The World's Oldest Brewery's Secret To Success Is No Surprise

Who doesn't love beer? From a heady stout to a crisp IPA to a refreshing lager, this bubbly beverage is the perfect complement to so many foods. Some of the food-and-beer pairings we enjoy include a porter alongside smoked meat, a pale ale alongside a burger, and an IPA to wash down spicy Indian dishes such as curry (via Brewers Association).

Craft beer might be all the rage right now — the number of craft beer breweries in the United States reached an all-time high of 8,764 last year, according to Statista — but as it turns out, the enjoyment of beer in general is a timeless trend. Among the oldest fermented beverages produced by mankind, some of the earliest evidence of beer brewing includes 13,000-year-old samples found in Israel in 2018 (via Times of Israel).

Humans have casually been sipping this beverage made from fermented grains for many an eon, but in terms of brick-and-mortar businesses, the award for the oldest known brewery goes to the Weihenstephan Brewery in Bavaria, which opened its doors in 1040 (via Business Insider). So, what's the secret to continuously operating a successful business for more than 980 years? Read on to find out.

The proof is in the pudding

According to its official website, the brewery at Weihenstephan Monastery in Bavaria actually traces its lineage all the way back to A.D. 768, when a written document makes reference to the hops — used in brewing beer — grown at the monastery. But it wasn't until 1040 when the monastery, run and inhabited by the Benedictine order of monks, got a license from the city of Freising to legally sell beer (via Weihenstephaner). Since that time, the brewery has operated continuously, and now exports its hefeweizen wheat beer to around 40 countries worldwide (via Total Beverage Solution).

So what's the secret to staying in business for, well, a millennium? According to Business Insider, it's making — and marketing — a darn good product. Simply put, Weihenstephan's hefeweizen is delicious. The beer consistently hits a 98% ranking on Beer Advocate, where Weihenstephan enthusiasts remark upon the beer's "extensive fruit and grain flavors" and "thick and creamy" mouthfeel.

"The Weihenstephan brand and brewery have the same, if not better, credentials as the best U.S. craft brewery and have been brewing beer for centuries longer," said Dave Pardus, CEO of Total Beverage Solution, the beer's exclusive U.S. importer since 2006, at a conference in 2014.

And now we're off to our local beer retailer to find a six-pack — or two.