Brewers come from all walks of life, but for some, brewing is practically in their DNA.
Take Pete Kraemer, AB InBev Chief Supply Officer. An icon in the brewing industry, Pete’s a fifth generation Anheuser-Busch brewmaster, along with his twin brother Mike, whose shared love of the craft was recently featured in the documentary, Kings of Beer.
Patrick Reisch, Lead Cellerman for Goose Island in Chicago, also has a long legacy, tracing his family’s history in beer back six generations.
“Beer brought my ancestors to the United States and put my dad, me and my sister Ann all on the path we still walk today,” he says. “Beer is always part of our family gatherings and we often talk about the technical aspects of beermaking.”
Corona Global Brewmaster César Lopez found his calling at just six years-old, thanks to his father, Salvador, a pioneer in brewing technology and operations at Grupo Modelo. He brought César to a Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe celebration, where Mexican breweries open their doors to thousands of visitors who sing traditional songs and pay respects at colorful altars adorned with flowers.
“I still remember the sights, sounds and smells. It was at that moment I knew a brewery is a special place,” César says. “Now I see how our beers are ambassadors for our country all over the world. I’m proud to ensure that every sip of Corona remains true to its legacy. My father instilled this in me.”
Christophe De Clerck was also just a boy when his father took him and his twin sister to a meeting of “La Chevalerie du Fourquet des Brassseurs” honoring Belgian beer heritage. There they met a kindly, older brewer and Christophe’s life was changed forever. He’s now the Engineering Manager for AB InBev – Europe.
“Over the years you learn that to brew a consistently great beer you need know-how, expertise and passion,” he says. “It does not happen by chance or coincidence.”
Few have the rare distinction of being named after their beloved profession, but that’s the story of Michael Hoppenbrouwers, Managing Director of the Brouwerij Bosteels in Buggenhout, Belgium. His family name literally translates to “brewer of hop beers.”
“The name was given to my ancestors by Napoleon because they were among the first brewers in the Netherlands that brewed using hops,” he explains.
Surprisingly, the family tradition fell off somewhere in the early 19th century until Michael joined AB InBev in 2010. He’s an avid homebrewer, making a special brew with his brother in memory of his father and to honor the family name, and now the manager of our Bosteels brewery in Belgium.
“The quality of a beer does not end at the gates of the brewery,” he says. “It’s measured when it’s tasted and enjoyed with others.”