Sometimes finding a good title is the hardest thing of writing. I would like to say that a rather historical thing happened some days ago which will hugely impact beer as we know it, and its future. As it is, Europe’s best beer shop officially opened Thursday 19 November 2015 – there you have it.
Beerlovers is the name of the store and that, well, covers the concept nicely. Soon it will incorporate a web shop too; it is also the name of the craft department of leading Austrian wholesale and distribution company Rudolf Ammersin GmbH. And what is so special about it, besides boasting around 1,000 beers in stock? For me, the most essential and revolutionary part of it is the walk-in fridge where the most aroma-vulnerable beers are being kept. It measures a good 24 square meters and holds IPA’s, hoppy pale ales, Keller- and Zwickl beer, craft pilsener and lager as well as some wheat beers. An additional refrigerated shelve offers beer kept in mint condition in order to bring the best quality to consumer.
That consumer is in for a treat anyway as Beerlovers not only offer bottled and canned beer in top quality, but also four tap lines and a growler filling station. The lines will offer new beers at an almost daily pace. And there’s still more: go down the stairs at you’ll find a tasting room seating twelve, equipped with a kitchenette, beamer and fridges. Tastings, presentations, master classes, food pairings – all is possible here and it may even become the second location for Austria’s famed Beer Sommelier courses! To top even this off, late March 2016 will see the backroom boasting a 2,5 hectoliter nano brewery whereby Beer Heaven is almost complete. You see now why you should go to Vienna?
I am convinced this is another indication of the start of the second wave of the beer revolution, one that will significantly impact our view on, and use of, beer. The first wave was about diversity in flavor and style, dominated largely by small, independent and relatively new breweries. The second wave will be about overall quality, not just on the production side (infections and bad brewing will be minimized) but mainly on the ‘handling’ side. Cold storage, refrigerated distribution, increase (and ultimately dominance) of using cans as packaging, awareness of dark storage and shorter ‘best before dates’: the overall quality of the beer we drink is about to improve tremendously.
We’ve seen signs in State Monopoly stores in Scandinavia, we’ve seen Marqt launch a cold beer shelve – but the overall revolutionary future of beer in Europe is nowhere more visible and tangible then in Vienna, Austria, 35 Gumpfendorfer Strasse. Go there and see!