For the second time, Qbeer has invited their Qbeer community to vote for a recipe and thus create their own beer. On April 13th the two beers were served at the Dr. Brauwolf brewery. We were there and asked the wolf Stefan and Miss Qbeer Eva a few questions.
We witnessed the result of a social experiment – also explained in the video below. The experiment: A community desides which two beers are brewed and which special ingredients are used in the beer (the Brewdog shareholders know the concept through their Beatnik beers). The name: Social Qraft. The result: A Wit with orange, hopped with Mandarina Bavaria and a Summer Ale with Australian lemon leaf and Wai-iti hops.
The experiment was the second of its kind organized by the Qbeer sales platform (part of Qoqa, hence Qraft, not Craft). While the first event was held in the French speaking part at BFM, this time it was brewed in German-speaking Switzerland by Dr. Brauwolf in Zurich. And so it was possible for us to take part in the release party sans a long journey.
There we were able to tickle our palates with the two results of the social experiment. Due to both beer’s low alcohol content, they are very suitable for the coming summer. The special ingredients can be tasted without fear of predominant lemon or orange aromas. If you would like to try them now, we have bad news for you: The 1’000 litres of beer, which have been offered for sale on Qoqa on Friday 12 April, are already sold out.
Two players in the Swiss beer scene
Those who have raked their braincells for links between Qbeer or Qoqa or to Dr. Bauwolf and have come up empty, here’s some background information. Yes, we did not only spend our time drinking, but asked some questions in order to collect some info about the companies involved.
Dr. Brauwolf, founded in 2017, is one of the newcomers to the Swiss brewing scene. With their Pilsner, IPA and Chocotonca Imperial Stout there were tasty reasons beyond the Social Qraft beers to get familiar with them. They not only brew their beers at Räffelstrasse 26 in Zurich, but the locale includes its own tap room. Around 32,000 litres of beer left the brewery in 2018. According to Stefan Wolf, head and founder of Dr. Brauwolf, half of the beer is bottled and half goes into kegs.
According to Stefan, the locality inside the city was deliberately chosen so that the people of Zurich would not only be able to enjoy the beer fresh a near, but also have the opportunity to receive information on site and first hand, without having to travel long distances. And, of course, a taproom is also financially attractive, because it allows the gastronomic or dealer margin to flow into one’s own pocket.
Qoqa’s Qbeer, on the other hand, is a sales platform and does not brew itself. Every week there are three craft beer offers from Switzerland, Europe and – deliberately only every now and then – from overseas. There is just as much on offer for craft beer beginners as there is for experienced beer hunters. According to Eva Roffler, aka Miss Qbeer, the Lausanne-based company almost always buys its beers directly from the breweries and often has exclusive offers that are otherwise unavailable or scarcely available in Switzerland.
Qbeer also attaches great importance to freshness. Of course, this is not a must for every beer (but for most beers). It is however very important for the currently popular Hazy and New England Style IPAs: These beers lose part of their aroma within three months. Eva was particularly pleased to tell us that a beer in the last Northern Monk package was just seven days old when it arrived in customers’ mailboxes. Qbeer also sells glasses to emphasize that you drink beer from a glass and with the many recipes published on their channels, they want to promote beer as a food companion.
Next Social Qraft later this year
If you didn’t find what you were looking for in this Social Qraft offer or simply didn’t know anything about it, you can already look forward to the next edition. Later this year, Dr. Gab in Lausanne will be brewing. Again the Qbeer Community, which consists of a core of approximately 3’000 Craft beer lovers, will be able to decide the beers. Instead of individual ingredients, however, there will be whole recipes to choose from. The recipes were also developed by the community, namely in workshops with Dr. Gabs.
By the way, Dr. Brauwolf and Dr. Gabs are planning a second collab (a beer brewed together) which will help to bridge the Röstigraben and will therefore be brewed with potatoes. It will be a Potato Beetroot Brut IPA and we are already looking forward to this exciting beer.
Disclaimer: Like all other nimble registrants, we got to take part in the event, a guided tour of Dr. Brauwolf’s brewery and try the two beers free of charge. There were no other payments that could have influenced us in the creation of this article.