Thursday, August 17, 2017


To many Germans the word Kollektiv sounds ugly reminding them of the "collectives" in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR).

Diskussion im Neuererkollektiv (Discussions at the innovators' collective)
Or should I rather write that the word Kollektiv has a bitter aftertaste. However, the meaning of words changes with time and it is the Freiburg Braukollektiv who is actively working on changing the meaning of Kollektiv rather signifying the bitter taste of their various beers.

Beer sommelière Andrea Seeger and master brewer James Tutor
presenting a collection of Braukollektiv beers (©BZ/Rita Eggstein)
Today the Badische Zeitung started a new series about Freiburger Bierbrauer (brewers) and guess who is first? It was the Braukollektiv that brought craftbeer to Freiburg.

Mind you we are still deep in the Sommerloch (summer slump) in spite of reports on presidential press conferences on infrastructure missing the point; it is hot, and we are in need of beer. So why not forget about the German Einheitsplörre or Lorke (dishwater) and opt for a craftbeer brewed by the Braukollektiv, i.e., by James, Chris, Bernard, and Gil.

For me it all started in 2014 when I took part in a beer tasting workshop at the Carl-Schurz-Haus. There I met James Tutor, spiritus rector of the Braukollektiv and enthusiastic teacher, presenting us together with Frank Geeraers among nine other beers as the highlight of the evening Black Sheep IPA, an Indian pale ale.

Later I asked James whether the Braukollektiv would like to brew a craftbeer for the 2015 International Meeting of Freiburg's Sister Cities? Well, it was too short a notice but the Black Sheep IPA presented at the Meeting turned out to be a great success with Freiburg's Bürgermeister and the American Consul General both tasting.

For this year's 9th International Meeting of Freiburg's Sister Cities I repeated my wish but the Braukollektiv - in the meantime busy in many "beer places" - initially had difficulties even to send a person to the Meeting at Rathausplatz. To my great surprise a few weeks before the event James sent me an e-mail with the message that for the occasion they had brewed 400 bottles of a friendship ale called Fox & Friends.

I admit that the deeper meaning of the label came rather late to me. This friendship ale turned out to be another success as photos taken at the Freiburg-Madison booth during the Meeting testify.

I still keep five bottles of Fox & Friends in my cellar with one being reserved for a special friend.

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