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A right royal occasion

Beer could be the solution to those tricky Brexit negotiations, according to a man who knows a little bit about both beer and power.

Prince Luitpold of Bavaria was recently in the UK to attend an Oktoberfest-themed race day at Royal Windsor Racecourse, sponsored by his very own Kaltenberg lager. The brew is distributed in the UK by Marston’s Beer Company (a racecourse partner and longterm Club Awards sponsor) and, according to the Prince, could have a role to play in Brussels.

He said: “I think sometimes it would be good to get them round a big beer table, give them one litre of beer each first and then let them talk and make it a little more relaxed. That way they could solve problems rather than make problems. Have a little beer, get down to earth and have a reasonable solution rather than think ‘how can I make a solution that bugs my enemy party most’.”

Prince Luitpold is from the House of Wittelsbach, that ruled in Germany from 1180 to 1918. The family has been involved in brewing for 750 years and introduced Reinheitsgebot, the German Beer Purity Law, which means beer can only be made from three ingredients – water, hops and malted barley. He added that he does not consider brews that are infused with other ingredients, such as ginger or chocolate, to be beers at all.

“You can ferment many things to a drinkable liquid and I don’t have a problem with having brews of all kinds of things but I have a slight problem calling it beer. If you have a wine you don’t necessarily want a mixture of fruit, wine and tea and call it wine. The same with beer. It is a different product at the end of the day. They are brews and they are craft brewers not craft beer brewers.”

However, he believes that the growth of the craft beer movement has had a positive impact in areas that have, until recently, not had their own local breweries. “I think it is a very good idea where the beer market has stalled and has been dominated by one or two leading companies,” he said, adding that the array of brewers producing different styles ultimately helps to lead drinkers to products such as Kaltenberg. “If you have more awareness and variety, there’s more people who want to have the real stuff. Rather than having a Bavarian-style, dark weissbier, brewed in Oregon, they would like to go for a true Bavarian dark beer. It’s a gateway and it’s opening the opportunity."

“If I want to criticise one thing about many craft brewers, it is they want to make a beer that is different and a large number are rather undrinkable so you wouldn’t want another one and that, I think, is wrong. You can do things that are experimental but I think at the end of the day you should produce something that should be enjoyed!”

The Oktoberfest celebrated German heritage and included a tented Biergarten with traditional Bavarian Biers, Bratwursts, Bavarian dishes and German folk music.

Kaltenberg will be appearing at the 2018 Club Awards, courtesy of Marston’s.

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