Well, I am not such a girl who is just visiting someone she doesn’t know straight in his house and spend a night partying with him and his friends. But with Johann, from Nork, it was different.
Nork is a brand who’s mission is to bring „Korn“ (grain brandy) back to popularity, which was once a high quality schnapps but somehow got a bad reputation of being cheap and of a low quality. It’s a typical German distilled beverage made of grain and must at least contain an alcohol level of 32% and was already produced in the 15th century. The „purity law“ says that Korn must be of a certain quality, made of German grain and distilled in Germany only.
The distilling process is similar to the one of whisky, where the grain is usually grounded and boiled with hot water to process it into mash. That will be mixed with sugar and yeast (simply put) so that the fermentation begins. After a certain time that modified mash is used as a base for the distillation to catch the spirit. That will be done twice and then put into right balance with water to achieve a certain level of alcohol. Some of them are stored in barrels to generate different tastes and aromas.
Nork tries to achieve a very mild sort of Korn which is easier for the people to adopt. They are only using wheat for their brandy. By that they are breaking through old habits and stereotypes. And I have to confess – it worked! When I tried their Korn for the first time I was absolutely surprised by the soft taste. It wasn’t burning or tasting aggressive at all! Through the evening I tried several drinks made with the Nork Korn and I loved all of them. They also invented a liquor line based on their Korn for example added with citrus and ginger (also tasty). They became quite famous through the last two years and gained a lot of followers who changed their mind about korn.
So why did I end up having a party with total strangers just by meeting Johann from Nork? Well, the connection of that is quite simple. When I meet Hinrich from „Ein Stück Land“ two weeks ago he told me about Nork and that they are also working together. He just mentioned that they are easy going and fun people and that I should meet them. That’s why I messaged Nork and asked for a chat and a tasting. Johann, who is one of four team members of Nork, simply invited me to meet in the late afternoon to have a chat about their business and that we might visit the „Breminale“ (which is a local festival) afterwards with his friends.
Said – done.
I felt a bit awkward when I arrived at his building of meeting a total stranger to drink some alcohol and go out with his friends. At some point I am become quite shy and that made me rethink the plans twice before I rang the bell. But I finally rang it. A friendly looking guy opened the door and right after a few minutes every awkwardness I felt before was gone. After a rather interesting chat about their company the following evening was colored by a delicious dinner, lovely friends, good music and good laughs. We spent the night until the birds were chirping in the early morning hours, I was talking to so many adorable friends, was „baptized“ at a specific bar (which is a Bremen thing), ate a „rollo“ (kind of a Dürüm, also a Bremen thing) and danced in a electro club located on an old boat.
So many (many) hours later I am so glad that I rang that bell and I meet Johann and his friends.
It actually made me sad leaving! I didn’t know them very well but I was so impressed by their warm welcome and friendliness that it directly hit my heart. To be fair – it wasn’t Johann who was the total stranger but me! – a total stranger in a group of people who were so willingly welcoming me… those encounters are so touching and also transforming! It proofs how many great people are out there and that you just have to open yourself to see them!
When I started my engine to move on I couldn’t help but feel sad and happy at the same time. I was sad that I had to leave again and that my current lifestyle requires to say „goodbye“ a lot. But I was also happy that my current lifestyle brought me to these amazing persons I would otherwise have never meet.
Thank you all, especially Johann, for the time with you all. I enjoyed it a lot.