For us doing it the right way means that we work for the benefit of the community. We want to show that doing business in an ecologically, economically, and socially sustainable manner works and try to create awareness for alternative products and correct consumption. That is why we are independent, transparent and invite you to do good with us! We follow these seven principles:
> Here’s where the money goes: You decide which projects to support!
Quartiermeister is both a social enterprise and an association. The association is responsible for the allocation of funding and regulates the business operation. You decide online which projects will be funded by us. You can also apply for funding for your own project, recommend projects from your own neighbourhood, or get engaged with the association and help shape Quartiermeister yourself. We’re open to any and all suggestions!
> Here’s where the beer flows: You drink in order to support worthwhile local projects!
Quartiermeister is a Berlin beer brand, which is aimed at the purpose of supporting the communal through the entrepreneurial. By selling our beer in bars, clubs, and off-licenses, we receive profits which both cover our costs and fund local community projects. We started this enterprise in order to do business the right way. That means for us, that we work in an ecologically, economically, and socially sustainable manner.
Quartiermeister is a bottom-fermented, brewed lager with an original gravity of 11.5° and an alcohol content of 5,0%. Brewed in accordance with German purity laws, Quartiermeister is not pasteurised, rather it is simply and gently filtered using the membrane filtration method.
In this process, no animal products are used. Master Brewer Stefan Glaab describes the taste of the beer as follows:
‘Quartiermeister is a fresh, traditional, mild, palatable, craft brewed lager. The beer stands out through its powerful and compact head. The body of the beer is light and spicy with a distinct hop bouquet and bittersweet taste.’
In the main, Quartiermeister is produced using regional resources. The water (88-92% of the beer’s body) is derived from the deep wells of the Lusatian lake region. The malt is delivered from the Heidenau malt house near Dresden and the brewing barley comes from Sachsen and Thüringen. At the moment, the hops come from SPALT (near Nuremberg), the most traditional growing area of Germany. For the next harvest, the brewery has set itself the task of sourcing more available varieties of hops from the Elbe-Saale area.
Brauerei Wittichenau - Beer for the Kiez
Brauerei Gut Forsting - Beer for Munich
The Stadtbrauerei Wittichenau lies in the heart of Lusatia at the border between Brandenburg and Sachsen. As a family-owned business, the brewery has been independent from the large beer concerns for generations and remains deeply rooted in the region. Since 1940, the Glaab family have owned the brewery. The brewery has been in operation for 260 years and some of the older recipes are still used today. Beers from Wittichenau are untreated and unpasteurised. The high quality of Wittichenau beers has been singled out twenty times in succession by the independent nationwide „Brau-Ring-Qualitätssiegel“ which guarantees continuous and long-lasting quality for customers. Since March 2014 the brewery has used clean energy from hydro power to produce Quartiermeister. Cheers to that! You can read more about the brewery here at www.wittichenauer.de
Quartiermeister is a social enterprise and we seek to deal with our takings in a reasonable and sensible manner, so that as much money as possible goes to the projects we want to support. In order for you to see that we mean what we say and that no money is wasted or misspent, every three months we publish a complete breakdown of our income and expenditure. Here you can read our latest transparency reports:
Our fownder Sebastian had the idea four years ago. He was looking for a concept that makes social engagement as easy as possible, without having to spend more time and money. He got the thought to combine the consumption of a product with an added social value, a social added value that would be visible immidiately at the place of consumption. After a bar night with friends he came across the product beer. Beer is often consumed with friends, it’s a social product, everybody likes to talk about it and it’s got a lot of emotions attached to it. Drinking beer, having fun and doing good with it – how much easier can it be? So Sebastian looked for a brewery and distributed it in Berlin. After two years the brewery went bankrupt and we made a fresh start as a social business and with the new brewery in Wittichenau.
• Why beer and not another product?
• Where exactly does your beer come from?
• Isn’t the connection between alcohol and the communal problematic?
• Why doesn’t the beer come out of Berlin?
• Is 170 kilometers still regional?
• Is the beer organic?
• Is the beer vegan?
• Why isn’t there a single recipe?
• Who’s the guy on the bottle?
• Beer for neighbourhood – which neighbourhood are you talking about?
For us, beer is a social product. We drink it with friends in a bar or out in the open air, we chat and have a good time together. On top of that, beer is a regional product with strong roots in Germany. For several years now, small, independent, and middle-sized breweries have suffered under pressure from the large brewery concerns. They’re either swallowed up or they go bankrupt. We want to work against this trend and preserve Germany’s colourful beer landscape and its flavoursome variety.
The beer for Berlin, Leipzig, Dresden and Brandenburg comes from the Stadtbrauerei Wittichenau in Lusatia. Our decision for the Wittischenau brewery came about for many reasons:
• The beer tastes good
• The brewery has belonged to the same family for many generations and remains independent to this day.
• The beer is made from regional ingredients (there’s more about our beer here)
• The brewery identifies with the idea of Quartiermeister and wholeheartedly supports our work.
Our Munich beer comes from the cooperative brewery GutForsting. This independent private brewery is just east of Munich between Ebersberg and Wasserburg. If you’re lucky, you can see the alps from this beer-brewing idyll. As far as possible, these breweries support athletic and cultural associations and events in their regions.
We acknowledge that this link isn’t entirely free of contradictions. It’s not our intention for people to consume more alcohol through us. Our purpose is to offer a good alternative to the existing beers.
Our marketing tends not to encourage people to drink more beer, but rather to connect their existing beer consumption with an added social value.
With reference to the funding of projects, we outline to the applicants how we raise the money and let them decide whether they want to work with our funding.
Unfortunately, there were and are no breweries with whom we could work in Berlin. The large Berlin breweries are all of them owned by the Radeberger-Group, which in turn belongs to Dr. Oetker – one of Germany’s largest food companies. We’re against corporate structures because they have to prioritise short term profit for their investors over long-term community-oriented engagement. This profit-orientation leads in many instances to the exploitation of both people and nature. We want to change that and work, as much as possible, with independent, regional partners. The micro-breweries which have developed in Berlin in the last few years do brew good beer. However, in many respects they’re too small (no bottling, the beer isn’t long-lasting, too little production capacity, too costly, etc.) for a collaboration to be viable. For these reasons, our beer is brewed 170km south of Berlin in the independent and family-owned Stadtbrauerei Wittichenau.
The attribute ‘regional’ has many facets for us: we don’t deliver our neighbourhood beer beyond Brandenburg and Sachsen, so that Quartiermeister remains a regional product for a regional market, and the profits of which fund regional projects. The same is true of our beer for Munich. When we receive purchasing inquiries from areas where there isn’t any Quartiermeister, we reject them for ecological reasons. The beer is produced predominantly from ingredients that come from the region. You can see where exactly our ingredients come from here.
As yet, our neighbourhood beer is not bio-certified. Certainly – and this is important to us – we use no genetically modified materials.
Our Kiez-beer is in and of itself vegan. So far, however, it hasn’t been possible to use label glue that isn’t made from animal materials. This is because the properties of the glue require a different bottling method than that which the Wittichenau brewery is technically capable of.
We consciously chose to keep the beer and its taste regional. Consequently, in Munich we have a light beer und in the eastern region we bottle a pilsner. Those are the kinds of beers that come from those areas and best represent those regions. We love our multifaceted beer landscape in Germany and it serves as inspiration for our regional concepts. That’s why a Quartiermeister in Munich tastes different to one in Berlin and we think that’s actually pretty good.
The person on the bottle is the quartermaster. He concerns himself with the well-being of his neighbours. The person on the bottle is an emblem for all those who sell, buy, drink, do social projects and support their neighbourhood through Quartiermeister. In this way, we’re all Quartiermeisters.
Quartiermeister is the neighbourhood beer because the profits from the beer are used to fund projects in the neighbourhoods where Quartiermeister is sold. By neighbourhood, we mean specifically all the neighbourhoods in Berlin, München, Leipzig and Dresden.