If you are a beer lover or a brewer aficionado, you must visit the largest organic brewery in Germany when staying in the Bavarian city of Neumarkter. Be prepared to taste some earthy beer, and make sure you take some samples home as well as, some souvenir trademark glasses.
Organic since the 70s
Lammsbräu was founded more than 300 years ago but became part of the Ehrnsperger family in the 1800s. Forty years ago, Dr. Franz Ehrnsperger took over and started the biggest sustainable movement in the world of German beer. An entrepreneur and a visionary, Dr. Ehrnsperger made the decision in 1977 to make his beer 100% organic and sustainable, by only using organic raw materials. He began talking to local farmers to get these organic goods and the business began to shift to an eco-friendly company. It was a long process, but by 1994 all their beers were 100% organic.
How it's done
In order to reach the highest quality, the organic grains come from local farms. They are strictly controlled upon delivery, as well as the hops. The malt is produced in their own malthouse – a unique feature, as not many breweries still possess this facility. The yeast required for the fermentation is also bred in their own laboratories. The hops they use are whole-leaf hops with no additives or preservatives. All the ingredients are free of chemicals and non-GMO. And the water used to brew is pristine mineral water from the brewery's own deep well.
Keeping it all sustainable
Every year the company goes through a series of analyzes and publishes an annual sustainability report to ensure maximum transparency of their processes. What is more, to reduce the amount of waste that it is produced, Dr. Ehrnsperger had the idea of using the leftovers from the brew, which contains lots of nutrients, to grow mushrooms. It works as a fertilizer and it helps to create new jobs.
Take a tour
The best way to experience how the Ehrnsperger philosophy works is by taking one of their tours. You will get to see the brewhouse and the cellar, as well as try different beer types and take a gift home. If you are traveling with kids, they offer a guide for children to discover the world from their perspective, focusing mainly on the lemonade production – also part of their production. By the end of the tour, there is a surprise gift and a pretzel snack for the little ones. Note that the entrance for the tour is a donation to support further ecological projects, so you will be supporting the environmental protection. And make sure to reserve online beforehand.