Master brewer Reinhard Bayer not only knows how to brew delicious beers from hops, malt and the best Bohemian Forest water, he is also a poet. This is how he describes his latest creation: “The Doppel Bock is reminiscent of light honey and tongues of fire. The nose perceives grain and fresh straw, accompanied by a delicate hint of hops. At the first sip it appears cool and tingling, but soon afterwards it reveals itself in all its glory. It is highly fermented and yet full-bodied, with hop bitterness and malt aromas initially fighting for attention, only to finally merge together in a long aftertaste.”
The Premonstratensians have always brewed beer in Schlägl, paying attention to tradition, values and vision. This creates the “most valuable beer in Austria,” say the canons. By the way, this year the Doppelbock tapping was entirely in the hands of women: the honor fell to operations manager Elfriede Haindl, who is retiring at the end of the year after 33 years at the monastery. Just a few well-aimed blows were enough for the buck to flow. State Secretary Claudia Plakolm served as a supporter.
Video: Operations manager Elfriede Haindl and state secretary Claudia Plakolm released the star of the day from the barrel
Also read: The Christmas season is ushered in in Schlägl with the Doppelbock tapping
In the monastery brewery, Abbot Lukas Dikany, along with treasurer Markus Rubasch, economic director Wolfgang Dobretzberger and operations manager Elfriede Haindl, welcomed guests and customers of the brewery to the Doppel-Bock tapping. Abbot Emeritus Martin Felhofer welcomed, among others, State Secretary Claudia Plakolm, State Parliament President Max Hiegelsberger and former Vice Chancellor Reinhold Mitterlehner to his table. As business partners of the monastery, Peter and Markus Schröcksnadel also enjoyed the delicious Bock. State parliament members Gerti Scheiblberger and Georg Ecker also tasted some of this. Valentin Pühringer came to the beer tapping for the first time in his role as district captain – as did his predecessor Wilbirg Mitterlehner.
Strengthened with a real Zalto suckling pig, the guests enjoyed a cozy evening. Among those spotted were WKO Vice President Angelika Sery-Froschauer, Rohrbach’s district fire brigade commander Josef Bröderbauer and district rescue commander Johannes Raab. Michael Schaubmeier celebrated the bock beer premiere as WK district manager.
In addition to the entire brewery team, the competent and extremely friendly service team at Stiftskeller Schlägl deserved special praise that evening.
The new brewhouse will combine brewing history and modern technology
A difficult year is coming to an end at the Schlägl Abbey Brewery, as the Abbey’s Economic Director Wolfgang Dobretzberger reported to the guests at the traditional Doppelbock tapping. On the one hand, the price increase in raw materials was fully reflected in the past year. On the other hand, overall beer sales also fell short of expectations, which, according to Dobretzberger, is due to the promotional policy in the beer industry.
The canons want to counteract this primarily with increased visibility on the market: “In 2024, our focus will be on sales activities in gastronomy and retail. That’s why we have also strengthened our field sales force and the web shop has also been redesigned,” says the monastery’s economic director. Overall, however, people are optimistic about the future: the brewhouse, which dates back to the 1970s, is being renovated. Construction will begin in January. Instead of the current two, there will now be five smaller brewing kettles available. This increases the number of breweries and makes it more flexible when it comes to the variety of varieties, which is already considerable. In addition to the freshly tapped Doppelbock, the new non-alcoholic version has also been enriching the range this year.
Video: A tour of the cellar of the Schlägl Abbey Brewery
The new brewhouse will be built in the old grain store and therefore requires no space. The historic walls and the old roof structure will be preserved. The exhibition of historical equipment, which is now housed there, will be integrated. Visitors can experience modern brewing processes and at the same time discover the tradition and history of beer brewing in Schlägl, which has been practiced since the 16th century. “At 4.5 million euros, this is the brewery’s largest single investment since 2008,” reports Dobretzberger.
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