Tuesday, 4 November 2008

A silent bierclub.de

Last week i was taking a poke around the website of bierclub.de, thinking that it might be nice to join the club and have a monthly supply of probably mostly new beers to try; 9 beers and newsletters delivered to my door for €18.90 a month. I was also wondering why, in their 10 year history, there hasn't been a single non-German beer in the beer of the month.

It prompted me to send a message via the contact form on their website, just to ask a couple of questions before I parted with my hard-earned cash and signed up, even though the events they organise look fun. My message to them included my observation that the German beer world tended to be inward looking, and wondering what their membership, of apparently over 5000, thought of the micro revolutions and the broad range of styles available elsewhere.

I suppose if their remit is to promote German beer then fair enough, but I still have not received an answer (after seven days), so they clearly aren't all that interested in having new members, despite having handed out fliers in Copenhagen as Mr BeerNut informed me. In fact, Mr BeerNut predicted that I would get no response. So much for efficiency.

If a relatively large beer club such as this isn't interested in the goings on in the beer world outside of the national borders, then is this a reflection of the nation as a whole, or simply a result of their business case, and perhaps nice marketing for the German brewers?


Russ said...

I've often found German attitudes towards beer to be similar to American attitudes towards jazz, by which I mean that the natives seem to take what they have for granted. As such, the optimist in me hopes that this club sticks with German beers so its members can learn more about regional styles such as Altbier, Kellerbier, Gose, etc. I think a club like that would be great for getting people to stop drinking crap like Diesel and Radler and learn to appreciate their awesome brewing culture. The realist in me, however, fears that the club will simply feature several varieties of regional Helles and Pils with an occasional Dunkel thrown in for good measure. I'll be curious to hear if you ever get a response.

Adeptus said...

In fairness to them, they do seem to have featured some interesting beers. Take a look at the archive, although it only lists the beers of the month which would have been selected from that months pack. Lots of Pils and Helles, but plenty of other things like Zwickel, Bock and I spotted a Porter, Hoepfner Porter. Well done to them for existing for ten years anyway. And you are right. Having co-founded a website that aims to promote Irish Craft Beer in Ireland, I can't criticize the club for focussing on German beer, although IrishCraftBrewer.com does look far beyond our shores. Then again, Ireland has a handful of breweries compared to the 100's in Germany, so we had to look beyond our shores :)

The Diesels and Radlers are interesting phenomenon. I think both have been around a long time, but I have only seen a few people drink them. In fact, I've only met one person who drank Diesel, and he was weird anyway. I see people drink Radler in summer and at parties when they have to drive home. But yes, more and more breweries appear to be making this stuff. I just don't know who's drinking it!

The Beer Nut said...

Great observation, Russ.

Adeptus, I really do think it's a reflection of the beer culture in the nation as a whole. I suspect that if you e-mailed an up-market Irish restaurant to ask why their wine list is first rate, yet the beer selection is two unadvertised bottles of fizzy yellow crap, you would induce the same response: a brief quizzical look from the recipient followed by a swift click on the "Delete" button.

Does not compute.

Tandleman said...

I suppose if t gives Germans a wider perspective of their own beers, it is a step in the right direction, but it is a very inward looking market.