A strong local attachment is the main attribute for the Gols family brewery. The compact, successful enterprise is proud of its self-imposed standards, choosing all ingredients for Golser Bier products exclusively from Austria’s Burgenland region.
The brewery is set in the wine town of Gols, situated on the eastern shores of the large, shallow steppe lake, the Neusiedlersee. “Our clients think of Golser Bier as a regional business first of all,” says master brewer Markus Sautner.
The Sautner family are proud of their regional identity. ‘We live regionality’ is their guiding line and they prove it by using local sources for their ingredients, working with regional service providers and, last but not least, by offering the finest regional products.
The brewery team believe in producing added value for the region, meaning that the value is both generated locally and is staying there. Markus Sautner states: “As a regional brewery, we feel a responsibility for shaping the local identity and continually acting in line with the communal values of our region.” The brewery’s co-work with the ‘Genuss Region Österreich’ (Austria – Region of Enjoyment) project, a licensing scheme launched by the Austrian food ministry, forms the perfect basis for developing regional delicacies. Special brews like chestnut, spelt or herb beers are thus developed exclusively with produce from the various ‘Burgenland’ sub-regions.
Transparency counts with Golser Bier and apart from meeting quality standards in line with the purity law, the use of few pure ingredients for the more traditional beer styles alternates with adding natural local ingredients to create exciting new flavours such as sweet chestnut or fruit and spices. Modern methods like dry hopping and wooden barrel techniques are also applied at Gols brewery.
Balancing between small family business and professional player on the regional market, the brewery stands for commercial success based on strong principles and close relationships with their customers. Their organic labels are regularly monitored and confirmed by third parties.
The enterprise has existed since 1986 and is now run by third generation junior manager Markus Sautner. His father Harald Sautner, former hobby brewer and beverage distributor, saw a chance for putting the Gols brewery back into action in the late ‘90s, by introducing a new beer label to the market. As soon as junior manager Markus Sautner had completed his brewer training, the production of new beers under the brand name ‘Golser Bier’ was immediately started. In 2007, the new, independent family business was ready to launch and received a warm welcome on the market.
LATEST TECH EQUIPMENT
Until end of 2015, the facility experienced a complete technical ‘make-over’ and is today featuring entirely new, state-of-the-art brewery and peripheral equipment. Their traditional old copper brewhouse however still stems from the ‘50s. Here, beers of delightful taste are created with the help of the latest in brewing technology. In 2016, the Gols brewery received their organic ‘BIO’ certification.
The compact size of the family-run business counts 25 co-workers, the majority of which are looking after account management, logistics, telephone and marketing services as well as distribution and gastronomy. Two brewery-owned pubs in Vienna guarantee for direct sales. The continuously rising output of the Gols brewery currently lies with ca. 8,000 hectolitres of beer and mixed beer beverages per year, along with 2,500 hectolitres of soda and further 11,000 hectolitres of various beverages stemming from other producers.
GOLSER BIER STYLES
Regular brewery tours and beer tasting events are enjoyed by clients old and new. Customers value the transparency, the traditions and regional claim of the brewery. Industry events and continuous professional development are also high on the list for master brewer Markus Sautner. As a qualified beer sommelier, he studies at the Institute of Masters of Beer (IMB) and also believes in frequently passing on what he has learned. Therefore, tap system and one-day brewing workshops are offered for pub and restaurant owners. The latter even includes an introduction in food pairing and the overall international beer label trends, all in the name of raising quality standards and appreciation for beer as a cultural asset.
“Other than often assumed, the beer industry operates on anything but a conservative, traditional line,” Markus Sautner states. “Not many products cover as large a target group as beer does, and the immense velocity in trend development allows for a high degree of individualisation options.”
MARKUS AND HARALD SAUTNER (LEFT), THE BREWERY (RIGHT)
For 2017, Markus Sautner has his agenda down: “With our compact family business, we are quick in following trends and we aim to further open our infrastructure to potential clients.” Other plans include an “extreme regionalisation” scheme, with the goal of only using resources from within a 100-kilometre radius.
With the Sautners, regional gold comes in beer bottles.
TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI | PHOTOS © GOLS BREWERY