Leading Luxembourg brewery comes to Ohio market

By Angela Hatcher, For The Miami Student

A tiny wooden table stands amid crowded shelves of imported coffee beans, beer and wine. The table is littered with bright green Bofferding promotional paraphernalia — hats, glasses and the famous beer itself. A full glass of the beer is the centerpiece of the table, golden liquid with snowy white foam.

Just beyond the table is a man in a black suit jacket and bright green tie, the trademark Bofferding color. He smiles and vigorously shakes hands with various retired Miami professors as they head in and out of the shop, leaving with plenty of the Bofferding product.

His name is Georges Lentz.

Lentz, chief executive officer of Bofferding and  Miami alumnus (’73), made an appearance at Main Street Gourmet Saturday. His visit was spurred by Bofferding becoming available in Ohio for the first time just four months ago.

Lentz visits about three to four times every year.

“With Ohio becoming a new market for Bofferding … he’s here to personally visit this new market,” said Chris Hensey, owner of Main Street Gourmet.

Bofferding, the leading brewery in Luxembourg, has become the first and only authentic Luxembourg beer available in the United States. Its journey to America began with distribution in Wisconsin two years ago.

“We are the first and only to carry the product in package in Ohio, and Steinkeller’s is the first to have it on draft,” said Hensey.

The John E. Dolibois European Center, (MUDEC), Miami’s Luxembourg campus, combined with Lentz’s close personal ties made Miami-Oxford a logical place to distribute the product.

“The benefit of bringing this [Bofferding] to Ohio is the natural fit,” said Hensey.

Besides the affiliation with Miami’s campus, Bofferding has seen an increase in student demand, particularly from those who studied at MUDEC.

With roughly 10,000 MUDEC alumni, this is the perfect time and place to bring Bofferding to its second location in the U.S., Lentz said.

Kyle Shaw, Miami junior and MUDEC alumnus, said he thinks the beer will be popular in Oxford.

“I’m definitely excited,” Shaw said. “I think it will be a huge hit with students who have studied abroad in ‘Lux,’ and hopefully that popularity will spread to their friends, as well.

Hensey said customers frequently asked if they would carry and sell the beer. Since receiving their first shipment of Bofferding two months ago, the store has sold over 30 cases.

“If you translate that into a year, it would be my top selling beer ever,” said Hensey.

Lentz stressed that Bofferding’s strength is in its production. Being a beer that has low fermentation makes all the difference, he said, packing less bitterness than your average high fermentation beer.

“It’s what we call a very drinkable beer,” said Lentz.

With Bofferding’s slow brewing process, it takes eight weeks before the final product is bottled. They use malt instead of corn or wheat along with hops, water and yeast. According to Lentz, no additives or preservatives are used in the process.

“It’s a fresh product,” Lentz said. “You know, it’s like tasting a fresh vegetable versus a canned one. You can taste that difference.”

Shaw emphasized the distinction between Bofferding and its domestic competitors.

“I really liked the beer because it had a bit of a stronger taste than a lot of the watered-down stuff we drink when we’re at school in Oxford,” Shaw said.

Besides the low fermentation and slow brewing process, another major difference between Bofferding and its competitors has to do with Lentz’s beer philosophy.

According to Lentz, beer should always be drunk from a glass, never the bottle, to get the full experience of watching the beer come to a head as it’s poured, engaging the senses. He added that the person consuming the product must understand that beer is much more than just something to drink.

“It’s a social lubricant … you’re drinking beer with friends and you share that,” Lentz said. “It’s not just a beer … it’s an experience.”

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