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A hit project: More room for brewing and tasting in the Atzgersdorf house

Kuratorium Wiener Pensionisten-Wohnhäuser (KWP) has pulled off a coup with its brewery in Atzgersdorf. After two and a half years, the fermentation and tasting rooms have now been expanded. Production can now be doubled.

Vienna / lying. It’s not every day that a project for a retirement home in Vienna causes an international stir – the brewery at Haus Atzgersdorf has. Beer has been brewing in the basement of the house since summer 2020 and the residents are helping hard. The brewery has now been expanded to meet the high demand and to provide a more attractive space for producers and visitors. City councilor Peter Hacker (SPÖ) also stopped by, explaining the brewing procedure to him and revealing which beer he preferred to drink.

The retiree brewery has already made it to the German and French media, and the American station CBS even reported it. Ordering inquiries for the beer range reach Germany. This consists on the one hand of Viennese lager called “Uma” and “Opa”. They both taste the same, are pleasant tasting and are amber in colour. Then there are the light beers “Hellga” and “Hellmut” – which also takes into account the brewers.

Each bottle is unique

After the expansion, a tasting room was added to the former brewing room. The walls of both rooms are decorated with a picture of the residents doing brewing. Their pride in being part of the production of this successful product was also evident during the on-site visit. Ingeborg Zeller (89), Gustav Baer (84) and Helmut Riegerbauer (82) answered the questions. Zeller and Paier are responsible for attaching the labels. “Not every label is applied in exactly the same way, which makes each bottle unique,” says Baer.

The walls of both rooms are decorated with a picture of the residents doing brewing.  |  Photo: Andreas Poelzl

On the weekly brewing day, resident Riegerbauer is in the cellar before his colleagues and helps “master brewer” Günther Wallner with various activities. Riegerbauer thought they would look closely to see if everything was done right. Wallner has been a retirement home cook for 25 years and prepares food when it’s not fermented.

Double production

Recently, there are two brewing kettles in the fermentation room instead of just one. “This will enable us to double production. The conversion has created a backlog of orders,” Wallner explains, filling bottles with beer from a fermentation tank. 12,000 bottles can now be filled instead of 6,000 annually. In the future, this will also be used to supply pensioners’ clubs.

Helmut with "Helmut".  |  Photo: Andreas Poelzl

In addition, Grätzl seniors can now be greeted in the tasting room, and members of retirement clubs can also take a trip to the brewery. You can then see how much fun the residents are having brewing and labeling. Peter Hacker, city councilor for social affairs, health and sport and president of KWP, is also enthusiastic about this: “It’s become a good little brewery. If you talk to the residents, you can tell how much they enjoy it. That’s me feeling good when I can look into the happy eyes.”

Robert Guchelbauer, Head of Gastronomic Management at Homes for Living, was also pleased with the positive effects of the project. The dedicated associates from Atzgersdorf experience a sense of accomplishment here when they experience a popular product they make. Community, participation and training of motor skills and mind are plus points of the project. By the way, beer is available at “Markt. Plätzen” in all homes to live in. Well then cheers!

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