Saturday, 11 May 2013

Dreher in Sardinia

Regular readers will know that I have a bit of  a thing about Anton Dreher*. And the injustice of this Lager pioneer's relative obscurity.

I had thought that the only reminder of him in the modern beer world were a few beers brewed in Hungary that bear his name. Also odd that, though his Schwechat brewery just outside Vienna still survives, none of its beers is named after him. Bit of a lack of respect, in my opinion.

I'm just back from family hols in Sardinia. Not much to speak of on the beer front, but I'd expected that. With age, I've become relaxed enough to drink what's on offer, or, should that be too nasty, switch to something else. Wine and grappa will do the job well enoough.

Imagine my surprise when running my eyes without too much expectation over the nearest supermarket's beer shelves to see the name Dreher. Ah, the Austro-Hungarian Empire. At various times it controlled all sorts of odd bits of Europe. Including parts of Northern Italy, where Birra Dreher was brewed. (In the small section of imported beers, along with Carlsberg and Heinken, I was taken aback to spot Tennent's Super. I was almost tempted to buy a bottle or two.)

Thinking about it, a British equivalent would be finding a beer called Allsopp or Barcaly Perkins brewed in Calcutta, Nairobi or Melbourne. I can think of one sort of example. But only in the name of the beer not the brewer: Farson's Hop Leaf Pale Ale, a former Simonds brand.

The Dreher beer was nothing special. A tad better than the local Ichnusa, I suppose. But I bought a few bottles, just to honour poor old Anton. I haven't forgotten him.

* Not in any inappropriate way.


Barm said...

Pete Brown did actually find a beer called Allsopp’s in Kenya, sold as a budget lager brand. In the epilogue of Hops and Glory.

Leo said...

Speaking of Sardinian good beer, pity you didn't find any: there's a florid microbrewery scene (, Barley and Rubiu probably being the best two.

Ron Pattinson said...


I did see a Barley beer advertised outside one bar. I really didn't try to find good beer, to be honest.

Gary Gillman said...

I liked the Dreher in Budapest, it was rich and especially good-flavoured without that sulphury/barnyard tang so many helles and pils had in Bavaria and Vienna. I think it's a lager yeast characteristic, not from hops as I used to think formerly. But Dreher stays clear of that while offering a good malty taste. Something of the old name in brewing survives still.


Martyn Cornell said...

As I keep saying (to the point of tedium), Anton Dreher = Tony Turner. It amuses me ...

Matt said...

Carlo Ponti = Charlie Bridges.

Doesn't quite sound the same does it?

Martyn Cornell said...

Ah yes ... Enzo Ferrari - Vince Smith.