MUMME

AKA:
Broyhan-Bier, Breyhan-Bier, Keutebier

Pronunciation guide for English-speakers:
"Mumm-eh" ... Pronounce the "u" as in "rude" not as in "mom"

Definition:
Mumme or Broyhan beer, so-named after Cord Broyhan, a native Hanoverian brewmaster, is a well-hopped, light brown, medieval ale, made from about one-third wheat and two-thirds barley. Also known as Keutbier, it became, for a couple of centuries, the most widely distributed style in north Germany. In the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries Hamburg emerged as a major international brewing center, shipping its beers to wherever sailing ships would call. The brew industry employed almost half of Hamburg's wage-earning population, and it was in one of Hamburg's 531 breweries that Cord Broyhan learned the secrets of beer-making. When he returned to Hanover, in 1526, he became a very successful bewery entrepreneur. Soon others in Hanover followed Cord's lead and opened up competing breweries. In 1609, the city council of Hanover began to regulate the quality and brew techniques of the local Mumme beer, limiting the number of brewer burghers to 317, combining all of them into one guild, and incorporating the guild as a company. The Guild brewery still exists today and is the oldest enterprise in Hannover. It is now part of the Belgian InBev brewing concern.

Though no longer brewed today, Mumme's historical significance is its relationship to the other northern German beer styles. As an ale, it is a distant relative of the modern Altbier, and has influenced the flavor and brewing techniques of such beer styles as Berliner Weisse, Leipziger Gose and Belgian Wit/bière blanche.

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