Pfefferlechner craft brewery

The farm has been owned by the Laimer family since 1895. The ancient estate in the heart of Lana in the South Tyrolean apple-growing region near Merano was first mentioned in 1297. The Pfefferlechner cellar, with food and products from its own production, has been around for 40 years and the house brewery since 2005. Martin Laimer founded the family business in 1981. His wife Christine comes from the hotelier family Mair, who run the Hotel Hohenwart in Schenna. She takes us on a tour of the Pfefferlechnerwelt premises.

The name Pfefferlechner hardly crosses the lips of an Italian easily. But when Italian epicureans set out to visit the Pfefferlechner farm in South Tyrol, they call it Albergo con vista sulla stalla (hotel with a view of the stable). We immediately understand the catchy paraphrase of the tongue twister during our visit. In the parlor, you have an unobstructed view through large windows into a former cow barn and of free-roaming rabbits. Wherever you go, there is a lot to see. Outside in the enclosure at the beer garden goats are the hit with children. A successful concept that also welcomes families who want to do something together.

Buschenschank und Hausbrauerei Pfefferlechner. Während die Eltern zechen, können die Kinder auf dem ganzen Gelände viele Tiere beobachten / © Foto: Georg Berg
Buschenschank and Pfefferlechner home brewery. While parents are carousing, kids can watch lots of animals all over the grounds / © Photo: Georg Berg.
Christine Mair, älteste Tochter von Franz und Anna Mair führt uns durch den Pfefferlechner. Bei Kindern ganz groß im Rennen: Blick in den alten Kuhstall, durch den heute niedliche Kaninchen hoppeln / © Foto: Georg Berg
Christine Mair, eldest daughter of Franz and Anna Mair leads us through the Pfefferlechner. Very popular with children: View of the old cowshed, through which cute rabbits hop today / © Photo: Georg Berg

From the grist mill for the barley to the storage tank, everything in the Pfefferlechner can be seen and the fresh beers can be tasted between the brew kettle and the fermentation vat. The kitchen provides all kinds of hearty dishes made from regional ingredients to go with the beer. These include classics such as pork knuckle with cabbage salad or spare ribs in tomato salsa.

Buschenschank und Hausbrauerei Pfefferlechner. Am Zapfhahn: Braumeister Götz Spieth / © Foto: Georg Berg
Buschenschank and Pfefferlechner home brewery. At the tap: master brewer Götz Spieth / © Photo: Georg Berg

South Tyrol is an ideal growth market for craft beer, because Italians are epicureans who like to try new things, and regionality is an important theme in South Tyrol. Discovering culinary diversity here also includes beer. Without being able to endanger the dominance of the Forst brewery, 17 South Tyrolean craft breweries now convince a clientele eager to discover new things.
The brewmasters Götz Spieth and Andrea Amellini implement the ideas and visions of the entire team in a co-creation approach and ensure long-term compliance with the quality standard.

Zweisprachiges Biermenü der Buschenschank und Hausbrauerei Pfefferlechner / © Foto: Georg Berg
Bilingual beer menu of the Buschenschank und Hausbrauerei Pfefferlechner / © Photo: Georg Berg
Abends wird es voll im Buschenschank der Hausbrauerei Pfefferlechner. Die Gäste genießen Südtiroler Gerichte zum frischen Bier / © Foto: Georg Berg
In the evening, it gets crowded at the Buschenschank of the Pfefferlechner home brewery. Guests enjoy South Tyrolean dishes accompanied by fresh beer / © Photo: Georg Berg
Buschenschank und Hausbrauerei Pfefferlechner. Im November wird die Gaststube mit einer Distille beheizt. Gebrannt wird Kirsch- Trester- oder Bierbrand. Spezialität ist "Gupffleisch", in Schnapsdampf gekochter Schweinsschopf, der mit Speckknödel und gedünstetem Weißkraut serviert wird. / © Foto: Georg Berg
In November, the pub is heated with a distillery. Kirsch, pomace or beer brandy is distilled. The speciality is “Gupffleisch”, a pig’s head cooked in schnapps steam, served with bacon dumplings and steamed white cabbage. / © Photo: Georg Berg

Pfefferlechner’s classic is a naturally cloudy bottom-fermented pale ale made from Pilsner malt with moderate carbonation. The Pfeffer Pale Ale is brewed top-fermented with 100% South Tyrolean malt with the addition of various hop varieties. In the fall, a special beer is the Pfeffer Kastanie, a naturally cloudy, amber-colored, bottom-fermented beer with light smoke aromas. Pfeffer Schwarz is a dark, bottom-fermented beer with a nutty aroma and hints of bitter chocolate. Depending on the season, strong bock beers aged on oak are also brewed with a variety of hop stuffings.

Ausschank im Pfefferlechner. Die Hausbrauerei braut verschiedene Biere. Vom Pfeffer Hell bis Pfeffer Schwarz. Vom Kastanien Bier bis zum Pale Ale. Neueste Kreation ist ein alkoholfreies Bier. Das erste aus Südtirol / © Foto: Georg Berg
Tapping at Pfefferlechner. The house brewery brews a variety of beers. From Pfeffer Hell to Pfeffer Schwarz. From chestnut beer to Pale Ale. The latest creation is a non-alcoholic beer. The first from South Tyrol / © Photo: Georg Berg

In 2019, the small home brewery then achieved a real coup. They secured a patent from the Technical University of Berlin for the production of an alcohol-free beer that hardly differs in taste from real beer. A special mix of microorganisms in the fermentation process produces the typical beer taste despite the very low alcohol content. Freedl is the name of the first non-alcoholic beer from South Tyrol, and its brand development is primarily the focus of daughter Maria-Elisabeth Laimer.

Im Biergarten in Lana verkostet man die Produktpalette der Hausbrauerei Pfefferlechner aus Degustationsgläsern / © Foto: Georg Berg
In the beer garden of Lana, people taste the product range of the Pfefferlechner house brewery from tasting glasses / © Photo: Georg Berg

Maria-Elisabeth Laimer attaches great importance to feedback from different types of connoisseurs when developing the non-alcoholic brand. “Involving customers and our community is incredibly important to us. At Freedl Calma, we did various tastings in advance, even with people who are not in the typical beer environment, to develop the right recipe.” The next goal is to find the best flavorful combination of beer and basil to create a brilliant food companion.

Vier verschiedene Sorten Flaschenbier der Hausbrauerei Pfefferlechner in Lana, Südtirol, Italien / © Foto: Georg Berg
Different types of bottled beer from the Pfefferlechner home brewery in Lana, South Tyrol, Italy / © Photo: Georg Berg.

New is Freedl Calma, the first non-alcoholic basil beer, brewed at the intersection of German beer expertise and Italian lifestyle. Mountain basil is used, which grows at an altitude of 1,500 meters on the Stilfserjoch. The calming effect is said to make Freedl Calma the perfect after-work beer.

On the research trip, the cost of half board was not calculated by the Hotel Hohenwarth

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