BLEFA recently started a new image campaign for which picture material was shot at the BIRRERIA DUEXER BOTSCHAFT at Barbarossaplatz in Cologne in order to strengthen its position in the Craft Brewer segment.
We visited Ben Ott, brew master and one of the founders of the DUEX Brewery, in his holy halls, the BIRRERIA DUEXER BOTSCHAFT, and talked about beer diversity, new trends and future plans for the brewery.
BLEFA: Hello Mr. Ott! DUEX describes itself as a brewery that cultivates tradition and lives the spirit of time. How is this expressed?
Ben Ott: We take the Cologne Purity Law very seriously, which is why we always pay attention to a perfect quality of our beers. But we are also keen to experiment and try out new tastes. That’s why we do not only offer Kölsch, but also numerous other beer variations.
BLEFA: In addition to Kölsch, wheat beer, Pils, Red Ale and Dolde are also produced in your DUEXER “Brewery of Variety”. How did it come to this mix of beer variations?
Ben Ott: I have been studying in various cities and already assisted numerous breweries in London in setting up and producing new beer variations. During the years I lived in England, I was able to get try out a variety of different types of beer and now I would like to spread this diversity in Cologne as well. Through the constant exchange with other brewers, we can always develop new recipes and try out hop varieties, from which new beer tastes arise.
BLEFA: You also developed a very special beer in cooperation with the Italian Birrificio Otus brewery. What can beer lovers expect?
Ben Ott: A good friend of mine is the master brewer at the Birrificio Otus Brewery in Italy, where a whole new craft brewer scene is currently developing, which also brings new tastes to the market. Some time ago we worked out a recipe with bergamot and lemon peel that gives the beer a refreshing and summery taste. Unfortunately, we currently do not sell this beer, but we will develop new recipes and taste variations in the future, which then can also be enjoyed here in our DUEXER BOTSCHAFT.
BLEFA: Here at the BIRRERIA DUEXER BOTSCHAFT at Barbarossaplatz in Cologne, beer connoisseurs can already try numerous beers. But DUEX is planning to expand throughout Germany. Where is the journey going?
Ben Ott: We are currently working on the opening of our own DUEX brewery in Cologne Deutz in order to brew and distribute our beer variations in large quantities. We want to make our beer creations better known not only in Cologne, but throughout Germany, convey our “beer message” to people in other cities and make our new beer creations more popular. It remains to be seen which cities will get a DUEXER BOTSCHAFT.
BLEFA: The term “DUEXER BOTSCHAFT” was certainly not chosen by chance. What is the idea behind it?
Ben Ott: As the name DUEXER BOTSCHAFT already says, we see ourselves as ambassadors in the beer scene and would like to offer new beer tastes. In addition, we want to reach people who are not yet beer lovers and want to offer them the opportunity to try out completely new and mostly unknown beer variations. Therefore we are planning to establish DUEXER embassies in several German cities. The location of our brewery can also be found in the name of our brewery and beers, because “Düx” is the Cologne term for Deutz.
BLEFA: At the moment your guests in the DUEXER BOTSCHAFT can enjoy delicious beer as well as fresh stone oven pizza. This fusion of food and drink is not to be found in many beer taverns. What ist he reason for this mixture?
Ben Ott: We also affectionately call our DUEXER BOTSCHAFT the “brewery pizzeria”. I copied the idea of combining beer with Italian pizza and pasta from my London colleagues, who have a long tradition of enjoying beer paired with a delicious meal. For me, beer and food simply belong together and we want to make this possible for our embassy visitors as well.
BLEFA: The DUEXER beer variations are available in cans, not in glass bottles like many other beer brands. What ist he reason?
Ben Ott: Many people don’t even know that beer in cans stays fresh much longer and that the aroma doesn’t evaporate that quickly. The reason for this is that cans effectively protect beer from light and air, unlike glass bottles, which are heavier and more unwieldy. In addition, cans are completely recyclable. We just love beer in “micro barrels”, as we like to call the cans.
BLEFA: What do you think is the future direction of the beer industry? Are there any emerging trends?
Ben Ott: I believe that after a massive brewery death in recent years, we are now back in an upswing phase that will produce completely new beer creations and tastes. The Craft Brewer scene is currently flying high in many countries and gains more and more fans, but also the desire for new beer variations is getting louder and thus also the desire of many breweries to implement completely new ideas. In order to establish new tastes in Cologne, we regularly offer Beer Tastings or Beer Food Pairings in our DUEXER BOTSCHAFT, where you can not only try a lot of new things, but also learn which types of beer can be combined with which dishes, similar to wines.
BLEFA: Do you have a personal beer favourite?
Ben Ott: Kölsch is at the top of my list! But I am always open minded for new tastes!