A first class beer deserves first class treatment enough. However, the process used in Pilsen was not entirely new. Around the year 1400, brewers in Bavaria had al ready experimented with beer in which the yeast remained at the bottom. They stored their beer in cool caverns. Just like their Bavarian predeces sors, the brewers of Pilsen produced a beer which, thanks to the 'bottom fer mentation', was remarkably clear and would also keep in good condition for much longer than the customary top- fermented beer. In addition, the soft water of Pilsen made the beer taste extra good. Very soon 'Pilsener' beer conquered the whole of Europe. Numer ous brewers changed over to it and vied with one another to make the brightest possible Pilsener. Beer had now also be come attractive to the eye. It was there fore drunk less and less from mugs, and increasingly from glasses. Superior yeast By the time Mr. Gerard Adriaan Heineken bought the almost 300-year- old brewery De Hooijberg ('The Hays tack') in 1863, beer of the Pilsener type had been brewed for several years in the Netherlands. In the beginning, how ever, Heineken saw more in the tradi tional top-fermented beer. In 1886 he de cided to change over to Pilsener after all. In that year the French doctor Elion, a pupil of Louis Pasteur, developed a superior strain of yeast for Heineken: the Heineken 'A yeast. It is partly this unique yeast which gives Heineken beer its own characteristic flavour, and has done so now for more than one hundred years! The ideal Pilsener had been born. In principle, Heineken beer has re mained the same ever since that mo ment. The same recipe, the same yeast, the same brewing process and, above all: the same taste. What has changed is the equipment used to brew the beer. Always the same taste The art of brewing is to produce the same beer always. In earlier days the brewer had to wait each time to see if he would succeed in that. He did not know exactly what went on during the brewing process. Nor did he always have the same quality of raw materials. A beer that tastes slightly different each time may be regarded as a charming feature of some small cottage-industry product, but by far the majority of beer connoisseurs prefer an unchanging, familiar taste. Science and technology have given today's brewers the instru ments to brew beer that meets that wish. Mechanisation has done away with much of the brewer's heavy physical work. Cooling systems enable the tem perature to be controlled. And the com puter has taken over an important role as a control instrument. The risk of any thing going wrong is virtually pre cluded. Incidentally, it is still not fully known what takes place during the brew ing process. But we do know enough to achieve our aim, constantly the same taste. Obviously, this requires raw mate rials of constant quality. Unfortunately, not every harvest is the same, but by spreading its purchases of raw mate rials such as barley and hops Heineken is able to compose the ideal blend from different batches. Unlike wine, beer does not have 'good' or 'bad' years. At most, what you could say about Heine ken is that it has been a very good 'beer century'... Brewing will always remain work for humans. Despite all technology, the master brewer's eyes, nose and tongue are the decisive factors. Analysis in the laboratory may indicate exactly what aroma and flavour components the beer contains, but only human beings can judge whether those components to gether form the familiar Heineken taste. That is why Heineken's expert tasters are put to work each day. There are also tasting panels drawn from the general public. For it is a matter of making sure that Heineken tastes exactly the way the customer wants it to taste. THE WORLD OF HEINEKETV

Jaarverslagen en Personeelsbladen Heineken

World of Heineken | 1989 | | pagina 16