Thomas Lemke Brings Classic German-style Brews to Cypress
Thomas Lemke started home brewing in the late ’90s, but it would take a couple decades before he was able to turn his hobby into his profession.
“I’ve been interested in the business since I was in college,” he says. “It’s been a long time coming to be in the position to open something like this.”
The “this” he is referring to is Klaus Brewing Company, a future brewery, taproom and event space that will be opening sometime this fall. The brewery will be a mishmash of traditional German decorations and entertainment—live German music will also be on tap, at least some of the time, Thomas says—and it represents a big dream-come-true moment for him.
“It almost doesn’t seem real,” he says.
The business venture came at a point in his life when everything just seemed to line up, he says. The craft beer market was ripe, Thomas was ready for a change and he had mastered the brewing skills he had started learning 20 years ago.
“You get to a point, or at least I did, where I thought it was time for a new direction,” Thomas, who has owned and run a local renovation company since 2003, says. “I’ve learned other aspects of the business, and now I just felt like we were ready to do it.”
Now that the new brewery equipment is arriving and the brewery space is nearly finished, Thomas has been focused on perfecting the beers. The grand opening will feature a series of German-style beers he says will hit customers just right as a scorching Texas summer fades to a slightly less fiery fall.
There’s the kölsch, which Thomas says will be a traditional, light-colored German ale. It’s made using a specific yeast that was developed in the Cologne region of Germany, he says, as well as barley that’s been carefully grown for a kölsch and water that his brewery team is treating so it can be as close as possible to the true German profile.
“We’re going to stay true to style,” he says.
Then there’s the Edelweiss, a wheat beer that will come from a distinct flavor of noble hops and special Bavarian hefeweizen yeast. It’s light so people can drink it year-round, and a signature banana and clove-type flavor will give it an added complexity that will make it unforgettable.
The Munich helles-type beer, which he’s calling “One Hellis of a Lager” is a traditional light-colored beer as well, he says. It’s light on the hops and brewed in the classic Munich style, which means the brew will come with a crisp flavor that’s perfect for early autumn.
Finally, there’s the Wanderlust, an altbier brewed in the Düsseldorf style. Thomas describes it as the amber version of the kölsch for anyone who wants a German ale that’s a bit heavier.
“It’s well-balanced with little bit of a bittersweet aspect to it,” Thomas says.
[Please use the following to describe each beer in the picture from L to R]
Altbier: amber malty ale with a bittersweet finish
Hefeweizen: wheat beer with hints of banana and clove and a slightly sweet finish
Schwarz: dark lager with a light body and a crisp, slightly toasty finish
Helles: light, smooth lager witha malty dry finish