Monday 20th August 2012
Graz is a large industrial and University City in the south of Austria and it is not far from Slovenia. It is a very historic and has lots of wonderful buildings and what a surprise this pub turned to be.
It's a little difficult to find as it is in a small square in the heart of the Altstadt (Old Town) with its alleys and narrow streets. It has been created out of the two lower floors of an old hotel that was built in the 17th Century and opened in 2001.
Inside it is a bit of a maze with several different rooms on several levels. I thought the room to the right of the entrance was particularly nice with wooden panelling. To compliment that there were two wooden barrels on the bar, more of which later.
As it was a very warm evening, fellow drinkers Patrick, Russell and Vaughan wanted to sit outside on the square itself, so I joined them after having a good look around inside. A highpoint was when the man in charge of pouring invited me to tap a beer whilst he took a photograph of me doing it. Sadly it's slightly out of focus so you won't be seeing it here.
There are two beers produced under the Glöckl Bräu name. The first was Zwickl (5.4%) which we all tried first. The consensus was that it was pretty good but not bitter enough.
The real gem, however, was Glöckl Bräu (5.5%), the house beer, which is served from a wooden barrel. This was a wonderful beer with a good depth of taste, medium bitterness with a dry finish.
One thing was fairly evident though as, during my exploration of the premises, I could find no brewery and I have come to the conclusion that the beers are brewed elsewhere. There are also references to the Puntigamer brewery which is the big regional producer in Graz so that is the probable source. A clue is that there is no Pils made under the Glöckl name. In fact there is one sold on draught in the pub and that's Reininghaus Pils (4.8%), a product of Puntigamer and named after a brewery in Graz they took over.
The Glöckl name and indeed that of the square on which it is located refer to a Carillon located on the adjacent building. There is a chime or more every fifteen minutes but it provides its full display at 11.00, 15.00 and 18.00 daily when a pair of dancers emerges and the man toasts the crowd with his glass. The show finishes when a cock appears and crows. If you've seen similar in Munich and Prague you know what to expect. Something unique about this one though is that it doesn't play the same tune twice.
This is a lovely pub and the house beer is superb. Cheers!
Glockl Bräu, Glockenspielplatz 2-3, Graz A-8010
Open: Daily 10.30-24.00
The pub is less than ten minutes from the Hauptplatz/Congress tram stop served by trams 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7.