Meet the Brew Master

Meet the Brew Master

The star of Hofbräuhaus is the Bier, and we’re okay with that. However, to be sure that our Bier is always at its best, we have our own Head Brewer, or who we affectionately call “the Brew Master.” This occupation has been taken from the hallowed grounds of Munich, which happens to be the first Hofbräuhaus.

Whoever is in this position must dedicate their time and efforts to providing our customers with the best Bier possible. The exciting part of this position is the dedication you must have to the product and the process.

Settle in as we talk to the Head Brewer for Hofbräuhaus Pittsburgh, Shawn Setzenfand, who gives us insight on himself and the position. Then, visit us online or in-person to learn more about our Biers, menu, and some fun too!

Master of the Brew

Hofbrauhaus Pittsburgh BrewmasterFrom the buying of ingredients to how the final product tastes, the Head Brewer takes responsibility for that perfect liter.

To become the Head Brewer, Shawn earned his Brewer’s Certificate from the Siebel Institute of Technology. This course gives insight into the Science and processes of Bier making. It also prepares future brewers to implement sanitation and high standards where they work.

It is also worth mentioning that this wasn’t Shawn’s original career path. Shawn also carries a degree in business management. A professor in a biology class sparked his interest in the process of brewing…and the rest is history.

After college Shawn went on to work at a local brewery, which led to him to Hofbräuhaus Pittsburgh. It may also be a bit of destiny. Shawn’s great grandfather owned the Germania Brewing Company.

Day-to-day, Shawn is responsible for ordering the raw ingredients for each batch of Bier. He is also in charge of coordinating when to brew as well as keeping the instruments and machinery in proper working order.

We learned from him that the longest process for a Hofbräuhaus Bier is for the Doppelbock, which is the seasonal brew for February.

Shawn says, “Due to the brewer’s malt and the flavors that need to come out, it is a longer process. There are also a lot of raw ingredients to be filtered, added, and brewed. The result is a brew that is smooth, flavorful, and easy to drink.”

You may be surprised to find out that workers dedicated to the brewing process spend a great deal of their time cleaning. This is because kettles must be clean to maintain flavor, integrity, and sanitation.

The Man Behind the Brews

Shawn’s favorite menu item is the Reuben or Pittsburgh Steak Salad.

Suppose you’re looking for your next favorite Bier. In that case, Shawn recommends the Hofpen Spezial. It is available for a taste in April.

Shawn likes it because “…it is a hop-forward brew that has bright citrus notes. There is also a great grapefruit taste to it.”

When on a night out with friends, Shawn recommends taking selfies in the Biergarten. There is a beautiful view of lights, trees, and the river. Be sure to tag Hofbräuhaus in those selfies so that we can see the fun you’re having. Share your selfies with us:

  • Facebook: @hbhpittsburgh
  • Instagram: @hofbrauhaus_pittsburgh

When asked when the last time Shawn did the Chicken Dance, he said it’s been 3-4 years, but says that he does do it when his kids come in.

Prost, Shawn!

We invite you and yours to enjoy our delicious biers. Each is made with care, passion, and love for Bier. Thanks to Shawn and his hard work, we never have to worry about providing our customers with anything less.

If you would like to become a master yourself, join our Stein Master Club! As of the submission of this blog, there are limited spots available. Members of this exclusive club enjoy:

  • Free birthday draft (½ liter)
  • Stein locker
  • Lock with two keys
  • Hofbrauhaus ceramic stein (decorate it anyway you like!)
  • Exclusive bier pricing offers
  • So much more!

Thank you for joining us to raise a glass to the Master of our Brews here in Hofbräuhaus Pittsburgh, Shawn Setzenfand. Think of him and his team the next time you enjoy your favorite lager.