The owners of the Martinerhof hotel in the South Tyrolean Passeiertal valley know how to create something special. Twenty years ago, the resourceful landlord Florian Fontana opened Martinsbräu, South Tyrol’s first microbrewery, and today, his son and junior manager Matthias can also lay claim to another unique proposition: he leads the first brewery with a hotel in South Tyrol.
Matthias Fontana, the young brewmaster at the family-run hotel in the quaint Passeiertal valley, enjoys having guests watch over his shoulder as he practices his craft. “Tavern culture is extremely important to us. Our brewery is therefore a meeting place for locals and visitors alike.”
The Martinerhof’s Martinsbräu beer bears the South Tyrolean seal of quality, is neither filtered or pasteurised, and is therefore naturally cloudy. “Producing seasonal beers in small quantities allows us to continually create new beers. As a brewer you can be extremely creative and always try new things,” says master brewer Matthias as he describes his typical working day.
Yet even when experimenting, one thing must always remain the same: the high quality of the brewed product. At Martinsbräu, only malt bearing the South Tyrolean seal of quality is used in the speciality beers – green hop ale, session IPA and pils – and, together with the other South Tyrolean craft brewers, the owners strive to support local farmers.
When brewer Matthias Fontana looks to the future, he is particularly excited at the prospect of testing many new beer styles. For now, the Martinerhof offers lager, wheat beer, brown ale, chocolate Bock, session IPA, pils and green hop ale.