One of the questions people ask me after hearing that I’m part of the team responsible for bringing back Hofmeister, is why bring it back?
Richard Longhurst and Spencer Chambers, two of Hofmeister's investors.
For me, I have very fond memories of Hofmeister and its iconic George the Bear from the Orson Wells directed adverts during the 80s and 90s. Yet more than this, when we first considered taking on Hofmeister and began discussing it with friends and strangers alike, we soon realised that two things nearly always happened when we mentioned Hofmeister.
Firstly, it brought a smile, and secondly, people instantly remembered the famous slogan “Follow the Bear”. This for us confirmed what we already felt, which was that Hofmeister was a successful and well-loved brand in its heyday. Most importantly we saw a gap in the market for a genuine Bavarian lager as the Bavarian Forest is where George originates.
Relaunching Hofmeister became about bringing back a more grown-up brand which resonates with modern beer drinkers whilst still retaining the spirit of George. Before it came off the shelves 13 years ago, Hofmeister as a 3.2% ABV standard British lager was typical of the low strength beers of its time. Yet for the sophisticated 2016 beer market, we knew that Hofmeister needed to re-think some of its ‘bear’ essentials in order for it to stand out from the current crowd.
Bavaria brews fantastic beer and we are working with Schweiger, one of the leading privately owned German breweries in the heart of Bavaria to brew Hofmeister Helles. Through this partnership, we have now created a premium, slow-brewed, authentic Bavarian Helles Lager at 5% ABV, which is imported to the UK from Germany.
Based on the edge of Ebersberger Forest, one of Germany’s largest continuous areas of woodland and a unique organic reservoir, our brewery draws mineral water from their own well, uses locally grown barley malted in the brewery’s own malthouse based onsite and hops from the world-famous Hallertau region.
What’s more, because Hofmeister only contains these three simple ingredients—water, hops, and barley— it complies with the prestigious 500-year-old German Beer Purity law, ‘Reinheitsgebot’. This ancient stamp of approval is something we’re very proud of and completes the task of giving Hofmeister a high-standard of credibility that not many other beers can boast.
It also tastes fantastic—due to the slow brewing methods and pure ingredients, Hofmeister has a low carbonation making it remarkably easy to drink with a refreshing taste. With all this hard work and effort, we are delighted that Hofmeister is now an authentic Helles Lager true to its Bavarian heritage.
The hope now is that UK consumers will be willing to give this delicious new beer a try, and that people will yet again feel inclined to “Follow the Bear”!