Germany: Maisel on the ‘Trip to Hell’

Brauerei Gebr. Maisel KG, a family-owned brewery located in the Franconian city of Bayreuth, Germany, has announced to build a new brewery with a capacity of half a million hectoliters. Maisel plans to start the construction as soon as possible because the growth of its successful Bayreuther Hell brand, which shot up to 450,000 hl last year and already represents about half of the total production, is bringing the brewery to the limit of its capacity.

Bayreuther Hell is one of the most successful brands in Germany riding on the wave of Hell beers, a traditional German pale lager beer, produced mainly in Southern Germany. The name does not refer to the English term of ‘hell’ but rather means ‘pale’ in German as opposed to ‘dunkel’ (dark). Bayreuther Hell, like most of the other beer brands of this type, is sold in the traditional stout ‘euro bottle’ in a simple light blue beer crate.

According to information from our German editorial team, this year’s growth of Bayreuther Hell already amounts to another 20%.

The new Bayreuther Brauhaus will be designed by Krones and will cost at least EUR 60 million. It will set new standards for low water and energy consumption as well as low CO2 emissions. Visually, the new brewery will blend in well with the landscape of the predominantly green Bayreuth district of Oberobsang not far away from Maisel’s traditional brewery and the Maisel and Friends brewery workshop. The amended land use plan was approved by the building committee of the city of Bayreuth today.

The first beer is to be produced in the new brewery as early as the end of 2023.

The driving force of the success of the 134 year-old brewery is Jeff Maisel who joined the brewery in 1999 after earning a degree in brewing and beverage technology from TU Munich-Weihenstephan. After the unexpected early death of his cousin Andreas Maisel in 2007, he took over management of the brewery – also on behalf of his cousin’s two daughters.

As a fourth generation brewer and son of an U.S.-American mother, he realized soon the potential of innovative new beer styles combined with German brewing tradition. He created together with close friends the beer workshop Maisel & Friends in 2012, making him a pioneer in the luxury and craft beer segment in Germany.

His father, Oscar Maisel, who died earlier this year at the age of 90, was already a pioneer in the brewing business when he created the “Champagne of wheat beer” in 1955, which brought the brewery international acclaim. The beer was later renamed to Crystal Wheatbeer after a complaint by French winemakers. Twenty years later, Maisel’s Weisse was complemented by an unfiltered version of the product, which also played a major role in the spread of this Bavarian specialty beer throughout Germany.

In 2019, in collaboration with the Bavarian family-owned breweries Erdinger Weissbräu and Schneider Weisse, Maisel launched a quality offensive for wheat beer calledBavarian precious fermentation (Bayerische Edelreifung), which essentially consists of a secondary bottle fermentation for up to three weeks without later pasteurization. (, 20.09.2019)

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