Bierbrand (also known as Bierschnaps[1] or Eau de vie de bière) is a liquor produced by distilling beer.[2] Bierbrand produced in the European Union and Switzerland is required to contain at least 38% alcohol by volume and retain the flavor profile of beer.[3][4] Additives such as neutral spirits or flavorings are prohibited, except for caramel color.[3][4]

It is a traditional spirit in the German state of Bavaria, where small brewers would convert excess or leftover beer, a perishable good, into a spirit with a longer shelf-life.[1][5] It can be consumed neat, either chilled or at room temperature, or is sometimes mixed into beer to make a boilermaker.[6] Bierbrand is also occasionally used as an ingredient in Bierlikör.

Bierbrand differs from whiskey in that it is not aged in oak barrels, and whiskey is made without hops.[7]


  1. ^ a b Thompson, Amber (10 May 2002). "Family distillery brews passion for bierschnaps: Beer turns into premium sipping drink". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 14 November 2021.
  2. ^ Juskalian, Russ (21 March 2013). "Linking Past and Present in Nuremberg". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 November 2021.
  3. ^ a b Regulation (EU) No 110/2008 of 15 January 2008 on the definition, description, presentation, labelling and the protection of geographical indications of spirit drinks and repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 1576/89, §13
  4. ^ a b "Verordnung des EDI über alkoholische Getränke, Anhang 8: Mindestalkoholgehalt von Spirituosen" [Ordinance of the Federal Department of Home Affairs regarding alcoholic beverages, appendix 8: Minimum Alcohol Content of Spirits]. The Federal Government of the Swiss Confederation (in German). Retrieved 14 November 2021. Article 72: Bierbrand
  5. ^ Thiel, Julia (15 November 2017). "Rhine Hall and Goose Island have made bierschnaps using one of the most famous barrel-aged beers in the world". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 14 November 2021.
  6. ^ Ebbinghaus, Uwe (26 August 2017). "Zweite Chance für das Herrengedeck?" [A Second Chance for the Boilermaker?]. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). Retrieved 14 November 2021.
  7. ^ Vecseri-Hegyes, Beata; Farkas, Gabriella; Utassy, Roland; Panyik, Ilona (2005). "Elaboration of the Technology for the Production of Bierbrand in a Pilot Plant". Journal of the Institute of Brewing. 111: 11–19. doi:10.1002/j.2050-0416.2005.tb00643.x. S2CID 97619332.