But enough of me. Let's talk about you. Or at least someone other than me. Like Anton Dreher.Or Austria. I realise that's a country, not a person, but it isn't me. I'm pretty certain I haven't been transformed magically into a central European country. If I had, I'd never fit on the tram. And I took one of those this morning.
I'd better get on to the quote before I drivel on too long. Here goes:
"The Austrian beers like all the light beers of Germany are brewed in accordance with the Bavarian system, and are generally a very superior class of beverage. They are of a pale amber colour, exceedingly bright and sparkling, and of a full pleasant flavour, entirely free from acidity, remarkably light drinking, are invariably in fine condition, owing to their being kept constantly iced when the weather is in the least degree warm, and always carry a rich creamy head. The marked difference between the Austrian and lighter German beers and those of England arises principally from the brewing, still the after treatment and certain exigencies of climate contribute materially to the contrast. Austrian beer is not nearly so strong as English beer, yet from the quantity of unfermented extract which it contains, it drinks fuller so to speak in proportion to its strength and is infinitely more refreshing. In Vienna everybody drinks beer, which even figures regularly at the Imperial dinner table, and owing to its exceeding lightness quadruple the quantity can be consumed as could be partaken of in England without the risk of getting intoxicated.
The great speciality in fact of the Austrian and lighter German beers is their producing neither intoxication nor drowsiness, and which is due principally to the small quantity of alcohol they contain. Still there is another important reason which appears never to have been taken in consideration, namely, the purity of the alcohol and its freedom from aldehyde and fusil oil. The Bavarian system of under fermentation, which is in general use in the breweries of Austria, prevents the formation of aldehyde and ensures the entire elimination of the gluten of the malt, which is the great oxydising agent, besides lessening the liability to produce fusil oil. The Vienna beers show upon analysis from 7 to 9 per cent, of proof spirit combined with an average of 3,000 grains of soluble extract per imperial gallon. In all fermented saccharine solutions a certain quantity of alcohol is requisite to save them from further fermentation and ultimate acidity, but the Vienna beers do not contain sufficient spirit to protect them for any length of time after they have been removed from the ice cellars. When any nitrogenous matter is present, a change takes place more readily, and although the beer is free from gluten, the most powerful decomposing agent it has to contend with, it still contains albumen, which in the act of decomposition has the property of converting alcohol into acetic acid.
The consumption of beer of this perishable nature is chiefly confined to places on the continent where ice is plentiful, and where it is not the custom, as in England, for families to have beer in cask at their own homes, for a beverage of this light character can be kept on draught merely for a day or two after it has been once tapped. In no city in the world is beer to be found of such general excellence and of so uniform a quality as at Vienna, where it is almost invariably obtained in high perfection, owing partly to the more celebrated breweries being so near to the capital, but chiefly to the quick consumption at the numerous beer halls and gardens, which ensures fine condition as well as perfect freshness. The demand at many of these establishments is so great that nothing is thought of drawing as much as 1,500 gallons in the course of a single day. With this rapid draught, the peculiar and often objectionable flavour imparted by the pitch used by all the German brewers to line their casks so as to keep them air tight, is perceptible in the Vienna beer only in a very slight degree, owing, no doubt, to its scarcely having time to take it up. This flavour, however, is frequently communicated to the beer in the fermenting tuns, which are lined with pitch that partially dissolves during the fermentation process.
In Austria, as in all the principal beer producing countries on the continent, a great increase in the consumption of beer has manifested itself of late years, combined with a marked decrease in the number of breweries, owing to the smaller breweries being forced to succumb to the competition of the larger establishments, which are conducted on more scientific as well as sounder economic principles. Between the years 1860 and 1872, the number of breweries decreased from 3,314 to 2,636, or more than 20 per cent., whereas during the same period the quantity of beer produced increased as much as 60 per cent. In Upper Austria, where cider is largely drunk by the country people, no particular increase in the production of beer is apparent, and indeed, in years when apples have been plentiful, a positive falling off commonly declares itself. The increased consumption of beer in Austria is contemporaneous in a measure with the rapid progress of one vast brewery establishment of European fame, namely, that of Anton Dreher, at Klein Schwechat, near Vienna,, which In the first year of its existence brewed merely 333,832 gallons of beer, and now brews 8,798,300 gallons, an increase of more than 26 fold. A diploma of honour was given to Herr Dreher for the improvements in brewing which he had been the means of effecting, as well as to another large firm, A. Mantner and Son, of Vienna, a medal for progress being awarded to a celebrated brewery of Vienna beer, known as the Liesing Brewery Company; and medals for merit to the Brunn and Huttledorf Breweries in Lower Austria, Hatschek Brothers, at Linz, and Herr, Kuffner, at Dobling. Honourable mention was further made of three other exhibitors.
Bohemia has been a beer producing State ever since the, fourteenth century, and its ales have long enjoyed a more than local celebrity. To-day the number of large breweries it supports are very great. Wine being neither plentiful nor cheap, and cider not being made to any extent, beer is an article of general consumption among the Bohemians, and the annual quantity produced shows an increase of no less than 76 per cent, during the last 13 years."
"Reports on the Vienna Universal Exhibition of 1873, Volume 4", 1874, pages 160-163.
Lots of fascinating facts in there. I hope you spotted them, because, as I said at the start, I'm being all lazy today.
I hope I never meet a goat like the one on that last label