What is your preference for beer
Hobby brewers: Do good with a delicious beer with “Mighty Verve”!
If you talk to Sandra Krämer for just a few minutes, you quickly notice that the energetic woman doesn't do things by halves. Once she got a taste for beer, she acquired as much knowledge as possible, and what she learned was immediately put into practice. Under the name “Mighty Verve Brewing”, exciting beers are now being created in your own four walls and beyond, with which you can also support social projects. So there was more than enough to talk about to start my little series about the region's hobby brewers.
Sandra, we've known each other for a while, and I know your preference for hop bombs. How did you get interested in modern beer styles?
Hmm, so my curiosity was piqued when I lived in Cornwall in 2012/13, where I really enjoyed the pub culture. It's so very different from ours, much more for nice afternoons and also suitable for families. Most of the pubs had a variety of regional beers, especially great ales. That made me curious and tried different types of beer every now and then and quickly realized that I was dealing with something completely different than the beer you get here in our bars. Many small breweries from the region were represented in Cornwall in particular. There I tasted blood, so to speak, and when I came back I was looking for something comparable. But apart from some delicious beers from Kraft brew and Zils I didn't find any craft beer and certainly no craft beer bars nearby. So every year I tried my luck in England and Scotland and was more and more impressed by the great variety of exciting and creative beers. And now this enthusiasm for modern beer styles has finally spilled over to us in recent years and a lot has happened here in terms of taste.
And what was the trigger to put yourself at the brew kettle?
I was very curious to find out what differentiates these new beer styles from the others and how this diversity comes about, which factors all play a role. It was so much more complex and fascinating than I imagined. A good friend of mine had already brewed a lot, so I reached out to him and asked him probably ten thousand questions and at the same time tried to find out everything myself about brewing styles, hop types and generally about brewing and my favorite beers. So I quickly knew that I really wanted to do something with El Dorado hops, because it brings out so great grassy and fruity notes at the same time. So at first it was just a matter of somehow feeling what I had tasted so good, understanding it and trying out for myself how such a tasty composition comes about.
Starting with a DDH (Double Dry-Hopped) IPA as the first beer is brave, but I was very impressed with the result. How did that happen?
I had tried quite a few amazing beers. I particularly remember one from Mikkeller San Diego: Two Headed Uklar, a New England IPA (NEIPA). It was such a great combination of fruity and grassy, I thought it was perfect. Unfortunately, it was a limited edition, so I couldn't get my favorite beer again. And then it occurred to me to brew a beer myself that comes as close as possible. I then put together a recipe with the help of my good friend Robert, who was already a brewer, and you were able to taste the result some time ago. When I tried it myself for the first time, it was an incredibly inspiring moment for me. And it actually became one of my favorite beers. But in order to brew it on a larger scale, I teamed up with Alex Baltes and had the beer again on the system fromTemmels brewery cellar brewed.
You named your brewery “Mighty Verve Brewing”, the premiere beer “Bittersweet Alchemy”. Is there a concept for naming it?
Haha, yes there is. During the time the brewery was named, I played around with different ideas and happened to hear more of the music from The Verve, one of my former favorite bands.verve means enthusiasm, enthusiasm, passion, momentum, vitality, Mighty as much as big, strong, powerful or even extraordinary, and I found that very fitting for the invigorating feeling of creative energy that is released during brewing and enjoying. The craft beer scene was like an unexpectedly large, fascinating new world.
Since this name is already inspired by a band, and there is generally music playing when homebrewing and trying out, I noticed that many song titles could be great names for a beer. For example, The Verve's “Bittersweet Symphony” goes well with an IPA, because ideally it forms a kind of composition of bitter and sweet-fruity notes. Instead of “Symphony” I then chose “Alchemy”, which, as a combination of science and natural philosophy, aims to transform lower materials (or metals) into the most precious material. So from individual elements to something higher and more precious, like with beer. For my session IPA “Lucy in the Galaxy” I chose the direct reference to an ingredient. Since then, song titles for suitable beers have been coming into my head, all of which I can't brew anytime soon.
What are the further plans, and what other brewing projects are at the start?
So my next beer has just been bottled, an India Pale Lager called “Shiny Hoppy People”, a very hoppy, fresh lager that will be on the taps from mid-April. There have already been a few pre-orders, which I'm very happy about. This month, MVB's next beer, the aforementioned “Lucy in the Galaxy”, will be brewed and will be available in bars in the region at the end of April / beginning of May. In Luxembourg, “Bittersweet Alchemy” was already in Craft Corner in Bonneweg and inMillebières found in Bourglinster.
You deliberately designed your brewery as a non-profit idea and want to use possible income for charitable purposes. Can you already say more about that?
Yes, so it is thought that the entire profit of every beer goes to a specific purpose, namely one that seems to me to be particularly acute and needy at the time the beer is being produced. For example, “Bittersweet Alchemy” was helping the victims of the fires in Australia. The profit will be split between the Australian Red Cross, the NSW Rural Fire Service and the World Wildlife Fund Australia, organizations that help people, animals and our nature directly affected to recover from this incredible calamity.
For “Shiny Hoppy People” I am currently researching various organizations that are supposed to help refugees and affected families who have lost relatives in the Mediterranean and who are in acute need and without a home. I am also very open to suggestions for other charitable causes I could dedicate the profit of one of the future beers to. Just send them to “[email protected]“. You can also find MVB on Instagram, Facebook and of course on Untappd. But I'm particularly looking forward to meeting many like-minded beer lovers in person.
And there will be plenty of opportunity to do so on Saturday (March 14th), because together with Nikola Weiler from the Craftprotz in Trier, the idea of doing something good with beer was logically taken further. From Saturday on there will be a social tap, “Bittersweet Alchemy” comes to the tap for the premiere. For every beer sold, 50 cents will be donated to organizations that help the victims of the fires in Australia. Sandra will of course be there!
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