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5 Small U.S. Brewers Run by Foreign Companies

Trumer Pils
Berkeley, Calif.
Owned by: The Gambrinus Co., San Antonio, Texas, and Privatbrauerei Josef Sigl in Obertrum, Austria

There's no way you can call an Austrian regional pilsner style with nearly 600 years of history behind it "American," but it's just as difficult to call a beer brewed in the Bay Area with water from the Sierra Nevadas an "import."

It's an international effort that's just a great little beer story. Austrian brewery owner Josef Sigl VII teamed up with Gambrinu's Carlos Alvarez to brew this Obertrum-born pilsner -- called Trumer after its birthplace -- in Berkeley using Trumer hops, yeast and malt. Since the water in the high Sierras did a great job of impersonating the soft water of the Salzburg alps, brewmaster Lars Larson was able to create a nearly spot-on match for the genuine article.

The California version of Trumer Pils picked up its first medal at the Great American Beer Festival in 2005, with more hardware coming from the World Beer Cup, European Beer Star Awards and Australian International Beer Awards. Sigl himself dropped into Berkeley himself in 2006 just to see how well everything was going.

Trumer Pills has since expanded its distribution along the West Coast and into beer hubs including Denver and Chicago. It's not an "American" beer in the typical sense, but the Americans who helped bring it here and produce it still deserve a nod for doing their Austrian counterparts proud.

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