Saturday, 26 June 2010

Anton Dreher again

Obsessions, eh? I can't get away from mine. Neither can you, if you read this blog regularly. Today we're back to good old Anton Dreher. Forgotten father of continental industrial brewing. Now I write that down, I'm not sure if I'd want to be remembered for that. I'm guessing Dreher probably did.

This is a text from an American magazine. Doubtless the facts have been lifted from something in German. But, being in English, I didn't have to arse around translating this passage. Which is a good enough reason for me.


The principal brewery in Austria is at Klein-Schwechat, near Vienna, and was established in 1632; but its importance dates only from 1833, when the late proprietor, Mr. Anthony Dreher, took possession of it.

Previous to this latter date the only beer brewed there was obergahrig, a highly fermented beer, which would not keep, but was consequently drunk at an early age. Mr. Dreher thoroughly revolutionized the brewery, formed immense store cellars, and introduced the slowly fermented lager berr, which soon grew into enormous popularity. During the first year of the reign of Mr. Dreher the quantity made at Schwechat amounted to 330,937 gallons.

In the year 1850 the brewery became totally inadequate to the supply required ; the premises were extended, and machinery introduced instead of manual labor. Soon alter this Mr. Dieher purchased a domain near Saaz, famous for its growth of hops. He laid out an extensive hop plantation, and also built a brewery there, according to the modern system.

In 1862 he purchased the landed property of Steinbruch, near Pesth, and erected a store brewery, answering all the modern demands. He had accordingly three large breweries.

The Scbwechat brewery is the largest on the continent. Including malt floors, it occupies an area of twenty-one and one-third acres. Fourteen and a quarter acres are covered with vaults. The daily consumption of malt, made in the winter, is 1,500 bushels, requiring floors of six and one-third acres of area, and a storeroom for 18,000 bushels of raw barley, and magazines for storing 60,000 bushels of malt. Machinery is employed to convey the dry malt to the bruisers or crackers, aud thence to the boiling-house, in which latter are six copper pans, the largest holding 6,230 gallons.

During the working months the make amounts to 47,348 gallons of beer daily. The fermenting rooms hold 1,246 vats, holding 654,773 gallons.

In the subterranean cellars, which together occupy an area of 3.75 acres, there are 4.317 barrels or tuns, holding from 500 to 2,500 gallons each, or 5,160.869 gallons of beer in all.

At the side of the cellars, and in immediate connection with them, there are ice-pits of more than two acres area, in which 40,000 tons of ice can be stowed away.

Id the works are employed three fixed and one portable steam engine, and one hydraulic engine ; together 80 horse power.

They employ 350 brewers and brewers' assistants, and 250 draymen and laborers. Rails run through the whole establishment, and are connected with the railroad. The stables contain 72 horses and 240 dray-oxen.

From the 1st January, 1866, to 1st January. 1867. 5,989,148 gallons were produced, yielding a revenue to the government from this single brewery of nearly $488,000.

In the Saaz brewery, built by Mr. Dreher according to the new system in the year 1861, the working is not confined to the winter months, but continues the whole year round ; only the summer months are devoted to the brewing of tapping beer (Schank-beer), a beer peculiar to Bohemia, while the winter months are devoted to brewing lager-beer.

To effect the summer brewing without injury to the quality of the beer, very effective cooling apparatus is employed. The fermenting cellars are so abundantly supplied with ice that the temperature in them does not exceed 43 to 50 degrees of Fahrenheit, even in the hottest summer months, and in the store cellars the temperature is constantly kept to about 36 degrees Fahrenheit. The prize for beer at the Paris Exhibition was gained by the Schwechat brewery.

The three breweries named yield a yearly income to government of $628,855."

"The Merchants' magazine and commercial review, Volume 57" by Isaac Smith Homans, 1867, pages 382-383.

Note that despite the title, the article only mentions one Viennese brewery. Plus one in the Czech Republic and one in Hungary.


Rod said...

Ron - keep the Dreher stuff coming, plus any other Central European "birth of lager" stuff. And please start thinking about your book on the history of lager. Please.
Someone needs to write it and who better than you good self?

Anonymous said...

Damn, it is huge! Don't even think about the logistic behind this...

Anonymous said...

I would like to exchange links with your site
Is this possible?

Ron Pattinson said...

That depends on what your site is.