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Basel plays host to Swiss craft beer scene

On 28 October 2017 Volta Bräu plays host to members of the Swiss craft beer scene in the “Wortspiele Beer Festival”. Next to two local heroes, small breweries from various parts of Switzerland will be pouring beers brewed exclusively for this event.

By Christian Jauslin

As is well known, beer takes centre stage during the month of October. Just think about the famous “Oktoberfest” on the Wies’n in Munich, or Cannstatt’s “Volksfest” on the Wasen near Stuttgart. However, the beer festival taking place at Volta Bräu in Basel on 28 October differs fundamentally from these two events. On the Wies’n and Wasen, beer is a means to an end, whereas the “Wortspiele Beer Festival”, taking place in Basel for the first time, is an event for aficionados and connoisseurs of amber nectar.

malz
(Malted) barley and …

Even a German beer, too
Twenty small breweries will be pouring beers which they have brewed exclusively for this festival. The local heroes are the host, Volta Bräu, plus Tiboris from the Bachletten area of Basel. In addition. breweries from all corners of Switzerland will be serving their creations, including the world-renowned Brasserie Trois Dames from Sainte-Croix in the Jura mountains in Canton Vaud, the White Frontier and 7 Peaks breweries from Canton Valais, San Martino (Ticino) and Barfuss (Thurgau). There is even a guest from Germany at the festival, the Braukollektiv Freiburg. Altogether almost 40 beers are going to be served, und the Volta Bräu kitchen will, alongside their well-known meat skewers, also be serving a vegetarian option.

hopfen
… hops and …

A word about wort
The beers to be served have been brewed exclusively for this event. On 12 August 1,500 litres of “wort” had been produced at Volta Bräu – wort is the basic liquid which is then fermented with various yeasts. This wort (which is spelled exactly like the German term for “word”) was distributed to the brewers who then brewed (or played, as they sometimes say) their final beer by fermenting the wort and adding additional ingredients – and “wort” and “play” gave rise to a play on words in German. Thus some beers have been given specific hops or yeasts, fruit or berries, and in one instance even cucumbers. Not only does this sound a bit quixotic, it sometimes tastes that way too. But only sometimes: for example, the “New Swiss India Pale Ale” by 4655 Brew Co. can also be savoured by craft beer greenhorns. And as a comparison a traditionally brewed “standard beer” will be served as well – a wheat beer.

wassertropfen
… water (plus yeast) produce …

Promoting the beer scene
The association “Wortspiele” was founded organise the Wortspiele Beer Festival. Its aim is to promote and celebrate the Swiss beer scene and its brewers. A central element is communication about beer, learning about the different variations, and fostering contact among the brewers themselves and with the guests. Each Wortspiele event takes place at a different participating brewery. The festival in Basel is now the fourth, coming after the events in Berne, Rapperswil and Renens near Lausanne.

basilisk_bier
… a flavourful beer in Basel too (this picture
© copyright Kathi Horn)

Wortspiele #4 – Beer Festival
28 October 2017, 2-10pm
Volta Bräu, Voltastrasse 30, 4056 Basel
www.wortspiele.org

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