Yep, yet another post from New York. Time is scarce at the moment so I am keeping this brief. One beer this time, Brooklyn Pilsner (4.9% abv) poured from a bottle and consumed with a trio of mini cheeseburgers. The beer is good, refreshing and has a nice ‘chewy’ mouthfeel. I should have had two, but I was feeling a little pissy after the high abv beers in the George Keeley. It was also nice not to drink pinecone juice for a change. I can’t say enough about how good these Brooklyn Beers are. They must be one of the only US microbrewers who actually brew both ales and lagers?
I found this one in a dodgy off license type place near our hotel. I only picked one up to see what it was like, and I was rather surprised with this Austrian brewed beer.
A bit of history. The history of the Schwechater beer started in the year 1632. Peter Descrolier, who was valet and paymaster of archduke Matthias, founded the brewery in Schwechat. But the real success story only began in 1760, when the waiter Franz Anton Dreher moved to Vienna and leased the brewery Ober-Lanzendorf. In 1796 he bought the brewery in Schwechat, and the Schwechater beer was ready to start its triumphant advance.
The next milestone of the success story followed in 1841. Anton Dreher, the son of Franz Anton Dreher, who already collected a lot of beer brewing experiences during his trips to Munich and England, tried to produce for the first time a bottom-fermented beer, and brought it to Vienna.The Viennese people were so excited about it, that they only wanted to drink the Schwechater beer. This was the hour of birth for the nowadays popular “lager beer”. Because of the big onrush at the beer, Schwechater had to use machines for the production. Dreher was the first brewer in Austria who used a steam engine to brew his beer. This was in 1848. Nowdays the steam engine is displayed in the technical museum in Vienna.Anton Dreher senior dies in 1863 and his son Anton Dreher junior takes over the company in 1870. In the “iceless winter” 1872 100 million kg of ice had to be brought by railway from Poland to Vienna. Such experience motivated Anton Dreher to learn more about artificial cooling and production of ice. In 1877 Schwechater Beer was the first who invented and used a cool machine for artificial cellar cooling.During the first world war the production reached it’s all-time-low. The brewery workers which had to go to war, still received their salary the whole war through. During the war the production was reduced, but never shut down. Anton Dreher died as a very rich man in 1921. After his death the company was handed to his oldest son Anton Eugen Dreher (born 1871). But he died already in 1925. He was the last brewing master of the Schwechater beer, and so this was the end of the long lasting Schwechater beer dynasty. The lead of the brewery was inherited to some relatives of Anton Eugen Dreher. But the relatives were not interested in the brewery, and sold their participations to several banks in 1925. This was how the 130-dynasty of family Dreher and the Schwechater beer ended.
I think it is interesting how this brewing family is related to the Dreher family who also own a Hungarian brewery. I had one of their beers earlier in the year as well. You can read about that here.
You may remember that I had this beer way back when I was in Berlin. I have found out a lot more aboiut the beer since then and wanted to share a bit of the story.
We stopped into a cafe at around lunchtime after doing the ‘hop on, hop off’ buss tour around Vienna. They should use these terms loosly as the services were running every two and half hours and there were not enough seats left on the bus to accomodat a ‘hop on, hop off’ service. Anyhow, this cafe, whose name escapes me now is supposed to be famous for it’s apple struddle, but as my luck would have it they were all out so I went for a pint of Radeburger Pils instead (and yes, everyone else had hot chocolate). A little bit of hostory would not go astray here, as the beer is actually from the former DDR/Prussia rather than Austria.
The Radeberger brewery was born in 1872 in Radeberg, a suburb of Dresden. It was the first brewery in Germany to brew beer exclusively in the Pilsner style. By the late 1880s the brewers numbers had risen to 300,000 cases per year which was a lot for a regional brewery back then. The brewery takes pride in the fact that in 1905, Radeberger Pilsner became the favourite drink of king Friedrich August of Saxony. In 1946 the communist East German government took control of the brewery until after the fall of the Soviet Union, when Binding Brauerei purchased the company and returned its sales to West Germany. After the purchase the brewery underwent comprehensive renovations to bring their brewery up to speed with modern brewing. In 2004 the brewery was sold privately and was delisted from the stock market.
On Boxing day we ventured to the Austrian capital, Vienna by train. It was a most pleasant journey and we arrived in good time to get caught in a minor blizzard whilst trying to find our hotel. I think you know what is going to happen now? Well the wife and out-laws decided to warm up over a hot chocolate and I opted for a beer yet again. This time I took the only option available and ended up with a pint of Ottakringer Pils. I now beleive that this is a limited edition beer, as most of my google based research tends to lead me to Gold Fassl, which this beer is not.
It seems that along with Zipfer and Gösser, the other main megaswill of the Austrian beer market is Stiegl. Recently I gave my spiel on Stieglbock which went down quite nicely on a cold evening. Well the Stiegl Pils (4.9% abv) is also a cracking brew. Noticeable features are a crisp bitter finish. Again I was drunk when I had this particular beer. Ieven forgot to take a photo myself, so I have stolen one. It really was a boozy Christmas. Website
On Christmas day we had dinner in a lame pizza joint that was the only place in Salzburg that we could find that was open. They only had one beer available and although I was pissedup enough that I didn’t need it, I oblidged anyway. The beer was called Wieninger bier and it loosly falls into the pilsner category, You can read more about it here (if you can read German).
To escape the cold after the effects of the Steiglbock had run it’s course, we headed into some lame smoke filled café for dinner. It was a huge menu which consisted of Lasagna or Weiner Schnitzel – tough choice. I had the Schnitzel and a Trumer Pils to wash it down. Trumer Pils seems to be a bit of an Austrian version of mega swill. Fair enough it’s mass produced, but it still kicks the absolute pants off anything produced by Scottish and Newcastle.
As I mentioned earlier in the week I have been traveling for work. I had the fortune or misfortune of being layed up in snowy Wuppertal, Germany. For those of you who may not know much about Wuppertal it forms a triangle with Cologne and Düsseldorf in the Rhineland Westphalia region and is slightly south of Dortmund. It was once the richest city in Germany during the industrial revolution but like a lot of early industrial cities, it is now slightly lacking. It is also famous for the Schwebebahn, the worlds oldest suspension monorail which runs over the river Wupper.
We finally made it through security at the airport in our inebriated manner and found the bar. Due to the fact that BA cannot seem to operate to any form of schedule we had time to fit in another beer, this time Dinkel Acker Pils (4.9% abv) which again didn’t really measure up compared to all the fest marzens we had been quaffing all week. Still in our state we didn’t care. I ended up necking mine as we got called for boarding. Even though we were visibly impaired by alcohol, the trolley dolly’s on BA still fed us a few cans of London Pride on the flight. Bonus! Website