Professor Reinhold Schildbach passed away on 14 October 2019 in Berlin at the age of 86. He was known for decades as one of the world's leading experts in brewing barley and hops, and was the founder of VLB’s International Brewing Barley Seminar.
Reinhold Schildbach was born on 10 August 1933 in Dermbach/Rhön in Thuringia, Germany. After training as a farmer, he began a degree in agricultural science and graduated from the University of Giessen in 1963. He also received his doctorate there in 1966. In 1969, his professional career led him to Berlin, where he succeeded Professor Karl Göpp and took over as Head of the Raw Materials department at VLB. In 1971, Schildbach was appointed Senior Engineer at the TU Berlin, where he took over the Chair of Agricultural and Crop Engineering. He started the first International Brewing Barley Seminar in the same year.
In 1972, Schildbach qualified as a lecturer on the subject of “Investigations on the causes of the differences in the protein content of spring barley and the consequences for beer production” and was appointed as a professor of Vegetable Raw Materials in Food and Beverage Technology by the TU Berlin. In this role, he gave lectures on brewing raw materials for all those studying brewing at the TU Berlin until 1998.
While Schildbach was initially focused on brewing grains, he expanded his field of work to hops in the 1970s. He earned a reputation as one of the world’s leading experts in the assessment of barley varieties for use in beer production over the course of his career. He relied on cutting-edge technologies such as gel electrophoresis for sorting differentiation or using scanning electron microscopes to study the internal structures of grains and malt kernels. His numerous publications and research projects meant he regularly traveled around the world to answer questions relating to barley cultivation and malt production. Consequently, he was made Chairman of the Barley Committee of the European Brewery Convention (EBC) in 1980.
Schildbach retired at the beginning of 1999 at the age of 65, and handed over the management of his research institute to Professor Frank Rath.
In 2013, Schildbach collected his extensive expertise on paper and published the book “Getreide und Braugetreide – weltweit” (Grains and Brewing Grains Around the World).
In Reinhold Schildbach, the VLB loses a friend, scientist, and supporter who shaped the development of the institute over more than three decades. His name will not be forgotten at the VLB.
Prof. Dr. Reinhold Schildbach
(10.8.1933 - 14.10.2019)