Frithjof Rüttgeroth and Alexander Mollenhauer started brewing beer on a whim - with the largest pots they could find in the house and a wood-fired kitchen stove in grandma's laundry. They obtained hops, malt and yeast from nearby breweries. For storage tanks they used (new) 5-litre jerrycans (to withstand the pressure). That was great and provided wonderful beers.
The two quickly realized that this was what they always wanted to do and so in November 2007 they acquired the 50-litre Braumeister. In combination with an old refrigerated counter from a closed-down pub which held five 50-litre kegs, Rüttgeroth and Mollenhauer had created a real micro-brewery. With it they produced 150-200 litres of beer a month and everyone in the family and every party was supplied.
The brewers tried to continuously optimize the brewing process and experimented with the saccrification rests and with the recipes ... the beer got better and the quality was reproducible. They were excited. Being unemployed time and again due to temporary contracts, they were advised to just sell the beer. A small business was quickly registered and that turned into a success, too. It often happened that they sold all their beer and now drank other brands at their parties because all the beer was gone again.
In autumn 2009 Rüttgeroth and Mollenhauer decided that they wanted to become self-employed on a full-time basis. They tiled out the old garage and bought cheap a used cold store that could accommodate 1,500 litres of beer. They also acquired 5,000 half-litre bottles and a counter-pressure bottle filler.
The biggest hurdle, however, were the official approval procedures. The Local Authority wanted to have a pollution report for the Braumeister and that was going to cost many thousands of Euros through various technical inspection agencies. That would have blown the project. They turned to the Speidel company; we had an expert technical report issued at our own expense and this was made available to them.
Today Rüttgeroth and Mollenhauer produce two to four different beers with one or two brews per day and a total monthly output of 700-1200 litres. Since then, the Braumeister has processed over 470 brews! The only thing that has broken down was the PT100 temperature probe and recently the rubber seal on the malt pipe. In other words, normal wear parts.
»All in all a great success,« is Rüttgeroth's and Mollenhauer's opinion.