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Reissdorf Koelsch
Reissdorf Koelsch Edelster
Privatbrauerei Heinrich Reissdorf
Type: Brewery
Website: http://www.reissdorf.de/

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Founded on October 4, 1894 by Heinrich Reissdorf and his wife Gertrud in the historic Severinsviertel of the city of Cologne (Köln), the Reissdorf brewery has established itself as the pre-eminent brewery of the classic Kölsch.


During the period of "promoterism" at the end of the 19th century, the breweries in Cologne sprang up like mushrooms. In this era the Privat-brauerei Heinrich Reissdorf - then called Oberg√§rige Brauerei Heinrich Reissdorf (top-fermenting brewery) ‚Äì was founded. Its founder, Heinrich Rei√üdorf, derived from an old-established farmer family who were based in Zieverich (today a quarter of Bergheim/Erft) as farriers and coach builders. A few years later, in 1905, the name Kölsch was established for the top-fermented Cologne beer-speciality; before, it was called ‚ÄúWiess‚Äù. After Heinrich‚Äôs death on 2/25/1901, Gertrud Rei√üdorf managed the brewery until 1908. The continuance of the company had never been in danger, though, since the Rei√üdorf couple had five sons: Johann Hubert, Heinrich, Hermann, Friedrich and Carl Rei√üdorf.

When the product range was diversified to further styles of beer – Märzen, Export (both a strong variation of Lager) and Pilsen – in 1923 the top-fermenting brewery was renamed to Brauerei Heinrich Reissdorf – OHG. In 1917, when the men had gone fighting in World War I, Friedrich’s wife Katharina managed the brewery. The two had three sons: Heinrich Reißdorf (who was killed in an accident in the brewery in 1936) and the two proprietors Hermann-Josef and Karl-Heinz, who died in 1996 & 1997. They led the company through economically difficult times after World War II, when the brewery was destroyed to the extent of 90%. Against all odds, the two brothers managed to produce and bottle a “Einfachbier” (literally: simple beer) with 2%-4% ABV. Today, the business is continued in the fourth generation.

Due to a prosperous development of the Privat-Brauerei Heinrich Reissdorf, a new site for the brewery had to be found within the boundaries of the city of Cologne; therefore, the company purchased premises in an industrial park in Cologne-Rodenkirchen. With the new production facility, a brewery with most modern brewing technology was built, which meets the highest quality criteria.

Continuity and a sense for the necessary are the virtues which make possible to look back on 110 years of an existing Privat-Brauerei Heinrich Reissdorf. The ongoing success and the positioning of the Privat-Brauerei Heinrich Reissdorf in the highly competitive Kölsch-sector confirm this corporate philosophy imposingly.

The Kölsch-Convention

Kölsch is not only a unique beer, but it is the only one that has its own convention. The Kölsch-Convention, solemnly adopted by the 24 Kölsch breweries, regulates all market developments that have to do with Kölsch. It constitutes a code of competition having the accreditation of the Federal Cartel Office. These prohibit outsiders to produce or falsify Kölsch.

By the way, the Kölsch-Convention also states how Kölsch is to be defined, a blond, top-fermented, bright and hops-accentuated full-bodied beer.

The complete charter of the Kölsch-Convention may be found by visiting the brewery's website.

Picture: Reissdorf Brewhaus
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