Well readers, we got married! And we’re on our honeymoon, traveling through Austria.
The first leg of our journey was the Alpine city of Innsbruck. We picked it mostly for the scenery (can you blame us?) but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a great beer scene. A good selection of beer seems to be available pretty much everywhere we go: cafes, restaurants, grocery stores, and even in the Christkindlmarkts. Not only is beer available almost everywhere, but it is mostly high quality and very reasonably priced.
Our first beer stop was the St. Augustiner Bierkeller (beer cellar) in the Altstadt (old city) of Innsbruck. This place was exactly what you’d expect from a Germanic country: everything covered in wood, stick-to-your-ribs type food and top notch beer. We started with an Edelstoff and a Radler. The Edelstoff was a nice pale lager similar to a Pilsner but with more citrus than grassiness in the hop character. The Radler, which we had never heard of before, turns out to be a mixture of beer (in this case a lager) and some kind of citrus (lemon or lime usually). The radler wasn’t our favorite (in fact we thought it was some sort of cider at first) but we can see how people enjoy how refreshing it is. We paired these with some Schweinbraten (pork roast) and Spaetle, turning our tiredness from a day of traveling into a fight to avoid a food coma for just a little longer.
Our second day in Innsbruck featured spectacular vistas from the Alpenzoo, the start of the Christkindlmarkt, and another hearty dinner in the Altstadt. We hung out in a heated stand at the market where we could grab a glass of Stiegl (a beer from nearby Salzburg) to go with our mini brick oven pizza. The Stiegl, poured with a brilliantly fluffy white head, was clean and refreshing (words we seem to be using a lot to describe Austrian beer). It was a delicious way to spend some of the afternoon with views of the river Inn and the mountains that surround Innsbruck. Later that night we stopped in at the Gasthaus Goldens Dachl where we ordered some Goulash and lamb stew that we paired with Zillertal Pils (from Innsbruck’s region of Tirol) and a Gosser Siftsbrau. The local Zillertal Pils has fresh hop grassiness and a clean finish. We both loved the Gosser Siftsbrau, which was brown with delicious caramel sweetness a great pairing with the Goulash.
Today we stopped in at the Theresien brau, a brewpub near the center of Innsbruck. We had the Stammbrau and the Weisse bier. We preferred the Weisse, which had brighter banana and clove flavors than we are used to in a weiss bier. We loved the scenery of the brewpub, copper and stainless steel brewing equipment was everywhere and we even got to sit next to a fermentation tank that was bubbling away.
Stay tuned for the next (and most infamous) leg of our journey: Landhotel Moorhof, also known as the beer spa!