We put off visiting Innstadt‘s biergarten because, from the outside, it looked a bit fake, like something from Disneyland. Nor were we expecting much from the beer. A big company, slick but boring branding… surely it would be another Hacklberg or Lowenbrau?
What a surprise. For starters, the helles was subtle rather than bland, as hoppy as the beers some other breweries in town were labelling as pilsners. Lovely.
The range was more varied, too. As well as the holy trinity (pils, helles, weizen) there was a zwickl with a very pleasing hint of sherbet and its own elaborate porcelain krug and several interesting looking bottles.
From the bottled range, we tried Edelsud, which (as they announced on the menu, and reiterated proudly when we ordered it) came in a swingtop bottle (“bugelflasche!!!”). It is described as an Export but, at 5.3%, and with a satisfying, heavy, toffee-ish body, it could have passed for a 6% festbier. It was really excellent — liquid bread. The hop aroma made us think briefly of Brooklyn Lager, too, which was a nice surprise in a German beer.
We didn’t get round to trying the last brewery in town, Andorfer, because we decided to spend our last day across the border in Austria. We’ve since heard that the locals consider it the best of the bunch. Bloody typical. Then again, Austria was not a wasted trip…