Among H-E-B Oktoberfest offerings, Altstadt Oktoberfest ranks #1 among International, National and Texas brands.
With all the offerings of Oktoberfest across the state, Altstadt Brewery’s Oktoberfest has been recognized as #1 among H-E-B offerings by the Houston Chronicle.
The rankings only included H-E-B offerings, but some big names from across the world and locally made the list. The list included German breweries – Warsteiner and Ayinger, National Breweries – Samuel Adams and Bell’s, and local Texas Breweries – Saint Arnold, 903 Brewers, Shiner, Live Oak, and Karbach.
“Altstadt and Bell’s produced our two perfect scorers, and we were big fans of both of them. However, Altstadt was our ultimate favorite of all 12 beers we tried. It edged out Bell’s just slightly for producing a more classic Oktoberfest beer in its German-style brewery.”
Author, Abigail Rosenthal
Read the reviews of each beer and to see how we ranked by visiting the Houston Chronicle Website at www.chron.com.
Alstadt Brewery was recently highlight in Packaging work Magazine, an article by Pat Reynolds. The article highlights our new canning and bottling line up-grades.
Texas Brewer Upgrades Bottling and Adds Cans
Installation of a canning line became a top priority as Altstadt Brewery opened new markets in Houston and Dallas. Also getting some serious upgrades was an existing bottling line.
In the historic German settlement town of Fredericksburg, amid the rolling hill country of Texas, sits Altstadt Brewery, a three-story German Tudor brewery, restaurant, and entertainment center that occupies some 58,000 sq ft. Co-founded by William Scripps Jr., part of the Cincinnati-based E.W. Scripps media empire, Altstadt produces German style beers that are guided by the German beer purity laws of 1516 and are brewed using only four ingredients: hops, barley, yeast, and artesian spring water.
When the brewery opened in 2018, its only packaging format was glass bottles. But when the HEB supermarket chain suggested that sales of Altstadt’s beer in its stores would triple if cans were available, plans for a can line were boosted from the back burner to “let’s do it right now.” In charge of making it happen was Brien Harper, Senior Consultant at J.S. Held LLC. Altstadt management brought on J.S. Held to assist in building and operationalizing the ambitious expansion.
“A can line was always in the plans,” says Harper. “It just happened about two and a half years sooner than Alstadt originally anticipated.” He notes that in addition to the increased production capacity needed to meet HEB’s requirements, there were also plans to open up new markets for cans in Dallas and Houston. That’s why Altstadt, unlike other craft breweries that might opt for modest canning capabilities at first just to get their feet wet with a new packaging format, invested in a canning line capable of 245 cans/min.
To make things even more interesting, it wasn’t just the canning line that got fast-tracked. Also implemented at about the same time were some serious automation upgrades to the bottling line.
But let’s begin with a look at the canning line. Predictably enough, it begins with a depalletizer. Supplied by Uni-Pak, it handles both cans and bottles, so the brewery runs one container format or the other but never both formats at once. A short distance downstream from the depalletizer is a fork in the conveyor connection—down one fork go the bottles and down the other go the cans.
All cans are undecorated bright stock. Full-body shrink-sleeve labels supplied by Resource Label are applied by an Aurora labeler from Axon. The mandrel-style machine uses servo motion control from Rockwell to deliver consistent, repeatable performance. A fiber optic sensor reads film registration marks so the PLC can calculate cut lengths to assure sleeve length accuracy. The labeler also features industry-standard PackML programming and HMI interfaces to deliver consistent terminology, consistent screen displays, and standardized program structures, thus delivering ease of operation and maintenance.
The labels are immediately shrunk tight in an Axon steam tunnel. From there the cans pass through an air ionizer that pre-sanitizes the insides before the cans reach an ionized air rinser and a Domino ink-jet coder that prints the bottom of each can with lot and date code information.
Some moments are simply unforgettable. Light up your Valentine’s Day with Dinner & Fireworks at Altstadt Brewery, Friday February 14th, 2020. Treat your Valentine to a romantic evening featuring a Valentine’s Day Dinner prepared by award-winning chef — Chef Alex!
Cost: $55 per person *Includes a glass of Poema Cava Brut. Beer & Wine Also available.
Get the night started with an aphrodisiac of Fried Oysters with Ginger Aioli
Have your choice of Lobster Bisque with Cream Sherry or Blue Cheese Iceberg Wedge w/ smoked Applewood Bacon & Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes
Enjoy a Grilled 8oz. Choice Tenderloin Filet or Pan Seared Scottish Salmon served “OSCAR Style” w/ Yukon Gold Potato Puree And then end the meal by sharing a decedent Black Forest Chocolate Torte
Fireworks go off at 6:45pm!
Limited Reservations – Friday, February 14th, seatings at 4:30pm, 5pm, 5:30pm, 6pm, 6:30pm, 7pm, & 7:30pm
This is a part of a continuing series of Q&As with members of the brewing community from across the U.S. Brewer Magazine will share business and personal insights from Brewmasters, Head Brewers, Brewing Managers, Sales Directors, QCQA Managers and others each weekend to help you get to know each other better in the industry and learn more to better develop your own brand.
BREWER: How do you feel your job has had to adapt to the beer market compared to a few years ago? ROWAN: We have been doing Lagers since we started brewing in early 2017, so we were ahead of the curve when Lagers started their ’comeback.’ The adapting comes with all of these other talented brewers doing great things with German Lagers (and beer in general), so we are always striving to keep our beers to style, consistent, and on-brand because that is what the market is becoming accustomed to. The overall growth and understanding of beer and brewing (and its talent) in America is constantly pushing us to put out a top-notch product.
Texas had another stellar showing at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) this year bringing home a total of 16 awards: eight gold, three silver, and five bronze medals. A stand-out this year was the double gold win by Altstadt Brewing Company of Fredricksburg, Texas for their Altstadt Kolsch (German-Style Kolsch) and Altstadt Lager (Munich-style Helles).
I’m so excited to be the FIRST to style and publish a shoot at this new amazing Hill Country wedding venue – Altstadt Brewery in Fredericksburg, Texas!
This place is just amazing. It’s a beautiful modern Bavarian space like no other in the Hill Country that fits so perfectly with the historic German tradition of the area. The owners spared no expense on the lavish details. The ornate wood carving on the fireplace, the beautiful windows and archways on the many patios, and all of the beautiful gold details. We actually did this shoot while the venue was still under construction, so we didn’t have the opportunity to get as many wide shots as we would have liked. However, I think these images will be enough of a teaser to entice you to visit in person and see the grandeur and taste the beer! Check out their contact info on my Hill Country wedding vendors page to set up a tour!