The listed Hubenbauer residence with its surrounding vineyards and view over the Eisacktal Valley is the perfect setting for a classic Buschenschank, those rustic taverns serving home-grown food and drinks. And so it could have remained. But then, in 2010, owner Alex Stolz and his best friend Gregor Wohlgemuth began implementing a wild idea.
In no time at all, several rows of vines had been replaced with a plantation of hops. “I was really lucky to have an exciting mix of expertise and enthusiasm within my family and circle of friends,” says Stolz.
Not commonly cultivated in South Tyrol, the hop plants were the cause of some misunderstandings at first. “Once, an elderly lady came by and watched us for a while,” remembers Stolz. “After a while she spoke to us and mischievously said that, although she wasn’t going to report us to the police, she thought it was a bit bold to be growing cannabis right next to a footpath.”
Today, the Hubenbauer brewery produces seven different standard beers: Treibstoff (lager), Hubenbauer Weiße (wheat beer), Alpengold (pale ale), Hopfenstolz (rye ale), Delicious (wheat beer-cider hybrid), Black Pearl (porter) and Empire (black IPA). These are complemented by a varying range of limited editions. Those beers that are produced using solely South Tyrolean malt are able to use the seal of quality. “The South Tyrolean seal of quality is the means of communication shared by beer producers and indicates to consumers that top quality, craft beers are made in South Tyrol using local raw ingredients,” explains Alex Stolz.
The diversity of the range entirely reflects the brewer’s philosophy. Stolz longed for something new, for a “crazy combination of tradition and innovation,” as he puts it. Brewing beer gave him exactly that: a varied day-to-day life, constant new projects and a stimulating environment.
The fact that this is also a win-win situation for guests of the Buschenschank and beyond is exemplified in the enormous success of the Hubenbauer brewery. Now, Alex Stolz’s wish is to take the developments of the last years even further.