Aromas that craft brewers get by adding all kinds of exotic ingredients: cinnamon, nutmeg, hacia pepper and chocolate.
That's sacrilege to some big industrial brewers, and they're muttering about a legal challenge, arguing ancient purity laws say anything labeled "beer" in Germany has to be ONLY hops, malt, yeast and water.
- Growing controversy over craft beer trademarks ("CBS This Morning," 03/14/15)
- Brewing a craft beer empire ("CBS This Morning," 08/02/14)
- America's craft beer craze causing a hops shortage (CBS Moneywatch, 05/15/14)
- Inside the craft beer revolution ("CBS This Morning," 04/23/14)
- Scientists sip 170-year-old beer found in shipwreck (03/06/15)
But Rory Lawton, a craft beer blogger, says Stone's challenge will kick off long-overdue reforms.
"In Germany there will be some resistance at first," Lawton told Palmer, "and there will need to be a national debate on what beer is, and the identity to beer and Germany's relationship to bee, and whether these are foreign styles that are invading German beer culture, or if these are another way of looking at the product."
Germany has seen a 30 percent increase in craft brewering in the last decade. But no matter how you cut it, Greg Koch is taking a multi-million-dollar gamble. This is about much more than business.
"It's a lot of money to indulge a passion with," said Palmer.
"Fortunately, I am blessed with that unrealistically entrepreneurial gene," said Koch. "I see a vision for something and I believe that other people will like this vision, too."
For more info:
- Stone Brewing Company
- Stone Brewing Company Berlin (Opening 2016)
- Vagabund Brauerei, Berlin
- Berlin Craft Beer (Rory Lawton blog)