Charlotte’s Olde Mecklenburg Brewery has a rich and lengthy history with Germany. OMB founder John Marrino lived there for four years, where he fell in love with the beer styles and culture that served as his eventual brewery’s inspiration.
The German connection wrote another chapter late last year, as Marrino journeyed to Nuremberg to collect an impressive honor: Mecktoberfest, OMB’s celebrated fall seasonal, won a Gold medal in the European Beer Star Competition.
At the month’s end, he’ll once again return to Germany to showcase his brewery’s lineup, and he won’t be traveling alone.
A delegation of more than 20 people from the Charlotte area are making their way to Hannover Messe, the world’s largest industrial trade fair. Hosted annually in Germany, event organizers are preparing for this year’s expected 200,000+ visitors and 6,500+ exhibitors. The fair itself runs April 25-29.
Ronnie Bryant, president of the Charlotte Regional Partnership, points out the trip “will give us an opportunity to really showcase the Charlotte region in front of a very important global audience.”
President Barack Obama, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx (former Charlotte mayor), and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker are all also traveling in an effort to personally appeal to foreign businesses considering American expansion. For the first time in the event’s nearly 70 years, the United States was selected as a partner country. Fittingly, the delegation of American exhibitors will be the largest yet fielded.
The record American presence isn’t the only impressive number making the transatlantic trip. OMB loaded up some 13,440 bottles of its beer onto eight pallets and into a refrigerated container, where it’s due to be featured at the opening ceremony and poured at other U.S.-related events.
“It’s the perfect fit,” Marrino says concerning the arrangement of providing attendees with his American-made German-style beer. “They know the styles. We hope to show the beer over here is just as good as the beer there.”
Kuehne + Nagel, a German-based global logistics provider with a Charlotte office, facilitated the beer’s safe arrival in Germany. Hans Hilgenstock, director of route development, conveyed his company’s pleasure to provide logistical support of shipping bottles of Copper, Dunkel, and Fruh Bock across the Atlantic, “and hopefully also into the hands of President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the fair.”
John Marrino is ready for his brewery’s high-profile role in the trade show. “If we can help in recruiting more quality jobs to the Charlotte region, we’re happy to do so in any way we can.”
Personally, I’m looking forward to seeing pictures of President Obama and Chancellor Merkel enjoying a Charlotte-made altbier. Safe travels to the dozens of area travelers, and Prost!