Vienna Lager: Ten Beers to Try in Austria’s Capital

Written by Franz Hofer for a Tempest in a Tankard

Ottakringer Brewery courtesy

What began life as a rough-and-ready list of Vienna Lagers to accompany “Vienna Lagers Past and Present” (coming soon) has morphed into something more than that. Below you’ll read about beer names that evoke colourful characters and aspects of Viennese history. You’ll also find the beginnings of a meditation on the price of craft beer in Europe. And, of course, you’ll find tasting notes aplenty. Dig in!    


Not long after Anton Dreher tapped his first Vienna Lager in 1841, it became the toast of Europe. Though it eventually faded into obscurity in its native land, the style lived on in other places, including Mexico, and was one of the styles that figured in the North American craft beer revival. But it wasn’t until earlier this decade that Vienna Lager found its way home.

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Brewing Keptinis Beer

Courtesy /

Keptinis is a little-known Lithuanian style of beer where the mash is baked in an oven. The first farmhouse brewer I ever wrote about was keptinis brewer Ramunas Čižas. A few years ago I put together a description of how to brew keptinis based on ethnographic sources. Martin Warren followed my instructions, but ended up with just black, unfermentable water. So when Simonas invited me to come to Lithuania to see keptinis being brewed, he didn’t need to ask twice.

The Jančys family lives in nearby Utena, but often visits their farm in Vikonys, in north-eastern Lithuania, where they come from. And they still brew keptinis in the old way. The brewhouse is a small brick building on the farm, where Vytautas Jančys, who owns the farm, has built a brick oven specifically so he can brew keptinis. The art of brewing keptinis is something he learned from his father and grandfather, so he’s a real farmhouse brewer. He used to also make his own malts from barley, dried on top of the oven, until about a decade ago.

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Remember the beerball? It was once the life of every party

If you remember any part of the period from the late-1970s to the mid-1990s, you may remember the beerball. (Although if you drank from a beerball, it is possible you don’t remember it).

The beerball was a hard plastic container, perfectly round, that held a little more than 5 gallons of draft beer (more than two cases of 12-ounce cans or bottles). Attach a tap, give it a few pumps, and wait for the foam to blow off. Then have a ball.

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Last Call: Anheuser-Busch Strikes Natural Light Hard Seltzer Deal with Big 12

Sounds terrible-PGA


A-B’s Natural Light Hard Seltzer and Big 12 Conference Announce Partnership

Anheuser-Busch and the Big 12 Conference announced a partnership this week to make Natural Light Seltzer the “Official Hard Seltzer of the Big 12 Conference.”

The sponsorship will include elements during games, online and social media, as well as advertising during the conference’s baseball, football, and men’s and women’s basketball championships, according to Forbes. The partnership is solely with the athletic conference, not the 10 universities within the league, the outlet noted.


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Founders Brewing Co-Founder Discusses Future Following Mahou San Miguel Deal

Following last week’s news that Spanish brewer Mahou San Miguel had agreed to acquire a controlling stake in Michigan’s Founders Brewing Company, co-founder Mike Stevens told Brewbound that his goal of building “America’s next great brewery” remains unchanged.

In fact, Stevens said Mahou’s investment brings that goal closer to reality.

Stevens, who along with co-founder Dave Engbers each retained a 5% stake in the brewery, said Founders now has the resources and knowledge base to build a “legacy brand.”

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Live At Hop And Brew School

Another year has passed and Denny’s visited one of his happy places! On this very special episode, Denny and Drew sit down and discuss what’s to be seen, heard and learned in the town that hops built. In the second half of the show, we go live to the lunch and learn podcast conducted in a soon to be filled hop warehouse. Learn more about the industry from some of the key players at Yakima Chief Hops, learn more about hops from John Palmer and hear from our drawing winner, Cassie Salinas about spending her first wedding anniversary in the hop fields!

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Beer is going to start disappearing from Utah store shelves, but the legislature is trying to water down the impact

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Salt Lake City

SALT LAKE CITY — You might want to stock up on beer before October 15.

That’s when beer distributors, grocery stores and convenience stores expect to see a noticeable decline in product from store shelves. Some shelves may be empty of six-packs until November 1, when stronger beer is introduced into bars, restaurants, grocery and convenience stores.

“You may see some of your bars, restaurants, grocery and c-stores not have your favorite. Maybe you’ll switch to a second favorite for a short time. It’s a growing pain the drinking population just has to endure for a couple of weeks,” Kate Bradshaw, the director of the Responsible Beer Choice Coalition said in an interview on “Utah Booze News: An Alcohol Policy Podcast” produced by FOX 13 and The Salt Lake Tribune.

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