I ended up going to meet with Johannes from Brew Age at 4:30pm on the Tuesday before leaving to Poland. After Brew age Stipe and I was going to meet up with Jason and Wolfgang from Beaver Brewing Company. I didn't know this until I met Johannes, but apparently he is the go to guy for craft beer in Vienna.
We got to talking to him and I was very impressed with his knowledge about beer and everything revloving around the beer industry. He definitely knew more about it then I had. He started brewing when he was roughly 18 years old and has now been brewing for over 10 years, homebrewing and pro brewing.
He actually was the one to even set up Beaver Brewing's brew system for them. I tried a honey bock, a hoppy lager, and a pale ale from there and they were ALL very good. I was very impressed. He ended up waving the 6 beers my Croatian from, Stipe, and I had drank in the hour and a half we were there.
When you walk in it looks like an office but they had merchandise, beer bottles for sale, and other memorabilia. Very small, but quaint, place. Johannes is apparently looking for a place in Vienna to open his own production facility because right now they brew their beer at a production facility outside of Salzburg, Austria.
We thanked Johannes for the beers and insight to the craft beer culture in Vienna and Stipe and I started to walk the two miles to Beaver Brewing Company. In those two miles Stipe and I learned about eachothers lives. He was my age and we had very similair views on life so we bonded pretty well in the single evening we had together.
We arrive at Beaver Brewing at 7pm to meet Jason, the 35 y.o. assistant brewer from Pennsylvania who had been living in Vienna for the past 8 years.
Jason lines Stipe and I up with 6 sample glasses each of all they beers they had on tap. 3 of which were contract brewed by another brewery due to lack of fermentors. He then introduces to to Wolfgang, the head brewer, and we talk and learn about eachothers lives and brewing techniques.
They lined us up with the remaining 3 beers on tap that we hadn't tried before heading downstairs to the fermentation room. My favorite of the beers I tried there was the amber ale that they brewed there on site.
They showed us their little 2.5bbl mash tun/kettle and lauter tun which had hard lines running downstairs to their fermentation room.
We head downstairs and see that they are working with open fermentors and having to make due with what they have, just as I had to do back when I was running my old brewery. We stay down there for 1.5 hours drinking beers from the fermentors and shooting the shit.
It was about time for us to go. Jason wanted to meet for a beer at one more place but we got there and it was closed so Stipe and I decided to make the trek back home to pass out as I had to be up the next morning at 6am to catch a bus to Krakow, Poland at 8am.
I had an amazing time getting to know Johannes, Jason, Wolfgang, and Andreas, some of the best brewers in Austria over the span of two days. Vienna quickly became one of my favorite cities up to this point for that reason. It just goes to show you how much the people you meet along your journey really make or break the experience. In this case, they all helped make this one of the best weeks in my life!
Until the next beer adventure my friends!