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How German emigrants are now brewing beer for the whole world

In 1868, the 21-year-old journeyman brewer, Adolph Hermann Joseph Kuhrs from Dortmund, was threatened with conscription into the Prussian military – a new war against France was imminent.

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How German emigrants are now brewing beer for the whole world

In 1868, the 21-year-old journeyman brewer, Adolph Hermann Joseph Kuhrs from Dortmund, was threatened with conscription into the Prussian military – a new war against France was imminent. But Kuhrs has no intention of taking part. He secretly flees to Hamburg and sneaks onto an emigrant ship. The stowaway is discovered during the crossing and is allowed to decide: a year of hard labor or overboard. After a year, Kuhrs is a free man. He seeks his fortune in America - and finds it in 1874 when he founds the "Aldolph Coors Golden Brewery". Six years later he is a millionaire.

Today, the Coors brewery is the second largest American beer producer, behind the Anheuser-Busch brewery, which was also founded by German emigrants. Kuhrs, alias Coors, was one of 5.5 million other Germans between 1820 and 1920 who built a new life in America, including many brewers who founded around 1000 breweries in the New World. Anyone who would like to learn more about Germany's favorite after-work drink from the perspective of global distribution can do so from 17 September to 30 December at the Ballinstadt Emigration Museum on the Veddel.

The special show "Beer - Export hit" briefly outlines the 15,000-year history of the beverage made from fermented grain with the oldest finds in Israel, before dealing in detail with the more recent history of beer. From the early days in Germany, an original of the book “The Art of Brewing Beer” by Heinrich Knaust from Hamburg will be on display. His book from 1575 is considered the first beer dictionary in the world and describes the regional varieties that were common in Germany at the time. The book is also a valuable source on the medieval art of brewing.

On the global march through the beer community, it also becomes clear how lager – an invention of Viennese brewmaster Anton Dreher Sr. in his Schwechat brewery in 1839 – eventually surpassed all other types of beer, including English ale. Today, lager is the collective term for all bottom-fermented beer types and accounts for 80 percent of world production, all top-fermented types are roughly grouped under ale. Annual production worldwide is 1.9 billion hectoliters.

As the fifth largest beer producer in the world today, Germany has shaped the taste in North America. But also in South America, South Africa, Australia and Asia, immigrant brewers - who often emigrated via Ballinstadt - brought out German brands that are still among the leading suppliers today.

Brahma is one of the popular brands in Brazil and Quilmes is one of the great Argentinian beers. The name Brahma is probably an abbreviation of the name "Brauhaus Maschke", founded in 1888 by the brewer Georg Maschke. The brewer Otto Bemberg from Cologne settled in the Argentine city of Quilmes.

In addition to the fates of emigrants, the history of special beer companions is described, including that of the beer mat, the can aka "sleeve", the swing top and the plastic beer crate. The Oktoberfest is also honored. And in a virtual bar, beer brewers and museum experts have their say. If you get thirsty while visiting the show, you can quench it in the restaurant next door – with beer or something else.

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