Hofmeister, new look bottle

The Hofmeister Brewing Company has confirmed it is to bring back Hofmeister as a Bavarian craft brew 13 years after it was axed by Scottish & Newcastle, as revealed by The Grocer last week.

The revived Hofmeister brew - a contender in The Grocer’s Bring Back a Brand campaign - will initially be available to the on-trade from November as a slow-brewed, 5% abv Bavarian Helles lager. Launched in 330ml bottle and 50l keg format, it is made with three ‘authentic’ ingredients to comply with the 500-year-old German Beer Purity Law - pure mineral water, locally grown barley and a mix of hops from the Hallertau region.

Pitched as a ‘refreshing, balanced and easy drinking lager’, it is described as “rich in flavour and with lower carbonation”.

The independently-owned Hofmeister business, engineered by a team of UK entrepreneurs, said it believed the time was now right to bring the taste of ‘genuine Bavarian Helles lager’ to the UK.

Hofmeister brand

George the bear was killed off in 2003

“Now more than ever, we are experimenting and enjoying craft beer. With the craft beer scene in the UK continuing its explosive growth and as an iconic brand, it feels right to bring back Hofmeister as an authentic Helles lager which appeals to our more sophisticated palates,” said CEO Spencer Chambers.

Hofmeister was killed off in 2003, having suffered along with a raft of older beer and lager brands after an explosion of newer brands such as Stella Artois.

Its demise marked the end of an era in British advertising as its mascot, George the Hofmeister bear, was also put to rest along with the slogan ‘For great lager, follow the bear’.

“As one of the most loved TV ads of the 80s, people remember George the bear with great affection,” said chairman Andrew Marsden. “However, times have moved on and we are bringing back a more grown-up brand which resonates with modern craft beer drinkers while still retaining the spirit of George.”