On 25 and 26 November, the second edition of the Beer Dome Basel (BDB) will take place in the Markthalle in Basel. We spoke to Andreas Klein from the event team and he told us about what will be different this year, why there will be more Swiss breweries than in 2019 and how much 1.5 dl of beer will cost. Tickets are available on Eventfrog for CHF 25 per day or CHF 45 for both days, get them while they last.
What is different and what is the same compared to 2019?
Oh, there are quite a few things that have changed, even if you can only see the surface of it. Basically, we were super happy about the 2019 event, but there were a few things that were important to us this time.
The organising committee is a completely new one. It consists of Sebastian Sauer, Jakob Ramp, Vincent Klein and myself. We also have the valuable support of our caterers! The main part is done by the guys and girls, I am more in the background and help where and how I can. Of course, we have inherited a great substance from the last BDB.
This time there will be no VIP and special tickets. The focus is on being able to talk with the breweries and tasting the beers. There should be no classification of our guests. Everything on offer is the same for everyone.
Then we set completely different standards when selecting the breweries. We were aware that we were too hop-focused in 2019 and that the beer selection was almost exclusively in the high-price range.
We also set up our logistics completely differently. Last time, we were completely overwhelmed during and after take-down. That won’t happen a second time.
And last but not least, we have turned 26 breweries into 37, all of which will be present themselves. In 2019, a few important breweries didn’t come, only the beers from our helpers were served. I honestly don’t remember why we allowed it to happen.
What criteria did you use to select the breweries?
Basically, we invited all the breweries that we import and that we represent on the Swiss market. Unfortunately, some of them couldn’t come because they were already booked out. But we also expected that. It would not have been possible if everyone had accepted. And very important: we wanted to increase the proportion of Swiss breweries this time. We realised that it would be more interesting for everyone. The breweries can network, the visitors can compare the many international specialities with a Swiss brew.
While we were very hop-focused in 2019, things are very different this year. That was also very important to us when selecting the breweries.
What led to you including more Swiss breweries this year?
Well, we are also constantly learning. We’ve been observing the Swiss beer market and building up contacts since 2013 – the year we were founded. After a few years in which we were exclusively international, we started to include the first Swiss breweries in our range. We have continued to do this over the last few years. Nice friendships have developed. Of course we specialise in international beers, but the Swiss beer world now has a bigger share than ever before.
I think that’s also the reason why we have more participants from Switzerland. It was already very difficult for us to have to cancel the many requests from the breweries – that would have been almost unbearable if we hadn’t increased the number.
How do you make sure that not only NEIPA is served at the festival?
We have already broadened our selection of breweries. We have Ayinger and Camba Bavaria, for example, and Waldhaus is also coming. From that point of view alone, there will be beers this time that were completely missing in 2019. I also think the NEIPA trend is already over. I feel this myself and I know many people who feel the same way. At some point, there is a certain weariness when you have drunk to many NEIPA. But nevertheless, there will certainly be some wonderful NEIPAS at the start.
Despite everything, we give the brewery complete freedom in the selection of its beers. They should show our guests what they themselves find the best. But we are sure that a nice wide selection will be shown.
Which brewery is your personal secret favourite?
Oh no… this question is a classic one. I’m absolutely no reference there, really. My beer choices have changed so massively over the last few years. Besides, I’m equally happy about all of them, so it’s hard to give a rating. I personally think it’s great that we have participants from Belgium for the first time, and I’m particularly looking forward to the beers from Ukraine, which is still completely new territory for me.
In which order should the breweries be visited or beers be tasted?
Actually, it’s quite simple. From light to heavy and from light to dark. Personally, I save the sour beers for the end, which gives you a freshness kick at the end and you suddenly feel like you can start all over again.
How much does 1dl of beer cost?
We’ve changed that a bit this year too. A token will cost 1.50 CHF this time and the beers will cost between 2 and 4 tokens per 1.5 dl. So between 3 and 6 CHF per glass. This may sound a bit high for many, but there’s a huge effort behind it. It’s a huge investment with a high risk every time, especially in times of Corona and war.
Can you buy beers to bring home again?
Yes, we will offer that again. For space reasons, we had to do without the shop we organised last time. At the beginning, we had the idea of putting it in other people’s hands. Then space became scarce. We decided to move the shop to our “BIERREVIER”. In the BIERREVIER in the market hall you will certainly get a large selection of the festival beers. If that’s not enough for you, you can use our webshop to have the beers delivered free to your door. There are voucher codes at the festival so you don’t have to pay delivery costs. We also have the complete range there. However, we only have limited quantities of everything available.
Aren’t you afraid Corona will make a comeback?
Yes, we are. We are extremely worried. When you see how much money you’re spending and how great the uncertainty is, you feel stupid. But sometimes unreasonableness is also a good quality, a lot of things wouldn’t come out of pure reason. We hope we will be rewarded for our courage to do it. Of course, we need many visitors and thirsty guest.