Bottling | Paulaner Brauerei München

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"Beer is proof God loves us and wants us to be happy (Benjamin Franklin)." – Gregor Nowotsch Gregor Nowotsch
Fast, faster, filled
Fast, faster, filled

At first glance, the workstation of Gregor Nowotsch looks like a maze made up of thousands of bottles. Under his watchful eye, they travel down the conveyor belts and through the hall, rattling as they go. "At one installation, we fill up to 50,000 bottles in an hour," says the head of bottling. Anyone who has ever poured a glass of beer will wonder how it is possible to bottle it so quickly. "The secret," says Nowotsch, "is that the bottles are under pressure, so they can be filled without building up a head."

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Only the best get through
Only the best get through

At the start of the filling process, beverage distributors from across Germany return the empty bottles. "They do not all make it to the filling process," says Gregor Nowotsch. Because at the end of the bottle-washing machine, which cleans the bottles at a temperature of around 80 degrees, stands the "inspector", and that person doesn't miss a thing. In the plant, the bottles are inspected for dirt and damage at an incredible speed. And if they are damaged? "Waste glass container, and off to the recycling plant," says Nowotsch.

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Pressurised for freshness
Pressurised for freshness

One hall down, pallets bearing kegs for beer gardens and pubs are piled up. They undergo a process that is just as thorough as the one for bottles. The kegs are first washed out with various cleaning agents and are then steamed. "Nothing should interfere with the taste," says Nowotsch. Once the 20-litre, 30-litre or 50-litre kegs are filled with beer, they are labelled and delivered. So much effort just so that fresh Paulaner can be poured into mugs at the pub.

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Sunscreen made of glass
Sunscreen made of glass

Why does Paulaner only come in brown bottles? Gregor Nowotsch fires off an answer to that instantly: "Because of the flavour." Green or clear bottles are not as good at deflecting short light waves and UV radiation from the sun as brown bottles are. The result: poorer beer quality. When you open a beer in a light glass bottle, you can tell that it was exposed to sunlight for too long. Connoisseurs call the smell that emanates from the bottle "light-struck". "And I don't let things like that into the bottle," says Nowotsch.

» About the master brewer