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Von Trapp Brewery | Vienna Lager

Von Trapp Brewery Vienna Lager

With its Austrian lineage, you might think it was a given that Stowe, Vermont’s von Trapp Brewing would have Vienna Lager as a core release when it opened its doors in 2010. Not so, according to the brewery’s Quality Manager Jack Van Paepeghem who says, “von Trapp Brewing was originally conceived to be a strictly Helles-producing brewery by our founder, Johannes von Trapp; however, at the request of the family, Vienna was added to the opening lineup to provide a slightly darker and maltier option.”

To be fair, Vienna Lager is a rare sight in Austria where the bulk of beer consumed is a pale lager that they call Märzen. This reality has greater alignment with Mr. von Trapp’s original vision for the brewery. Fortunately, compromises were made, and the brewery now makes one of the best Vienna Lagers you can find.

Key to the successful execution of the beer is its decoction, lagering time, and natural carbonation. The latter helps create decadent foam.

The copper-colored beer presents just as a Vienna should, which too many times is dark for the style. The brewery achieves this color with a blend of Vienna, Munich, and Munich 2 malt from Weyermann. The hop bill includes Perle, Hallertau and Tettnang. The result is a beer with a slightly floral aroma and light toast/nutty flavor.

It’s a highly drinkable beer, under any circumstance. However, as Van Paepeghem notes, it does have some seasonality. “Vienna traditionally gains traction in the fall and winter months, but we’ve included it in both our summer and winter variety packs which helps drive sales year-round.” This adds up to about 1600-1800 barrels of Vienna production each year.

Schnitzel at the von Trapp Bierhall. Image courtesy of von Trapp Brewing.

Like so many other beers that fall within the amber spectrum, von Trapp’s Vienna works with a variety of dishes. If you have the good fortune to make it to the brewery’s bierhall in northern Vermont, you may want to take the following suggestions from Van Paepeghem, “our Vienna is such a versatile beer when it comes to food pairings but my go-to is either the Chicken Schnitzel Sandwich topped with lingonberry mayo and house slaw or the Chicken Schnitzel entrée served with bacon-apple kraut, arugula, and topped with a Trapp farm egg.”

Feature image courtesy of von Trapp Brewing. 

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