Vienna, City of Beer Gardens

Written by Franz Hofer for A Tempest in a Tankard

Not a cloud in the sky and the streets are starting to radiate the heat of the late afternoon. So much to see in Vienna. But I could use a cool drink right about now.IMG_4050 Perfect time to head to a beer garden.

“A beer garden?” some of my Viennese friends ask, usually with slightly raised eyebrow. In writing this series on beer gardens, I’ve come to learn that many in Vienna don’t refer to beer gardens as beer gardens. The preferred term is “Gastgarten” (guest garden), while “Biergarten” has a distinctively southern German ring to it. I’ll revisit this fascinating semantic world of Gasthäuser, Wirtshäuser, Beiseln, and Gastgärten at a later date. For now, though, it’s probably a safe bet for us English speakers to just call the drinking establishments in this series “beer gardens.”

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Stone Rocks!

I  occasionally receive beers via FedEx from Stone Brewing. As with boxes that say “Deschutes” or “Laphroaig” or “Durant Vineyards” on them, I grin like, well, a Fool when they arrive. I’ve been drinking and enjoying Stone beers ever since they first went into wider distribution and sold them for the last 18 years. These are beers I know, trust, depend on, and they have only very rarely fallen short of their own impossibly lofty standard.

And, sometimes, they beat the living hell out of even that standard.

I’m gonna get right to the heart of the matter in this post…

Stone Brewing “Ruin Ten” Triple IPA is easily, adamantly, certainly one of the five best beers I have ever tasted.


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