“HAB is a service provider that listens...”
Although Germany has a long history of beer-making, companies from other countries dominate the business today. In Germany, sinking consumption, stagnating population growth and increasing costs further complicate the brewing business. Despite this negative trend, Störtebeker had their most successful year to date in 2016. Instead of bland industrial beer, they brew specialities made by hand in the traditional manner- to great success. We spoke to Jürgen Nordmann about how Störtebeker products remain marketable even with more costly production methods, about the wishes he had for his new brew house and how HAB managed to fulfill them.
Störtebeker brewing company sold more hectolitres of beer in 2016 than in any year before. How can you explain this success?
We make beer that's a bit different than the popular taste. Our beers are rich in flavour, traditionally brewed and are becoming more and more popular. The market for craft or speciality beers is growing with increased consumer' knowledge about quality, specially selected ingredients and special recipes.More and more consumers across the whole of Germany, convinced by our quality and taste, are starting to love our speciality beers.
The best ingredients and brewers' craft are important for your brewing process. In addition, you invest a lot of money in production, storage, logistics and packaging. How can you manage to keep your prices competitive while investing so much into the company?
Competitive prices are relative in this case. In comparison to bigger companies' beer crate prices, ours are higher, but only moderately. This price difference clearly comes from the use of modern technology and high quality ingredients.
You asked HAB Hallen- und Anlagenbau GmbH Wusterhusen to build you a second brewhouse in 2005. Why did you decide on HAB?
We had already converted the old brewery “alte Brauerei” into an event centre with HAB, and had had a very good experience with them. As we started planning our brewhouse, speed and functionality being important factors, we were happy to decide on HAB again.
What did you require of the new brewhouse? Were there any special challenges that HAB had to overcome?
The brewhouse is mainly functional, being the heart of the brewery complex. It is, however, also an integral part of our brewery tour, and has to look presentable. This is the place where our visitors experience our brewers' craft and see the origin of our speciality beers. We wanted to create a special atmosphere, and thanks to HAB, we have managed that very well.
How did HAB manage with the challenges?
HAB isn't only a building company, but a service provider that listens to you, brings ideas to life and finds solutions. This case was no different. That's how they've managed to create such a good reputation for themselves in the region.