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Cölner Hofbräu Früh

by Nicola Radisis
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We travel to Cologne to get acquainted with the brewery that produces the Früh beers, which belong to the style of beer named after the town where they are produced.  It’s the third largest brewery in Cologne and is currently run by the fifth generation of the Früh family and employs 400 people.   

Let’s turn back in time to around 1899 when Peter Josef Früh decided to sell his brewery to Heinrich Badorf in order to retire. Five years of idleness were enough for Peter Josef Früh. In 1904 he laid the foundation for the creation of “Cölner Hofbräu P. Josef Früh KG” the brewery that made the top fermented beer of the region, known as Kölsch, famous worldwide!

The founder of the brewery died in 1915. Initially, the management of the brewery was taken over by his wife, Gertrude and his daughters. The company had to face difficult times that would put great demands on the brewery. Among them, World War I and the economic depression of 1929. After Gertrude Früh passed away in 1930, Englebert Rochels took over the management of the brewery, who until today is the only executive officer of the company that is not a member of the Früh family.  During World War II the entire city was almost completely destroyed. The main building of the brewery was damaged by the bombing and finally demolished after a fire in February 1944.  Because the brewery owned more than one building it had the ability to produce, aside from its own beer, the beer of the rest of the city’s breweries since they no longer had their own facilities. This cooperation with other breweries helped significantly the economic development of the “Cölner Hofbräu P. Josef Früh KG” and eventually the entire city.

The company’s modern era began in 1961. In 1969 their beer is bottled and now everyone can enjoy a Kölsch in their home! It’s a lighter and less bitter beer due to new brewing and filtering methods. In the ’70s the brewery offers catering services and in 1979 it acquired the traditional beer garden “Severinstorburg Brennerei A. Hermann” at Chlodwig (Chlodwigplatz) in the south of the city. The company’s growth continues in 1985 with the creation of the modern brewery in the southern suburbs of Cologne and has continuously been expanding and improving since. In the recent and more modern era of brewing it would be impossible not to have any promotional programs for its products.

In 1992, the campaign with the well known beer coasters starts. Over the years, the existing beer shops have been renovated and new beer shops are acquired. In 1998, the first brewery cellar was established with a clear medieval influence and soon after the first deli-shop was inaugurated. The brewery’s 3* hotel “Eden Hotel Früh am Dom” begins operation in 2005 and completes the brewery’s gastronomic side. In the summer of 2015, the traditional tavern “Venlo” was added to the many businesses that the company possesses.

It was the first brewery in Cologne to launch an alcohol-free beer in 1991 (Früh Kölsch 0,0% alkoholfrei). Besides the classic Früh Kölsch, beginning in 2012, the brewery produces its first Radler (Früh Kölsch Radler) and in 2014 launches the “Früh Sport” beers with lemon flavor.

Früh Kölsch

First, we must note that the beer offered from the keg, in the pubs of the brewery differs from that in the bottle as to the intensity of its carbonation. In the bottle, the carbonation makes its presence more noticeable. The top fermented beer is blond and clear with a white foam. With malt and fruit flavors it has a dry taste and aftertaste. Ideally served at 8oC.

Style: Lager | Alcohol: 5,3% abv | Bottle: 330ml | Glass: Pint

 

Cölner Hofbräu P. Josef Früh KG
Address: Robert-Bosch-Straße 15 – 17, 50769 Cologne, Germany
Email: verkauf@frueh.de
Url: www.frueh.de
Founded: 1904
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Nicola Radisis
Nicola Radisis

Nicola Radisis is the Publisher of Beer & Bar Magazine. Former bartender and publican, he found BeerBartender in 2012. He works as a beer consultant, is an experienced public speaker, participates as a judge in beer and bartending competitions and writes articles about anything related to the industry. He is a member of the British Guild of Beer Writers.

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