Founded in 2011 by three Americans living in berlin, Vagabund Brauerei has become one of the most iconic examples of Berlin’s burgeoning craft beer scene.
The early days
In the early 2000’s three Americans: Matt Walthall, David Spengler, and Tom Crozier, came to Berlin where they met and started playing together in a band. Unsurprisingly, music practice often included drinking beer. However, the selection of beer in Germany at that time was largely limited to Pilsner from three large Lager producers (then 90% of the total beer market). You would have been hard-pressed to come across India Pale Ales, let alone Goses or Stouts.
So they purchased the proper equipment and started home brewing in Matt's apartment. Their first batch was brewed in 2009 and, on the request of friends and family, they kept brewing batch after batch, all the while learning the artistic subtleties and the scientific necessities that go into crafting amazing beers. Soon enough, they realised that their nano batches were not enough to keep up with the demand that had arisen.
Starting a nano-brewery
The next step on the Vagabund journey was the foundation of a proper brewery in 2011. This was made possible by the help of almost 200 early supporters from whom they raised about €20.000 through a Crowdfunding campaign - the very first of its kind for a German craft brewery. With cash on hand, Matt, David and Tom purchased fermentation tanks, pumps, taps and started renovating a former bar for which they had secured a lease in their neighborhood of Berlin-Wedding. The doors to the Brewery and its Taproom opened in July 2013 and have since received numerous awards and been constantly listed among the best breweries and taprooms in Germany.
Since 2013, Vagabund has been brewing more than 100 styles of beer, ranging from Belgian Ales to Double IPAs, Stouts and even their very own interpretation of the classic Berliner Weiße. However, the nano-brewery still is a very labor intensive operation, producing only about 200l in a single batch, or roughly 40.000l annually, and is hardly keeping up with demand.