Erdinger is another example of German beer and while it might not be quite as popular as Becks or Krombacher overseas it does certainly have its fans. Erdinger does have quite the claim to fame though as it is the largest wheat beer brewery!
This certainly helps Erdinger standout amongst the competition and gives it its own unique character. Now while wheat beer might not seem overly exciting, it does give the beer a very different taste, aroma, and texture.
Just like regular beer, there are plenty of variations but in general, you can expect wheat beers like Erdinger to be lighter on the pallet and more refreshing. Wheat beers are very popular in the Summer and Spring months because of this. Let’s learn more about Erdinger and wheat beers by taking a closer look at this German brewer.
The Early Days
Erdinger was founded by Johann Kienle in 1886 and over time built up a reputation as a popular German brewer. Its focus on wheat beer helped it differentiate itself from the competition and stand out amongst Germany’s beer market.
To be labelled as a wheat beer, the beverage must be made up of at least 50% wheat. Beer is normally primarily made from barley or rye or other similar ingredients like rice or corn. So, having a primarily wheat blend will offer a very distinct flavor.
Despite being Germany’s largest wheat beer brewery not much is really documented until the 1930s. During this time Erdinger was sold to Franz Brombach. Brombach was the managing director of the brewery at the time so was very experienced in its operations.
He accepted the offer to buy the brewery and in 1935 it was officially named the Privatbrauerei Erdinger Weißbräu Werner Brombach GmbH this is often simply abbreviated to Erdinger Weißbräu. Or simply Erdinger in many western countries like the UK.
After the takeover by Brombach, Erdinger began to slowly work on expanding its business, but it wasn’t till the 1970s that it actually began exporting. Austria and Italy became Erdinger’s first export nations and over the next few years the number of exports grew. It now exports to over 100 countries across 5 continents.
Erdinger today continues to go from strength to strength it is currently owned by Franz Brombach's son, Werner Brombach and in 2016 it celebrated 130 years of operation. With total sales of over 1.7 million hectolitres of beer in 2019, it is officially the largest family-owned wheat beer brewery.
It continues to follow the same mission to promote and celebrate Bavarian wheat beer culture. Interestingly despite being quite a veteran in the beer industry Erdinger only has a small selection of beers under its brand. Currently, it has 10 beers in its range including an alcohol-free version.
Erdinger Alkoholfrei is the alcohol-free variant that is worth highlighting as its introduction received significant attention in the press. The beverage which is only 0.4% is marketed as a sports beverage suitable for people who want to enjoy the great taste of Erdinger wheat beer while cutting down on their alcohol consumption.