"Certain basic speed in pouring the Altbier".

Old town & brewery culture

Fortuna 95 and the brewery culture

Lockdowns have hit Düsseldorf's breweries and pubs hard. Second-division soccer team Fortuna Düsseldorf, together with representatives of the restaurant and pub scene, came up with the idea of the "Thekentaler". Each blue "Köbestrikot" comes with a thaler worth five euros. This can be redeemed at Düsseldorf restaurants and pubs. The gastronome has the opportunity to hand in the counter talers to Fortuna and thus share in the proceeds of the jersey sales. Christian Koke, Fortuna's marketing director, explains what Altbier, home breweries and Köbes mean to Düsseldorf.

Christian Koke, how important is brewery culture for Düsseldorf?
Very important! Brewery culture is closely linked to the Rhineland and Düsseldorf and it's impossible to imagine life without it. Düsseldorf doesn't have the "longest bar in the world" for nothing.

And how much is it missing in these pandemic times?
I think I speak from the soul of many when I say: it is sorely missed. And I'm not just saying that because of the delicious drinks and food, but also because the breweries are feel-good places where you can talk about God and the world with your family and friends in convivial rounds.

How do you explain to a non-Düsseldorfer what the Köbes stands for in Düsseldorf?
One or two non-Düsseldorf residents would probably call the Köbes a "waiter. But he doesn't like to hear that at all. He (or she) is the good soul of the brewery, but also always has a rude or snappy saying on his lips.

What qualities are in the job profile of every Köbes?
A Köbes wears his heart on his sleeve - just like the Rhinelander: open, direct and cordial! In addition, he brings a certain basic speed when serving the Altbier.

Your tips on how best to get along with a Köbes!
important: You should not take everything seriously what the Köbes says to you. If you take this to heart and then also give one or the other appropriate answer yourself, it can also be an unforgettable evening.

What should you never do?
I hope I don't have to emphasize that it's better not to order Kölsch in Düsseldorf's breweries. In addition, it is also better to do without the Radler. And if you don't want to drink any more, you should remember that the Köbes only stops refilling your glass when the beer cap is on it.

The best sayings you've heard from a Köbes?
At my table, someone once ordered a shandy. Then you can sometimes hear that this is not a cocktail bar after all. Also very nice: When a friend of mine was anti-alcoholic and wanted a water, he was told that he could also have soap and a towel.

Your perfect brewpub visit?
My perfect brewery day is a Saturday - in the best case, of course, after a Fortuna victory. I usually order one of the classics: Rhenish sauerbraten with potato dumplings and red cabbage or a quick Röggelchen with ground pork!  

What does a perfectly tapped Altbier look like?
A perfect Altbier has a thick (but not too thick) white cap, which ideally still protrudes slightly over the rim of the glass. And it should be cold, of course!

And - how much do you tip?
Of course, you're welcome to leave a decent tip. Ten percent is certainly appropriate - as in other catering establishments. If you can, you might even tip a little more in the current times. And: Of course one should make a cover. After all, the Köbes doesn't want to keep on collecting again and again, but all at once at the end.

Are all Köbesse the same, whether in the Füchschen, Schlüssel, Schumacher or Uerige?
No, every Köbes is unique and has a different story to tell!

Let's hear it from your mouth: How do the various Altbiers differ in taste?
Each Altbier has its own special note and is unique in its own way. That's what makes Altbier and its home breweries in Düsseldorf so special. In my circle of friends, everyone has their favorite.

And: When is the time ripe for female Köbesse?
time has long been ripe for female Köbesse. In the meantime - and this was not always the case - there are already a few of them.

Do you actually go to the home brewery before or after Fortuna's home game?
Depending on the kickoff time and the weather, you go to a home brewery before AND after a home game. Düsseldorf's old town thrives on the fact that so many great home breweries are located close together and you can enjoy the endearing atmosphere and a delicious Alt in many different places. It's up to each visitor to the Altstadt to decide where to go.

You gave up the red and white club colors especially for the jersey campaign. For non-Düsseldorf residents: Why is the Köbestrikot blue?
Quite simply, the Köbe's shirt color is traditionally blue.

Christian Koke

Marketing Director Fortuna Düsseldorf

You can buy the jersey in the webshop of Fortuna 95.

Photos: Fortuna 95

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