The Tale of
Frederick Hekkelberg, the most influential Bavarian philosopher of the first half of the 20th century, was born in a woodcutter’s hut belonging to the hamlet of Maxhütte in the deep fir tree forest, the first and only son of the woodcutter Ahren Hekkelberg.
His beautiful mother died in childbirth and he was raised by his taciturn father. Little Frederick, however, was as talkative enough for two, chattering constantly when he accompanied his father to cut wood. He did not learn a craft from his father, but all the more instructive were the visits to the inn at the edge of the forest, where the joyful guests took turns entertaining the little boy.
This routine of stopping at the Forsthaus Maxhütte inn after a hard day’s work gave Frederick’s father a well-deserved rest and Frederick himself – an unusual education. He was practically brought up by the innkeeper’s wife, Inga, who had no children of her own and lavished all her love on little Frederick. He became a part of the innkeeper’s family and quickly learned to appreciate beer and cheerful company.
After twenty years of studying philosophy and theology in faraway cities, he had to return to the forests of his childhood upon the death of his foster father Johannes, the husband of Inga, whose final wish was for Frederick to take over Forsthaus Maxhütte.
Apart from his childhood memories, Frederick did not have a great grip on the hospitality business, but he was a well-trained and experienced guest. A substantial part of his university years was spent in pubs and inns and he gathered intimate knowledge of a number of beer-styles. He refused to drink anything other than Weissbier for breakfast. Forenoon was the time for light Helles that goes so well with the late morning Weisswurst. For lunch – yes, he liked generous and lavish lunches – he drank quite a few Pils. When he was in the mood for something tasty after an afternoon nap, only lighter or sometimes heavier brown ales came into question.
But when Frederick got into friendly company in the early evening and the conversations turned towards the mundane or the eternal, he drank only Czech Pilsner with an original wort of 10 degrees. Even after five mugs of this nobly flavored silky drink he did not get tired, on the contrary, it was as if the beer had teased his mind, inspiring his thoughts to more intense bustle.
When the last drops of old Johannes’ local beer ran out from the casks of Forsthaus Maxhütte, Frederick called a wagon and rode over across the border to Bohemia to visit a dear friend with a brewery. The brewer always had in store a Pils with an original gravity of 10 degrees, brewed with a sure hand and a pure recipe, and they agreed that he would deliver five barrels a week to the Maxhütte.
Frederick – more of a guest than an innkeeper – had the desire to recreate the inspiring atmosphere and the philosophical, intoxicating conversations from his university years in his own pub.
Czech beer was very successful in his circle of friends and played a large role in the formation of a new philosophical school of thought around Frederick.
His inn and the freely flowing beer attracted countless new disciples who, over the next decades, recorded and debated all Frederick’s thoughts and insights while happily sipping Hekkelberg Beers.