After the relaxing in the beer bath at Landhotel Moorhof we headed for the museum-packed city of Vienna.
The city’s local brewery Ottakringer produces the standard range of Austrian styles (Pils or Helles, Dunkel, Bock and Weisse) that are available almost everywhere in the city. The Helles, a pale yellow lager, clean and crisp, was great with the sausages and spaetzle at the Christmas markets, especially kasekrainer (a pork sausage filled with cheese).
After two weeks of traditional Austrian/German beer styles we sought out 1516 Brewing Company which was advertised as an American Style brewpub in our guide book.
Their beer list did have some variety but was missing some of their brews, including their harvest ale made with fresh hops and an American Style IPA. Their Christmas beer was an ale brewed with coriander and cardamon. The spice was nice but it became a bit sticky as it warmed. We were impressed by the oatmeal stout which had the velvety mouthfeel and roasted flavors we usually love but also an extra bit of hop bitterness. The hops were a welcome surprise and made the stout especially interesting to drink. We paired them up with a goose burger and frittaten soup (beef broth with slices of thin pancakes).
1516 also served Victory Hop Devil, the only American craft beer we came across in Austria. Compared to Austrian beers the Hop Devil was very bitter and floral. We had recently had Hop Devil in the States, and it was clear that the beer had lost a lot of its hop character and brightness. The experience made us appreciate even more the impact that freshness can have on beers.
After almost two weeks during which the darkest beers we drank were dunkels, it was refreshing (pun intended) to enjoy a stout.