A long time friend of mine is finally getting some we deserved recognition as his amazing accomplishments are being echoed by none other than Charlie Papizan, who is “Mr. Homebrew” to much of the English-speaking world.
Charlie has regularly taken note of Michael Plank’s accomplishments, as evidenced by his success in the World Beer Cup in five straight appearances: HISTORY, 2010 review w/visit to Laaber & video, 2012 update.
We’ve reviewed a few of his beers HERE and HERE. We’ve also cited him as an example of German craft brewers, who are often overshadowed by “macro-brewed” German imports known to much of the U.S., such as corporate owned Hacker Pschorr, Beck’s, Lowenbrau, etc. As in this country, the little guys are making the best and most flavorful beers.
Michael is a great story. As mentioned in some of the links above, he’s the 16th generation patriarch of his family owned brewery, located in a small town, Laaber, just west of Regensberg, which lies just north of Munich in Bavaria, Germany. His family business has been good, as they have numerous land holdings in the town in addition to the brewery.
Micheal took over the brewery in his early 20’s after his father’s unfortunate passed away at a young age. His mother still runs the Gasthof (restaurant) and he operates the brewery, first class in every way. In his near two decades of ownership, the brewery has improved, modernized and set about exporting throughout the world. His beers are now available in the United States, Africa and Japan. In lieu of advertising, Michael’s embarked on a word-of-mouth campaign led by entering beer competitions. He’s been named World Beer Cup “World Champion Small Brewer” in 2006 & 2012 – a pretty amazing feat.
Of course, this is no more amazing than a family brewery surviving 16 generations – with his young sons, Micheal & Max (seen in the above photo a few years ago), in line to make it 17. I once asked him how the family ensured a son with each and every generation. He answered, “One wears his brewer boots…” Those of you who brew will understand…
If you have a chance, seek out his beers. His Hefeweizen is very good and his Weizenbock and Dunkelweizenbock are both spectacular.