By Brian Patton, Diplom Beer Sommelier and Owner, The Culinary Love Band
I have thought long and hard about how to tell the sad part of this story and how much detail to go into. I have come to the conclusion that I should keep the sad part as short as possible.
About 18 months ago after a 20 year long love affair with beer I decided to try and start up a gypsy brewery. I approached a ridiculously positive and ‘nothing is impossible’ thinking friend of mine called Uwe Gratzer to partner me in this venture. Uwe was originally from Styria but had lived in Dublin for over 25 years and I had travelled pretty much the opposite direction being an Irishman living in Vienna for nearly 20 years. Much planning was entered into and a name had to be decided upon. Not being a man known to steer clear of the limelight, Uwe was delighted to hear that his name was to feature prominently in our brewery’s title of ‘Me and Uwe’. Then tragedy struck when Uwe was killed in a motorbike accident on the 14th of June 2015. He was my closest friend and his passing affected me most deeply. But after a time I decided to try and celebrate his life by pursuing our dream of having a brewery that made exceptional beer.
The Slow Tacos pop-up project I did in summer of 2015 helped accelerate my passion for sourcing ingredients as locally as possible and this ethos has become central to the idea and values behind Me and Uwe. We intend to produce beer styles commonly found local to where we brew and/or using ingredients grown in the brewing region. Living in Austria, and also considering the neighbouring beer cultures, this make the possibilities endless. I am beyond excited. Having grown up in Ireland, and with the exception of Guinness, being exposed to mostly bland crap beers, I experienced my first eureka beer moment when I tried Augustiner Edelstoff in Munich on a summer working holiday as a 19 year old. On my return home I got the piss roundly taken out of me by my friends for having sent a postcard with just the words ‘The beer is beautiful’ written on it; but you know something… it truly was and the journey was to begin!
Me and Uwe produced its first beer called ‘Hop making sense’ a little under the radar in September 2015. Myself and the brewer Martin Simion went to the Mühlviertel to collect fresh Aurora hops and put them in the brew kettle two hours later. Hop making sense was a wet hopped amber ale and I am delighted to say went down a storm with the locals at Charlie P’s and The Brickmakers. Encouraged to keep going, an opportunity came up to brew a beer close to where my first eureka beer moment occurred in the renowned beer region of Bavaria at Camba Brewery. Teaming up again with the maestro brewer, Martin Simion, a brainstorming session produced the idea to brew a wheat beer (Weizen) to be dry hopped with the beautiful local safir hops and using Vienna malt to honour my adopted home city. The beer is called ‘Nachspielzeit‘ (‘Extra Time’) and we will be serving it at the Brickmakers and Charlie P’s while stocks last. Our Executive Head Chef Peter Zinter has come up with a special food snack pairing that will go perfectly with it. I want to invite you come join me on June 6th at 18:30 at The Brickmakers to prost the beginning of Me and Uwe and sample a pint of it on me ;).
Me and Uwe Brewing Company and ‘Nachspielzeit’ will be launched at The Brickmakers Pub & Kitchen, Zieglergasse 42, 1070 Vienna at 18:30 on the 6th of June 2016.