Schiøtz for those able
As with other brewers in the middle of the last century, there’s a fascinating story to be found behind Theodor Ludvig Schiøtz. A story that concerns a lot more than a vision of brewing beer in his own brewery.
Schiøtz dreamed of being a brewer for many years, but what made him different was that he also had a whole range of other major passions that shaped his life – and the beet he came to brew. Botany. Nature. Poetry. And a love for a single woman.
Schiøtz regarded nature as the biggest and most important thing on earth. In his opinion, nature was created to be worshipped by man. We should be inspired by nature, protect and cultivate it. Schiøtz frequently exercised his passion for nature when he chose the ingredients for his beers.
His values and fascination for the miracles of nature are very contemporary in many ways. We’ve also had a dream for many years about reviving Schiøtz. Not just as a beer, but as a salute to the beliefs and actions of Theodor Ludvig Schiøtz himself.
And that’s what we’re doing – starting with the beer. If everything goes to plan, we hope to demonstrate that beer is much more than just football and rock concerts. Not that we think there’s anything wrong with them – but in contrast to the usual beer-drinking situations, we want to prioritise good beer as the focus of discussion on other important subjects: nature, poetry, love… and the beer itself.
Our primary role in such conversations will be to ensure that the beer is in place, but we also want to bring a little extra to those great beer moments. More on that later, when we follow in the footsteps of Schiøtz through the genesis of his beer – and follow the stream of events we bring together at schiøtz.dk.
As we said, Schiøtz was fascinated by botany – and was well-qualified to be so. He was a qualified pharmacist, and later studied to become a brewer under his friend Jacobsen of Carlsberg fame, in Copenhagen. In 1859, he built a considerable brewery by the cool, flowing water of the Odense River. Cooling was important, as Schiøtz wanted to brew under-fermented beer, in line with the fashion of the day. He named his brewery Albani. At the time, Odense was the second biggest city in Denmark and Albani quickly became a very successful brewery.
As a brewer, Schiøtz became legendary and highly respected for his skill and unique beer.
Despite Albani being one of the biggest breweries in the country, Schiøtz took part in the day-to-day work in the brewing hall for as long as he had the strength – and he had plenty. Schiøtz was a strong but also affectionate and engaged person. He was against a hierarchy that kept him apart from his workers – he wanted to be close to them and his beer. He was renowned for his physical ability to work and to find skilled employees. He treated them and their families with far more care and consideration than was the norm at that time.
He was against a hierarchy that kept him apart from his workers – he wanted to be close to them and his beer.
A common interest in good beet was a vital element in the brewery’s history. And that was the special ingredient that made Albani into one of the most important breweries of the day with interesting recipes and skilled, dedicated brewery workers as the crucial factors.
That’s why it was obvious for us to show respect for Schiøtz and his beer by following in the footsteps of the master. Our humble aim is to create Danish beers based on that special something that Schiøtz brought to the art of brewing in this country. We have chosen three distinct types of beer to start with.
BREWED WITH ROSEHIP
As well as the robust flavour of the hops, characteristic of an IPA, this Schiøtz Gylden IPA shares botanical inspiration with all other Schiøtz beers, providing it with an additional complexity of taste. In addition to the three types of hops, Simcoe, Citra and Pacific Gem, rosehip and rosemary are also included in the recipe. But only to provide a fruity and spicy nuance to the aftertaste. An IPA appeals to beer drinkers who appreciate that it’s hops that make a beer. A Schiøtz Gylden IPA just takes this a few steps further.
BREWED WITH QUINCE AND APPLE
Our goal with Bohemian Pils is to brew the ultimate pilsner.
Inspiration came from Saazer and Kazbek hops and the floor-malted pilsner malt from Pilsen itself. And there are three other malts, oats and a hint of apple and quince. They combine to give our pilsner a broader spectrum of taste, making it more interesting, extra
full-bodied and fresh.
BREWED WITH BLACKCURRANTS, ROSEHIPS AND SLOE
Mumme is a strong, dark and malted beer type from the late Middle Ages. Perhaps it was the beer that the brewer kept for himself? We've added a hint of Nordic berries to ours, something we believe Schiøtz would have done. Apart from the Nordic flavourings, there are no less than seven malts and four hop types in Mørk Mumme.
BREWED WITH LEMON, ELDERFLOWER AND GUAVA
A type of beer that blends two different styles is called a crossover. SCHIØTZ BELGISK IPA is a Belgian Blonde Ale with classic US IPA character. It has the spicy, aromatic humidity from a Blonde Ale with the characteristic hoppy bitterness from an India Pale Ale. And in the true Schiøtz spirit, we've added a little extra from nature's own treasure chest in the form of lemon, elderflower and guava to give the beer a spicy, exotic taste. Typical Schiøtz.
BREWED WITH ELDERFLOWER, CRANBERRY AND BOG MYRTLE
Bock is a classic, strong beer type for the dark months. Schiøtz Mørk Bock also uses some of nature's own flavourings – elderflower, cranberry and bog myrtle – to create an exciting, well-balanced beer. This is a beer with a slight taste of berries and something sweet, given contrast by the bog myrtle and a light hoppy bitterness. Its delicate berry spiciness makes Schiøtz Mørk Bock exceptionally easy to drink, but remember – this is a beer created to be enjoyed slowly.
Nature is my
Schiøtz had an almost religious belief in the miracles he observed during his studies of botany. Despite his strong, sensory relationship with nature, he was not the type to pull punches when he occasionally felt pressed to defend the things he held dear.
But Schiøtz was less impressed with the national church and authorities. He was a controversial figure for his time, and expressed his belief in the politest terms by saying: “The wood is my church – and the chirp of the swallow my hymn”. His famous quote was uttered during the same period as Darwin’s controversial ideas on the origin of species. That didn’t mean that Schiøtz denied the idea of God, he was just more interested in the progressive representatives of natural science of the day, an opinion he shared with other nature lovers.
In his delight over a particularly successful brew, his fruity baritone is believed to have been heard rolling through the brewing hall claiming: “Hops and Malt. The Lord gave us all”. He wasn’t a total atheist, then.
Along with many others, Schiøtz joined up as a volunteer to fight in the three-year war in 1848. He was something of a sharpshooter, and this is where he met J.C. Jacobsen, the brewer. They had a shared dream about beer and brewing, and we can be sure that this was the point at which Schiøtz first began to believe in the plans he so resolutely brought to fruition later.
Southern Jutland had always had a special place in his heart. This was where he met the love of his life, a certain Miss Klyver, the principal of a girls’ school in the area. When Denmark subsequently lost this territory in 1864, the affair ran into severe problems.
Schiøtz and Miss Klyver never married, but they nurtured strong feelings for each other throughout their lives. In the same way that he never showed any hesitation in brewing the very best beer, Schiøtz defied the seas and enemy-held territory to hold secret assignations with his loved one. He sailed alone in his sailboat for his rare dates with Miss Klyver in what used to be Denmark. That took courage and seamanship. Now and again, he fanned the flames of love by writing emotional love poems to the light of his life. The quality of his poetic skills is debatable, but not the pureness of heart.
Beer and botany –
Schiøtz loved nature and everything in it. He delved deep into botany, and won international respect in the field. He also wrote poetry, and some of the finest poets and prominent cultural figures in the land were his guests at one or more of the innumerable cultural events held in his elegant home. Conversation and readings of the latest poetry and prose were the order of the day. This letter from the great Hans Christian Andersen shows how contemporary poets were impressed by Schiøtz’s own artistic skills:
“Out here at Bregentved we get ‘Albani Beer’, which is probably from Odense, but is brought here from Copenhagen, from a large beer emporium in Larslaistræde, I believe. The Countess and I drink it, and I have the highest regard for this beer, that is not as strong as the Porter Miss Anna drinks, does not have the taste of spirit found in beers from Bayern and is refreshing, well-tasting and strong.”
Let the beer do the talking
We hope that this new range of beers from Schiøtz will tell the story of a very special man and his very special skills in the brewing of beer.
This is the story of how good beer is brewed when the best ingredients from nature and botany are added. The best malt and hops from all over the world are combined with carefully selected herbs and fruits. The inspiration is Danish, but we’ve used the whole world as a spice rack.
We have taken Saazer and Kazbek hops from the Czech Republic, where we also found the floor-malted barley that really gives a clearly different taste.
And there are Simcoe and Citra hops from the Yakima valley in Washington State and Oregon, plus the unique, fruity Green Bullet, Pacific Gem and Nelson Sauvin hops from New Zealand.
Hops grew wild in the late Middle Ages, and were not cultivated for brewing like those we know today. Bog myrtle, hypericum and quince were used to add a spicy flavour and to give beer its bitterness. We decided to add some of these herbs to bring interesting nuances of taste to the beer. In this way, we can tell the story of Schiøtz through the beer.
But at the end of the day, you will be the one experiencing the story – please let us know what you think. Because it doesn’t end here. If you visit our website, you can follow developments and help influence what happens next in the botanic expedition.