About the new, surprising recipes of beers, re-fermentation method, and the German tradition of brewing beer says Krzysztof Panek, president of Fortuna Brewery in the Miłosław, in an interview with Marzena Zbierska
Offer of beers available on store shelves is very wide. You can choose from dozens of brands, many types of beers … Why should consumers reach for those from Fortuna Brewery?
To answer this question, we must first consider what is the reason that the choice of beers is so big. From several years on the Polish market, more and more beer brands existing for a long time are becoming available but consumers were not previously aware of it’s existence. Only large corporations could afford expensive advertising on television, on billboards and promote their brands for a big scale. For many years small businesses did not have the opportunity to advertise in this way, so they remained in the shadows. Nowadays the presence of dozens beer brands in the store is proof that consumers and their needs have changed. Consumers are looking for variety, and a trade must meet these expectations.
Beers from small breweries allow you to try something new …
Exactly. Brands of Fortuna Brewery were placed on the shelves of Polish stores because of its uniqueness is worth of interest. Thanks to original recipes Fortuna Brewery offers interesting flavours of beers, and it enriched the world of beer consumer. So we satisfy the need for diversity, the need to try new flavours.
Indeed Miłosław’s brewery is surprising with innovations. Only in recent time there were three new sub-brand of beer within Milosław Warzy Śmiało: Pine, Maple Milk Stout and Fumed Brown Ale. Does brewing beer requires courage?
In this case, we can say that we brew with bravery. This is our beer specialties. Beers, which show how diverse are the styles of beer. We create ambitious recipes and reach for a surprising, custom add-ons, for example shoots of pine.
Will there be another innovations?
Yes, we see such a need in the market. As Fortuna Brewery we have a stable portofolio, but we want to supplement it with beer brewed in small batches that will attract the consumer. In 2016, we launched 13 new products. This year we would like to achieve a similar result. However we have to stipulate that only certain beer innovations will remain in sales. Most of them will be brewed in a short special series.
Is Fortuna Black remaining a jewel in the crown of Miłosław’s brewery? It’s probably the most recognizable brand?
Fortuna Black is still the beer thanks to which we are very recognizable, but not the ultimate one. A few years ago we introduced a broad line of Miłosław beer and today Miłosław beers are equally recognizable brand. Especially Miłosław Pilsner gained good consumer reviews.
Also, do not forget about Komes, which is a determinant of a class and quality of Fortuna Brewery.
This is our premium shelf. Komes Baltic Porter won i. e. Golden Medal in the European Beer Star in 2013 as the best beer in the category of Baltic porters. Other Komes beers are also appreciated. In the last year within the framework of the so-called short series we launched three new Komes beers. Komes Russian Imperial Stout has matured for about a year. We also brewed Raspberry Porter and Porter with Petals of Oak. We are not excluding that several series well received by the market might by repeated.
Komes are not the cheapest beers on the market, but revenge with i.e. a second fermentation in the bottle and the volatile of flavour, which arouses curiosity of gourmets. How does it work?
Komes beers are made in almost the same way as it was brewed by monastic monks hundreds of years ago in Belgium. As the only company in Poland we use sparkling wine production of beer on a larger scale. This is a very difficult craft, and we learned it for a long time. Refermentation after the closure of the bottle, with remainings of yeast makes the beer more sweet in first months, and over time it becomes dry. Refermentation introduces new flavours, which stay in a closed bottle. Basically this beer does not ages in detectable way. We define it’s term of life for 18 months, but it is a conventional term and the beer can be stored longer. I have such beer in my own basement, which is already 19 years of age.
Recently the cider is becoming more and more popular in Poland. The Frotuna Brewery portfolio has three types of cider. Will there be more?
No, in the case of cider, we have already reached our plan. We have a Semi-sweet Miłosław’s Cider and Semi-dry Miłosław’s Cider and also a Semi-sweet Miłosław’s Perry from pear.
Is there a specific beer that you would recommend for women?
There is a stereotype that women prefer so-called flavour beers, which means with fruit. However, men also likes this kind of beers, and women often opt for beer intense in flavour, for example Komes. In terms of beer tastes women are no different from men. They are looking for new types of beers, flavours, have a need for experimentation, so it’s hard for them to recommend a particular product. Basically all Fortuna Brewery beers are dedicated also to women.
Belgian yeast, Ukrainian and American varieties of hops… Why the origins of beer ingredients are so clearly accented in recipes? Is this an element that makes your offer attractive not only for Poles?
We focus on the Polish consumer expectations, but indeed, our offer may also be attractive for foreigners. Foreigners will find flavours, which they may know from their country, especially the Czechs, Germans, Belgians. What is the difference between a beer produced in the Fortuna Brewery, and the one that is made in small breweries in Germany? Most German breweries brew according to the Bavarian Purity Law – The Reinheitsgebot. This law derives from the 1516 and for example specifies the components, which may be used in the brewing of beer. The Reinheitsgebot is very restrictive when it comes to materials. So the Germany is a country of pale beers, because only this can be brewed according to the Bavarian Purity Law. It also says that you can only use barley malt for brewing. Polish breweries do not restrict their recipes so restrictively. Although we produce a pilsner in accordance with the law of purity, but other beers have many original add-ons and a variety of taste. Most important thing for us is the taste and detectable sensations. In this respect the world of beer is very rich, and we want to show the different beer styles, and in Poland it is well accepted.
It is possible to visit the Miłosław’s brewery?
Reminding that the first mention of it dates back to 1626. Unfortunately property conditions does not allow visits. From time to time we allow small groups to visits, but the brewery is small and still under renovation. The massive tour is not possible. However, we are keen to organise tasting our beers during training and conferences. We talk about how to brew a beer, beer curiosities … We talk about beer and upon a beer.
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