Anyone stopping for refreshment at Hopfen & Co. in Bolzano/Bozen can expect to receive all the hoppy delights that the name promises. The historic inn, situated on the Obstmarkt – the Fruit Market – in Bolzano’s old town, serves its guests hand-brewed beer bearing the South Tyrolean seal of quality. “So it’s the only brewery topped with silver,” says brewmaster Matthias Obkircher, alluding at once to the seal and the historic building that houses the brewery and tap room.
The open brewery directly in the bar allows guests to watch how water and just a few natural ingredients are combined to create highly drinkable beers. “Our brewing plant is operated entirely by hand, so a lot of manual graft goes into every swig of beer. This, combined with propagating our own yeast, lends the beer a special character,” says the master brewer.
The Bolzano-based brewery takes its lead from Bavarian beer tradition. Alongside a lager and a wheat beer there is a range of special edition beers and a seasonal beer that changes each month. What’s more, beers are brewed four times a week at Hopfen & Co. This ensures that the beer lives up to its South Tyrolean seal of quality, as it is always fresh and does not need to be filtered or pasteurised.
“Our concept is that of a brewers’ inn,” explains Matthias Obkircher, “in other words, quality beer brewed on site and paired with local cuisine.”
The brewer’s aim is to supplement this clear vision with a greater amount of regional resources over the next ten years. This despite the fact that the majority of basic ingredients are already locally sourced. After all, “we small fry can’t keep up with the big fish in terms of quantity, it’s our quality that keeps us in the market.”
Our brewing plant is operated entirely by hand, so a lot of manual graft goes into every swig of beer. This, combined with propagating our own yeast, lends the beer a special character.