Schneider's Landbrauerei Bayrisch Hell Release

19 March 2021

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We’re delighted to announce that we are partnering with Schneider’s Landbrauerei to bring their Bayrisch Helles to the UK. This is not as simple a story as Schneider Weisse making a Helles though.

Brewmaster Hans-Peter Drexler, with the company since 1982 and in charge of production since 1990, characterises a Landbrauerei as ‘producing a beer that reflects the character of the local people and area, with a strong connection to the locale.’ For Hans-Peter, the people of the Niederbayern region can be summed as: being down to Earth, being hard-working, and having a love for your home. A lot to communicate through a beer, but a Helles is almost certainly the best style to portray these traits.

Brewmaster Hans-Peter Drexler, with the company since 1982 and in charge of production since 1990

Domestically the beer will be known as Schneider’s Helles Landbier. Within Germany the meaning of Landbier doesn’t necessarily refer to a certain style, and in some modern literature has been miscategorised as a substyle of Kellerbier or Zoigl. Realistically Landbier is a term with blurry boundaries but essentially is a as Hans-Peter describes above, a beer characteristic of the people and ingredients of the region. Some export markets needed more clear terms, so labels in the export market will read Bayrisch Hell.

Although Schneider Weisse are the world masters of Wheat beer, they do have some history with the helles style, having made the style for a period in the early 20th century. This beer is made according to their family recipe for Schneider’s Urtyp, dating back to 1928, and was brewed up until the Eighties.

Bottles of Schneider Urtyp Hell from approx 1960s

The recipe was found in the Schneider family archives, and has been developed for today’s market by Hans Peter and his team, working alongside three generations of the Schneider family; Georg Schneider V (who was brewing while the helles was still in production), current custodian Georg Schneider VI, and their 25 year old heir Georg Schneider VII.

One term that keeps coming up in our discussions with the brewery in regards to the Landbrauerei project is ‘nachhaltig’. This can be literally translated to sustainability, but in this context has a much deeper meaning encompassing a sense of endurance, and the everlasting. For Schneider’s Landbrauerei, this not only refers to making sure that the materials and environment needed to grow them can continue, but that the Schneider family legacy of exceptional quality will endure too.

Making use of the famous Bavarian water the brewery’s own well, a water profile imitated the world over by brewers seeking to make perfect lager. Barley from the extremely fertile Gäuboden region is malted to Schneider’s specification for a Helles with a nourishing breadiness. The best Bavarian hops from the Hallertau region have been selected from farms that have worked with the Schneider family for generations. Much like the beers produced by Schneider Weisse, this is a true expression of Bavarian terroir.

‘We brew exclusively with ingredients from the nearby farmers. This means: short transportation, lower emissions and a focus on sustainability. We can rely on the high quality of our raw materials because of the regular contact with our farmers. The quality of our beer is already decided in their fields.’

Hans-Peter Drexler, Schneider Brewmaster
A map indicating the tiny region that the Hops and Barley are sourced for Schneider's Landbrauerei

Authentic German Helles is now a staple for customers in the UK, with our sales of the style growing by 160% over the past 3 years, and continuing to grow every year. An increasing number of UK brewers are turning their hand to the style, and some producing excellent results too. Alongside this many of our best beer educators are putting time into enlightening the drinking public on the sub styles within the lager family, and often consumers will now know exactly what style of lager they’re after, many of them preferring Helles. With an entry from such a highly regarded brewing family we’re excited to watch the trend continue.

G. Schneider und Sohn occupies a very special place in our portfolio (and our fridges too), and we’ve been the exclusive UK importer for them since 1993. As another family business they share the core values that guide us, a respect for people and nature, honesty, and holding quality in the greatest regard. Hans-Peter refers to the nature of this relationship as a ‘Handschlagsmentalität, or, ‘a handshake mentality, when dealing with James Clay and Sons, their spoken word counts, and we know we can rely on each other’. Now in the 6th generation of Schneider family ownership and management under Georg Schneider VI (and George VII already involved in the business), their position as a keystone of Bavarian brewing history is unquestionable.

Letters establishing our relationship, now spanning three decades

Schneider’s Landbrauerei Bayrisch Hell is available to order in cases of 20x500ml Bottles, and will be permanently available in our core range, kegs will follow shortly.

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