobody. So, if you can produce a beer with zero chemicals, with good ingredients, you don’t need to necessarily experiment with other ingredients. This doesn’t mean that a licensee shouldn’t be able to make a beer cocktail. There are thousands of cocktails for beer, but for a brewer, it should be required that he doesn’t reinvent a product. If he wants to make an alcoholic beverage which is malt based, maybe adding completely different things, chocolate, whatever, coffee, why not? But, it is not beer. It is maybe an alcoholic beverage of its own kind, but it’s certainly not really correct to call them beers. And on this theme, what many people don’t realise is that this omission of products is very important on the beers gaining control. If the product beer is not defined in a precise way, people don’t know if they’re getting beer or not, and success is really the key if you want the achievement of Reinheitsgebot. In Germany, with all the beer, you know you get an absolutely pure drink with malt, hops and water, and a what they do in flavour can be dramatic. You can have strong beers, less strong beers, beers which have a fruity aroma, a winey aroma, a very light aroma, a hoppy aroma. All those things depending on the style of fermenting, the style of hops, there are something like two to three hundred styles of hops, hundreds of different yeast strains that produce completely different aromas. And so if you have the knowhow, you can make very interesting, very different things comprised out of those very pure ingredients going in. Hops, malt, water, it’s amazing what we can do with them. There’s no need to use any other ingredients. There’s no need to use any chemicals whatsoever. We’ve proved that it can be done. You can make a beer with no pasteurisation, no chemicals, with a one year shelf life, as a natural product, using standards in the German industry. Why do you need chemicals if it’s not absolutely necessary? And the basic idea is, if you cannot possibly produce it without chemicals, then OK, but if it is possible, why not BAN IT and only allow what is naturally pure? An that’s the way that we still do beer. I feel sympathy that people may be OK with pouring in different flavours and if they need that, I’ll give them a book, ‘1000 Cocktails Based On Beer’, and they can make any mix they want
Beer Goggles-   (Laughing) I almost feel like crying when you speak like that, because that is so passionate about putting proper ingredients in beer.
Prince Luitpold- Yes, and I think in England, you have a great history with beer. You have a slightly different way with finings, but this is English tradition. But listen, at the end of the day, people still want beer made from hops, malt, and water, and not from any others. I don’t know, lumps of sugar, spiced with chocolate, and I don’t know what.
Beer Goggles-   There’s nothing wrong with those beers, but as you say they are a different..
Prince Luitpold- There’s nothing wrong with those drinks. As a Bavarian I would say, nothing wrong with the drinks. It’s a question of what you’re getting. You’re getting an alcoholic malt based beverage, or say, a chocolate based malt beverage, or whatever, but it’s not a beer, and that’s a different thing. Now if you have a beer, and you say, OK, I want to add something into it, leave this to the inn keeper. They can say, OK I’ve bought this clean beer from the brewery and I make my special recipe for the consumer by adding things in the cellar in the pump, or adding something in the cask. This, I have no problem with. I have a problem with the way that a brewer should think about making the most perfect, clean, natural product.
Beer Goggles-    It’s been proved in tonight’s tasting. In tonight’s tasting, you have shown with just a few beers, just how wide a variety you can get. And that’s with just a few beers.
Another question for you if you don’t mind. I was called to beer later on in life. Before that, I was into what I call the indoctrination corporation chemical McLagers. You yourself have been born into history. You’ve been born into a brewing family. How has that felt as a child growing up in the beer world?
Prince Luitpold- Always fun. The beer world is full of enjoyment. We had parties, festivals, interesting people, and it’s not uniform to Germany. It is an international brew, it’s a family. And you can go wherever you want in the world, if you come as a brewer, or come as a consumer, you can speak to a brewer, you have a base platform to start off with, and this I think is a very friendly platform the world over. It’s something I’ve always enjoyed.
Beer Goggles-   A universal language, yes. Thank you very much for chatting with us here. Finally, for any brewers out there,have you got any pearls of wisdom, any bits of advice for people either starting breweries up, commercial brewing, or hoping to venture a bit further forward in the brewing world?
Prince Luitpold- I think one of the key things in beer is, we should make products which are not necessarily reinventing the wheel. We should try to make beers which are pleasant to drink, which people enjoy drinking, we should make things which are long lasting. I think the key thing is that if you make a beer, you say look here, I’ll work enough to make, in that style, something which is continuous,the best of it’s kind, in each style. Not try to go for this, or go for this, or the next beer, and the next stage, or something else. This is testing, but it’s not something maybe industrial for the one brewing. But at the end of the day, the consumer always wants to have something with a certain amount of reliability. I think brewers should try to really work hard to get the best out of their own facilities that they could possibly do in a consistent way. Now this could be a very different style of beer, but they should say, OK, that’s my favourite one, we should really try to go long term with it. Not just jump into the beer and say, add a bit of this, maybe a bit of that. They may stand for an immense amount of variety, but we loose the feeling of quality. Quality only can be achieved with dedication over the long term, in trying to tweak the little screws which make it perfect. Perfection is something you always need to work towards.
Beer Goggles-   Your Royal Highness, thank you very much for spending time with me.
Prince Luitpold- Keep enjoying good beer.
Beer Goggles-   Oh I do, thank you. Cheers!
Categories: Beer, Beer Review, Beer Reviewers, beer reviews, Breweries, Brewery, Brewing, Festivals, Food & Drink, Interview, Prince Luitpold | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to really enjoy a beer festival

The massively popular GBBF

The massively popular GBBF

1. Visit the festival website and note any beers that are rare, limited, or special editions.

2. Aim to hit the festival on the early days. Even big festivals run out of both bottled and cask beers. Also, some beers may get a little old, so going at the start means you get the best of fresh casks.

3. Arrive early, as some beers are in limited supply and may be in high demand.

4. Buy a program.

5. Buy a pint glass but only drink thirds (third of pint measures).

6. Give the beer a twirl in the glass and bury your face into the glass for a good long sniff.

7. Let your brain chew over the different aromas gathered in the glass.

8. Put lips to the glass and fill your head by breathing in deeply through nose AND mouth.

9. Hold that breath and take a big gob full. Fill your head and your soul.

10. Whoosh it for a second and swallow.

11. Don’t slurp and whistle in reverse etc (people WILL giggle. Even at a beer festival.)

12. No matter how much you enjoyed the beer, make a note of your thoughts and move on.

13. Mainly though, HAVE FUN. Beer is a serious art, but it is, first and foremost, FUN.



Categories: Beer, Beer Review, Beer Reviewers, Breweries, Brewery, Brewing, Festivals, Food & Drink | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

England’s oldest inn, Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem

Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem

If you’ve heard the haunting and often gruesome ghost stories associated with this historic and world famous inn, you’d be forgiven for being more than pleasantly surprised when you step inside. Stories of tortured souls, death and curses are indeed carved into the castle rock that is the skeleton of Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem, but you are instead greeted by a warm beating heart living within the pub’s historic sandstone cave walls. The staff are hospitable, responsive, courteous, and warm, whilst the overall ambience of the pub is romantic, blissfully congenial, and alive. The beers are quintessentially English and so match the inn beautifully, and are very well kept by a conscientious bunch of genuine beer lovers.

You can’t go to such a fascinating ancient inn without talking history, so let’s talk history.

Water’s part in Ye Olde Trip’s history.

Up until fairly recently, water has been a leading means to a painfully gut wrenching death. Without knowing the science behind beer, it was common knowledge that beer was safe to drink whilst the water it was made with, very rarely was quite so safe. Anywhere employing workers, from farms, to monasteries, to castles, would often supply their workers with germ free beer as part of their payment. The word ‘cash’ itself comes from the Egyptian beer ‘Kash’ that pyramid builders were paid in. The phrase, “wetting the baby’s head” came from the practice of bathing new-born babies in sterile beer. The women of the households back then would brew a weak family beer to maintain her brood’s health. Even the word ‘honeymoon’ came from the tradition of a ‘bride to be’ receiving the gift of honey from her Father. This was meant to be brewed into enough beer for the first ‘moon’ or lunar month of their marriage.

At the time the castle was built in 1068, the nearby river was re-routed to the castle grounds. This water was purified via the boiling process involved in brewing beer and was thus a safe supply to Nottingham Castle. It is therefore believed that the brew house and pub may actually date back to the castle’s early days but this is mainly educated conjecture.

The pub’s name.

The name, ‘Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem’ has connections with Richard The Lionheart, The Crusades and The Knights Templar as it was a resting up place (or ‘trypp’) for the knights and soldiers in preparation for the Crusades. It was probably named Ye Olde Trip much later though, as it was most probably called ‘The Lionheart’ and ‘The Pilgrim’ in the inn’s early days.

The pub itself

Panning down the Castle Rock directly under Nottingham Castle, you’re greeted by a black and white half-timbered building that looks quant and very pretty, but still unremarkable for a 17th Century building. It’s not until you walk under Ada’s Etherington Ward’s old landlady sign, through the creaky door (please never oil this), and on into the pub itself that the magic starts. You feel immediately as though you are entering a time machine, not transporting you to a time and place, but instead simultaneously placing you into the whole of time itself. You are suddenly standing on Victorian flagstone floor, inside what looks and feels like prehistoric caves, watching people playing the traditional gypsy/pirate game of ‘Ring The Bull’, and drinking an imperial pint of the gorgeous Ye Olde Trip Ale by an antique Edwardian post box. Trippy to say the least!

Today Nottingham Castle still towers over the cliff edge, looking down at the inn like a hungry dinosaur creeping up on a magpie. The rock that the castle sits on has an elaborate network of caves etched into it and seems to still whisper it’s dusty secrets long lost to history. Above one romantic alcove, a vertical shaft was believed to act as a chimney for the Brew House furnace and can be seen to exit near the castle walls.

Murder, torture, and treason.

Sir Roger de Mortimer (1287-1330) was an English nobleman fiercely loyal to King Edward I, but this loyalty didn’t continue after the ascension to the throne of the king’s son, King Edward II. His opposition to the new King quickly landed him in trouble and he was imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1322, but soon escaped by drugging (or maybe paying off) the guards and fled to the safety of France. Not content with lying low though, Sir Roger the dodger began to have a secret affair with Queen Isabella, wife of Edward II. Mortimer and Isabella, ‘The She-Wolf of France’, deposed the King who was forced to run, tail between his legs, to Wales. Here he abdicated the ‘true throne’ to his son, Edward II, yet Isabella and Mortimer still ruled England in his absence. Mortimer and Isabella stayed in Nottingham Castle until the 17-year-old King Edward III summoned up an army to attack the well-defended castle. As a child Edward had probably played in the castle grounds, and knew of a shaft coming from the brew house to the castle. Edward’s troops covertly crept into the Castle via the shaft and captured Mortimer and Isabella. Mortimer was said to have been thrown down this shaft on his way to be hung drawn and quartered in London at the Tyburn gallows. This shaft is to this day called Mortimer’s Hole.

In the ‘Rock Lounge’ (I doubt we’re talking ground shaking music here), there is a spookily lit toy galleon. A gift from a passing sailor, it is said to carry a curse to whomever moves or cleans in and so has remained covered in cobwebs and dust for many years. Those that have tried to clean it have died soon afterwards. It is now encased in a secure glass tank to ensure that it doesn’t get touched by an overzealous cleaner. As if that isn’t dangerous enough, there is also a fertility chair that when sat upon usually leads to a pregnancy, though personally I feel a bit more than sitting is probably necessary.

Moving over to The Snug (or ‘snog’ as our tour guide Patricia cutely pronounced it), and there are more spooky doings. An old photo hangs from one wall and the eyes do follow you hauntingly around the room. The lady is thought to have lived there and had died in bed in that room. Noises and voices have been recorded in here and the smell of old tobacco has been reported.

Down into the cellars we find a tiny claustrophobic room that was once a prison cell where some prisoners were strung out between the walls. A tankard is kept in the jailor’s sitting alcove to keep the jailor happy and quite. Move it at your own peril for the gate is still there to lock you in.

Near to the ‘Shouting Hole’, the castle’s direct line to the pub’s cellar, is a ‘Cock Pit’ where fighting roosters would battle to the death for the fun and gambling of those gathered in this confined space. One night a past landlady’s husband went to get something from there. He knew the cellars well and didn’t bother turning on the light. As he crossed the room something icy touched him lightly on the back of his neck. He must have left those cellars like a rooster at Christmas that that had just spied the Paxo. Since then the lights are ALWAYS switched on.” Ex-landlord, George Henry Ward aka “Yorkey” is said to be the ‘humorous’ culprit that likes to move things about, and keeps the present day staff on their toes (literally for I note quite a sense of respect and reverence when he is spoken of).


Today though, the place is cosy and romantic. The beers are cool and delicious, and the welcome is warm and friendly.

At some point in your life you ABSOLUTELY MUST make a pilgrimage to Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem.


Categories: Beer, Beer Review, Beer Reviewers, Breweries, Brewery, Brewing, Festivals, Food & Drink | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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