BeerBrewerMeet the brewer- part 1


Meet the brewer

Brewing beer is a craft and today we sit down with Zapfler’s brew master Dirk Frauenheim to discover more about his passion for brewing beer.
Brewmaster Dirk

About Dirk Frauenheim

How did you get into brewing?
While living in China for over 10 years I tried all sorts of local and imported beers, especially during summer. While there are some nice beers available, I kept missing the taste of freshly brewed beer like I would drink back home.My hometown in the Black Forest region of Germany has plenty of small family owned breweries. They brew excellent beers and distribute them locally. These family owned breweries are internationally recognized as Craft Breweries.My close friend Rolf and his family own such a family brewery for over 220 years. On a night of drinking local beers in China we spoke about missing the freshly brewed beer from the Black Forest region and Rolf encouraged me to start brewing beer in China.


How did you feel when your first brew was ready?

I was so excited to taste my first beer and could not wait to find out if it was actually drinkable. I was so happy drinking my first glass of homebrewed Hefeweizen and sharing this moment with my partner Lin Ya.


Where do you find the inspiration for new beers?

Brewing beer is my passion so I spend a lot of time researching (German) beer specialties and reading every book I can find about brewing beer. Beers that are brewed for centuries and are still liked today fascinate me. In my opinion, these types of Beers are very valuable as they really hit the taste of the customers.


Brewery Jintan

The brewery

What does an average week of a beer brewer look like?

Usually I brew from Monday-Thursday and then I go to Zapfler Shanghai for the weekends. Together with a small team of 2-3 people I brew the beers that are on tap at Zapfler. The team supports me with cleaning the fermenters and the brewery Cleaning and filling the kegs and supports me during the brew day.

Brewing beer takes about 8-10 hours from Mash In, mashing until the culture starts. During the day I have to wait until the different processes are finished and I use this time to work on other projects like researching new beer varieties.


What is your favorite beer to brew?

My favorite beer is the German Hefeweizen. I like to see fermenting the beer at the traditional open fermenters.


What’s your favorite thing about your job?

The best thing about my job is seeing people drink my beer and enjoying it. That’s when all the hard work pays off.


What’s your biggest challenge in brewing beer in China?

I would say the biggest challenge of brewing beer in China is to brew in the summer. As the temperatures outside hit the 40 degree mark it get’s over 40 degrees inside the brewery.


Stay tuned for part two of the ‘Meet the Brewer’ series.