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International brewer: Switzerland

The beer

Sudwerk Reeds Ale
Sudwerk Brewery, Pfäffikon, Switzerland.
Est. 2011
4.4% ABV

Aroma: Light, toffee, sweet
Taste: Caramel malt flavour
Colour: Dark brown; ruby
Hops: Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial, Citra, Mosaic, Simcoe

Brand new to Wetherspoon and, therefore, its first time as part of a Wetherspoon real-ale festival, Sudwerk Reeds Ale is an old-time favourite among Sudwerk’s customers.

The amber-red beer ale style completes Sudwerk’s British/American beers perfectly. First offered under Sudwerk’s ‘Innovator’ label (with references to Nikola Tesla), and then by growing demand, this beer became the ‘local one, referring to the Reeds Festival’. This is one of the largest reggae festivals in Switzerland, held at the picturesque lake of Pfäffikon, itself surrounded by many reed beds – hence the name.

Aside from the music bands, it is the beer (and particularly Reeds Ale) which takes centre stage during this three-day music happening.

Unfortunately Martin Halter encountered some last minute travel problems and so was unable to make it across to brew. Fortunately, the excellent brewing team at Adnams were able to brew this beer with his remote assistance, so our customers still have the chance to sample it.
It has a predominant caramel-malt flavour, delivering some sweetness, balanced by subtle hop notes,
resulting in a easy-drinking character.

The brewery
Sudwerk was founded in 2010 by an American-Swiss. In just the first year of brewing (and at a time of ‘lagers only’), two of its craft beers were already being distributed via a large Swiss retailer.

The brewery was among the first 200 to be registered (now 1,000) during the beginning of this recent craft beer frenzy. At the centre is British wooden-covered equipment, with an open mash tun and boiling pan, as well as a half-open flat fermentation tank.
Almost all of Sudwerk’s malt comes from the renowned Warminster Maltings UK. The brewery uses Maris Otter malt in almost all of its recipes. These days, through collaborations with locally grown barley and hops, Sudwerk supports the trend for regional products.

Meet the brewer
For the past 10 years, Martin Halter has been the face at Sudwerk, looking after everything until the beer is with the customer. He’d earlier left the insurance industry, with no career plans in mind. After his first taste of Swiss real ale and a bicycle ride to Sudwerk Brewery, craft beer had him hooked. The founder of Sudwerk introduced him to the craftmanship of brewing beer and taught him about all of its essentials. The beauty of real ale is the ‘story’ behind each brew and being able to taste its ‘roots’.