St. Pantaleon - Upper Austria - Austria
Stiegl-Gut Wildshut near Salzburg is a unique place to slow down the pace of life and enjoy the finer things. Visitors discover slow-brewing, a show garden, theme paths and the "Kråmerladen". As of May 2018, guests can also spend the night at Gut Wildshut in the small, very special “Gästehaus”.
Excursion Destination for Pure Enjoyment
If you are looking to slow down the pace of your life and take time to enjoy “the finer things”, there is one place where you will find just that: at Stiegl-Gut Wildshut – Austria’s 1st beer estate. It offers guests the opportunity to pause, experience nature and appreciate the things that matter. Around 30 kilometers north of Salzburg City, close to the village of St. Pantaleon in the Innviertel region of Upper Austria, the Stiegl Brewery in Salzburg has launched a location which stands for sustainable agriculture, diversity and, above all, the joy of experimentation and surprise moments.
In other words, a wellspring of immense power, a fact that was even confirmed by an expert (geomancer). Since summer 2015, guests are welcome to pay a visit to the beer estate and discover the magic of this place for themselves.
From the field into the glass: a circular economy that is tangible
Stiegl-Gut Wildshut shows how it is possible to take a vision – of developing an approach to the complete beer-brewing process that is both transparent and sustainable – and make it something that everyone can experience first-hand. Theme paths lead across the grounds, teaching visitors about beer and more, including fascinating insights into local fauna and flora. The “Beer-Cycle Path” takes you to the most important sites on the beer estate, documenting every step of the production process, from the field all the way into your glass. This pathway also takes you to the maturation cellar, where you will see the quevris (amphoras), in which the latest Stiegl experiment – known as “Urbier” – was brought to fruition.
With regards to organic agriculture, Stiegl-owners Heinrich Dieter and Alessandra Kiener are dedicated to cautious interaction with nature, as they are to promoting species diversity by cultivating ancient grain varieties which had almost become extinct. Stiegl revives the rich beer-brewing tradition in their unique combination of a malt house and roasting house, and in Austria’s 1st all-wood brewery. “We used the wood-construction methods pioneered by Erwin Thoma, in other words, without having to resort to the use of glues or metal joints”, explains architect Christine Sachs- Kapsreiter.
Wabisabi: The aesthetic of imperfection
The Wildshut vision was to make things such as sustainability and a circular economy visible and tangible to all. The cyclical philosophy was even implemented in the construction phase: The building ensemble, which had long served as a warehouse, was upgraded, remodeled and “reinvented”. Salzburg architect Christine Sachs-Kapsreiter, who also comes from a brewing family, was responsible for planning and design. Many old materials were put to new use. Old tramway beams from the loft of the brewery in Maxglan were transformed into wooden sculptures. Sculptor Christian Koller realized Kapsreiter’s plans. The brewing kettle and storage tanks were brought from Stiegl-Brauwelt in Salzburg to Wildshut. The chairs in the “Kråmerladen” likewise originated from the Brauwelt furnishings, as did the tables and garden furniture. Shelves were built out of old wooden beer crates. For the floor, old, stored wood from the brewery was used. The stone flooring is made up of bricks, which were once part of the floor of the Stiegl Brewery. All of these considerations draw upon a Japanese philosophy known as “Wabisabi”, which states that beauty and aesthetics are found in imperfection. For the renovations and building projects that needed to be completed at the Stiegl Gut, contracts were mainly given out to area businesses based in Salzburg and Upper Austria. The entire estate is powered by eco-energy.
Love for Variety
“At Stiegl-Gut Wildshut, we live the ‘field to the glass’ circular approach to the fullest.
We tinker and research to find ways we can make the soil more fertile. And we cultivate grain varieties that had long been forgotten, because we want to preserve ages-old knowledge and species diversity, and simultaneously cultivate ingredients for our beers that are beyond compare. Vögeles Gold, Naked Black Barley, Alpine Peacock Barley, Bordeaux Wheat, Emmer, Einkorn Wheat and spelt are just a few of these ancient grain varieties which find their rightful place in our Wildshut beers, where they are able to develop their special flavor”, explains Markus Trinker, Stiegl’s creative brewmaster.
For the brewery’s owners, the focus on ancient grains represents much more than just the pure joy in something different: “The diversity of cultivars is an important part of our cultural heritage. It is just as important to protect them as it is an old building, a painting or a tradition. We feel an obligation to preserve these green treasures for coming generations”, states Stiegl-owner Heinrich Dieter Kiener. Originally there were thousands of different species of grain in farming. But in today’s beer production, only just over a dozen of these are ever used – and it is precisely there that Stiegl wants to have something to say: Variety in the ingredients ultimately results in higher-quality, more colorful products. “We want to pay special attention to the raw ingredients. Brewing beer is very much like cooking: The products you start out with have to be just right. The culinary artistry is then just the icing on the cake”, explains Stiegl’s creative brewmaster Markus Trinker.
All steps in beer-brewing in a single hand
In Wildshut, Stiegl is the first, and only Austrian brewery to take a decisive step forward, or to be more exact, “back”, since the traditional grains they cultivate organically for themselves can then be refined to perfection according to their own vision, with the help of a combination of a malt house and roasting house that is unique worldwide. Malt is very much the body of the beer.
The malt component determines the underlying flavors, the incomparable taste and color. In a malt house, for example, it is possible to produce malts with a caramel taste or underlying coffee-like characteristics. “During the malting process, it is fascinating to play with different flavor directions and create very distinctive beer styles. In Wildshut, we have created ourselves a unique kitchen for experimentation”, proclaims brewmaster Trinker, adding: “In a time when beers taste more and more alike, we want to go our own way. Beers which are differentiated by unique taste and stable, outstanding quality increase the value of the product. We have embarked on a very exciting journey.” With their new malt house, Stiegl has also succeeded in uniting all stages of production within a single hand. The production process has become both transparent and sustainable.
The experiences in Wildshut also benefit the Stiegl Brewery in Salzburg. Stiegl offers an enormous variety of beers. In fact, with more than 20 different beers, this private brewery boasts the biggest selection in all of Austria. The unique flavor of Wildshut, the bundled power of ancient grain varieties, can be discovered in three Wildshut beers that are available year-round: the “Wildshuter Sortenspiel”, “Wildshuter Gmahdn Wiesn” and “Wildshuter Männerschokolade”. Also unique are their organic soft drinks, known as “Wildshuter Flüx”. These completely natural organic lemonades, with fermented organic lactic acid from malt, come in two varieties – slightly tart chokeberry and refreshing lemon – promising natural, low-calorie enjoyment. The experiences from Wildshut also benefit the Stiegl Brewery. With more than 20 beers, this “private brewery of Austrians” offers the greatest selection in Austria.
Variety you can taste
Of course, culinary enjoyment isn’t neglected at Stiegl-Gut Wildshut either. In their “bieriger Kråmerladen”, they offer outstanding products that are generally made in-house: delicious breads, beautiful butters, meat, cheese and ham from their own farm, and of course, the Wildshut beers, in which you can clearly taste the bundled flavor of the ancient grains they have grown themselves. Aside from “Wildshuter Sortenspiel”, they offer two additional Wildshut beers – the “Wildshuter Gmahde Wiesn” and the “Wildshuter Männerschokolade” – as they do their own organic soft drink known as “Wildshuter Flüx”. In the small café right outside the Kråmerladen, you can whet your appetite for products which you are also welcome to purchase to enjoy at home. An “Ark” is available for the enjoyment of the youngsters, also intended as a symbol of this business’s conviction and the Kiener family’s commitment to protecting and preserving crop diversity for generations to come.
Travel to the Wildshut by local train from Salzburg
For those visitors wishing to have an eco-friendly way to travel to the Wildshut, a new, barrier-free halt (“Gut Wildshut”) on the local train line from Salzburg has been built, close to the beer estate.
Trains stop here hourly, including so-called “Nostalgia Trains” that also appeal to tourists. If you travel here by local train, you will arrive safely and completely relaxed. Architect Christine Kapsreiter insured that the new “Gut Wildshut” halt is an attraction in its own right.
At the Wildshut, the focus is on conscious appreciation. In times that are filled with appointments and hectic activity, this is a valuable commodity. Deceleration means returning to slowness in a positive sense. In other words: Deceleration is a conscious effort to counteract our ever faster-paced daily lives. Stiegl-Gut Wildshut is such a place of retreat. Which is why, beginning in May 2018, you will also be able to seclude yourself overnight at the new Gästehaus.
The estate is deliberately not a “location”, not a venue for loud “events”. Those who have the courage to find serenity, will discover it right here.
Body and mind need that interplay between tension and relaxation. Perfectly demonstrated to us by Mother Nature herself: There are those times when everything is burgeoning and growing, and others of withdrawal and tranquility.
At the Gästehaus, which will open in May 2018 with 11 guest rooms, Stiegl consciously foregoes WiFi connections and TVs in favor of sources of calm.
With painstaking care and love for detail, Heinrich Dieter and Alessandra Kiener selected high-quality local materials, very much true to the motto “less is more”. That said, hops-stuffed pillows and pinewood beds guarantee a gloriously relaxed night’s sleep at the Wildshut Gästehaus. And because it is ultimately all about balancing relaxation with the joy of discovery, the “Kråmerladen” and the “Moarhaus” exist as places of interaction and enjoyment. After all, interpersonal relationships live from communication, from emotional intimacy and, above all, from the most precious gift you can give yourself: time and attentiveness to one another. There is probably no more suitable place to begin doing just that, than here at Stiegl-Gut Wildshut.
For information about the restaurant at Stiegl-Gut Wildshut, please click here.
- History theme path in St. Pantaleon, with info stations
focusing on the River Salzach as an artery for trade, the castle and Gut Wildshut,
as well as the old miners’ settlement in Kirchberg (www.themenwege.com,
Guided tours possible by arrangement:
+43 664 54 88 334).
- Romantic Höllerersee, with opportunities for carriage
rides (from “Kutschenfahrten Scharinger” +43 6277 8519)
- Holzöstersee, a lake surrounded by mysterious moorlands
- Ibmer Moor near Eggelsberg – the most extensive
moorland area in Austria
- Burg Tittmoning, a castle located just over the border
in Germany, with fascinating insights for those with an appreciation for
culture and museums
- The “Silent Night Community” of Lamprechtshausen.
Our recommendations include a visit to the Silent Night Museum in Arnsdorf
as well as a discovery tour of Weidmoos EU Bird Sanctuary.