Billed as the world’s largest Weissbier brewery, Erdinger Weissbräu produces over 1.2 millon barrels of beer each year. With some 480 employees, Erdinger Weissbier can be found around the globe in at least 70 different countries. A relative newcomer in Bavarian terms, the brewery was established in 1886 and in 1935 it was purchased by 1935 by its business manager, Franz Brombach. Since 1975, the brewery has been led by his son, Werner Brombach. In 1983, the brewery moved from its traditional location in the center of Erding to a modern brewery on the outskirts of the city. In 1989, a new bottling plant, capable of filling 110,000 bottles per hour, and a new computer-controlled warehouse were added. The technology is stunning and its location just a few miles from Munich’s airport, make it a leader in logistics and efficiency.
Erdinger is also one of the few breweries that offers a regular guided tour to individuals. Tuesday through Saturday, public tours are offered at 10:00 AM, 2:00 PM and 6:00 PM. On Saturdays, tours are available at 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM. The € 10 per person charge gets you a detailed tour of the brewery, a Bavarian snack, and all the beer you can drink in about 60 minutes. Detailed information on the tour can be found on-line at http://www.erdinger.de/en/erdinger-weissbier-company/brewery/brewery-tour.html
I recently toured the brewery myself with an old friend, Robert Jahny, who is now working for the brewery. The tours begin in the Fanshop which is filled with all kinds of Erdinger clothing, glasses, and knickknacks. The clothing items are high quality and offered at a fair price. Individual guests pay for their tour there and the tour begins inside the visitor center, which is decorated as a traditional Bavarian Wirtshaus. After the service team introduces themselves, a 15 minutes film is presented. At the end of the film, all the blinds on the left side of the visitor center are raised to reveal a clear view of the Sudhaus.
After this the tour begins and the true scale of this large undertaking becomes clear. The highlight of the tour is definitely the technology. The bottling line, automated packaging, and the modern warehouse system are amazing. The warehousing system features several automated cranes that keep the Weissbier in storage for the prescribed 4 weeks aging time. When a truck driver arrives to pick-up an order, an employee directs the system to pick the order and load it on to the truck. The cranes whizz into action, picking various palettes at break neck speed, all without human intervention.
At the end of the tour, we were offered Weisswurst, pretzels and as much Weissbier as we could handle in about 90 minutes. Erdinger offers a number of great products:
Erdinger Weißbier – the traditional Erdinger WeissbierErdinger Weißbier dunkel – the dark version with roasted malty flavor.
Erdinger Urweiße – brewed with a completly different yeast strain and according to a classic recipe.
Erdinger Pikantus dunkler Weizenbock – the stronger Weizenbock
Erdinger Weißbier kristallklar – The beer completes its second fermentation and is filtered before bottle filling.
Erdinger Weißbier leicht – half the alcohol and 40% fewer calories.
Erdinger Alkoholfrei – the number 1 Alcohol free Weissbier in the world.Erdinger Schneeweiße – available only from October to February.
Erdinger Champ – designed tob e consumed directly from its .33 l bottle, this weissbier has less CO2 and is offered for festivals and celebrations.
Erdinger Festweiße – a slightly higher alcohol version.
If you’ve made it this far through my report, then you deserve the most valuable tip of all. If you enjoy Erdinger Weissbier, join its 75,000 member strong fan club and you’ll receive a host of valuable benefits which include: A free brewery tour and a 10% discount on all articles in the Erdinger Fanshop. For more information, have a look: http://www.erdinger.de/en/erdinger-weissbier-fan-club.html#Single%20member