Berlin, Beer and the DVP


As we are off to Berlin, I have been reading this, and have shamelessly knicked this wee snippet.

In the 1890s, German beer underwent a revolution. Until then, the dominant styles were local, and might have more in common with the English style. The other dominant style was Bavarian Weissbier (wheat beer). In the 1890s, new developments in refrigeration made by the Munich scientist Carl Linde made lager beer easier to produce.

Meanwhile, in 1882, Carl and August Aschinger had opened their first Bierquellen in Berlin, a kind of fast food beer hall. For them, lager beer was way to keep and prove massively popular. By the 1930s, there were 46 branches in Berlin alone. The age of the beer hall had come to the capital.


On the back of this, by 1891, one brewing firm became Berlin’s biggest, brewing lager beer. In 1943, Schultheiss celebrated their centenary in a lavish party in the Opera House, paying lip service to their Nazi masters, despite the fact that beer consumption slumped under the Nazis.


Such changes were anathema to the son of one Bavarian brewer, an economist who had indeed written a doctorate about the brewing industry.

What a difference between the old Berlin Weissbier pub and the famous beer palaces created by Aschinger in the last few years! In the one, almost venerable citizens installed at a simple table united behind their great globular glasses, either reading the newspaper or conversing peacefully or complacently. In the other, an eternal toing and froing, hustle and bustle, individuals scarcely giving themselves enough time to find a seat, but standing up, eating one of the obligatory rolls or tossing down a measure of proper beer with an eye on the clock, then rushing off after a few minutes to make room for others who, just like themselves, want the chance to enjoy a little something without making a dent in their schedules.

The regime Schultheiss had to kowtow to would have been anathema to this man too. His name. Dr Gustav Stresemann.


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