A true Hong Kong legend, master brewer Ulrich “Ulli” Altbauer of Young Master Ales recently died, owing to an unknown ailment. Hailing from Freilassing in southern Bavaria, Ulli completed his brewing studies at the renowned Doemens Academy in Munich. He arrived on the Asian beer scene a couple of decades ago and spearheaded the launch of numerous brewing ventures, most recently at Young Master. Ulli’s life was dedicated to the noble profession of brewing and his work was enjoyed all over the world. Prost Braumeister!
“Ulli was a legend in the Asian brewing scene and was sadly taken away from us way too soon. Since he moved to Hong Kong a couple of decades ago, he has made enduring contributions to the brewing scene and left a legacy. Not only did the team at Young Master learn the intricacies of brewing from him, we also learned to appreciate the art of achieving harmony of flavours in our beer. He was generous with his knowledge and offered his expertise to others starting out in the industry. Ulli was a dear friend and will be sorely missed.” —Rohit Dugar, founder, Young Master Ales
As part of the celebration of Ulli’s life, Young Master has brewed a special beer in his honour. Released on September 22, Herr Altbauer (Ulli’s Weizenbock) is a beer style he always wanted to make as a one-off. It’s a traditional weizenbock with a kick, brewed to the German beer purity law reinheitsgebot and, as he would say, with nothing “funny” in it. Profits from this beer will be donated to his family.
“Ulli was the first brewmaster I ever met. He gave me these scary and warming feelings at the same time – scary because he knew beer better than anyone else in Hong Kong and he was truly the master in the brewhouse. I remember seeing Rohit getting yelled at for standing too close to the wort line during casting-out when I first visited Young Master. But warming, because every batch of his beer I’ve drank gave me confidence that Hong Kong’s brewing scene is heading towards a very bright future. Thanks for bringing us all the great beers, Ulli!” —Chris Wong, founder, HK Brewcraft
Ulli is survived by his wife Jove and two young daughters.