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"Beer is a lust for life that brings people together and makes everyone happy." – Alexander Futter Alexander Futter
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Alexander Futter

Hobbies: Skiing, rock climbing, brewing beer.
Favourite beer: Hefe-Weizen Natural Wheat
For me, the art of brewing means ... ... brewing a beer that people across the globe enjoy drinking.
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Green gold
Green gold

Alexander Futter is a master brewer at Paulaner. His experience gives him first-hand knowledge of the role that hops play in the brewing process. The umbels give the beer character, a pleasant bitterness and its balance. The hops also make it less perishable and give the beer its lovely head of foam. A single hop bine is sufficient for 264 gallons of beer. "The quality of the hops is a determining factor in the quality of the beer," says Futter. Fortunately the Hallertau – the largest hop farming region in the world – is only 37 miles  from Munich.

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800 years of tradition
800 years of tradition

Master brewer Futter drives into the Hallertau several times a year. In the summer, he watches the vegetation process, while in the autumn he comes after harvest time. In September he stands before the empty poles of the hop gardens. They cast stark shadows onto the ground in the morning sun. Here the plants, which have been farmed in the Hallertau for more than 800 years, stood as much as 26 feet tall. The region boasts almost 1,000 hop farmers who cultivate about 20 different hop varieties.

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Among friends
Among friends

When it comes to hops, the Paulaner brewery has a geographical advantage. Alexander Futter works closely with the hop farmers who supply their green gold to 120 countries worldwide. However, only a few of them can send their master brewers to select the hops with the best flavor. Futter is aware of this advantage and gives himself plenty of time, both to inspect the hops in the field and to speak with the farmers. Paulaner has been working with local farms for centuries. "After all these years, we're friends," says Futter.

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Following his nose
Following his nose

To select the best hops, you need a good nose. Alexander Futter stands on the drying floor of the barn where the bines are stored. He sniffs the umbels to get a first impression of the "Hallertauer Tradition" aroma hops and the Herkules and Taurus bittering hops. "I rely on my sense of smell and my experience," says Futter. There is nothing he likes better. As they say in the Hallertau: Once you've been scratched by the hops plant, it's in your system.

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