Tuesday 14th September 2009
Although the Highlander in Vienna has no connection with the erstwhile brewpub and hotel of the same name in Scarborough that operated up to the late 1990s, it nevertheless has a small connection with the UK as one of its beers is a stout. It is a very pleasant pub-brewery on one corner of a quiet square, Sobieskiplatz, which is in a central residential district.
There is a full food menu and there are themed nights. On weekday lunchtimes there is a cut-price offer, which seems to be a feature of many Viennese pubs.
The brewery was established in 2000 and brews four regular beers. These are Weizen-naturtrüb (Organic Wheat), Lager-Zwickl (Unfiltered Lager), Märzen-Zwickl (Unfitered Märzen) and the aforementioned Stout.
Two of the names for these beers are a little odd. Both the Lager and the Märzen have Zwickl in their titles, yet Zwickl is a style of beer in its own right. Originating in Eastern Bavaria it is a top-fermented cloudy bitter beer. Both these two beers are bottom-fermented so I guess that they are just unfiltered (and cloudy) and owe nothing to the Zwickl style. The Wheat beer is top fermented, as it should be. Finally the Stout is correctly top fermented and is a very good example of the style.
The three Germanic types of beer are served in glasses of 0.3l (Seidel), 0.5l (Krüzerl) and 1.0l (Mass) yet it is very different for the Stout, as there is a choice of two sizes 0.2l and a pint!
The main room is very atmospheric with lots of wood panelling and the brewery is on one side of the bar in full view of the customers. This pub is very popular in the warmer months and there is a vast amount of seating out in the square itself. Only slightly off the tourist beat, this pub is well worth detouring for.
The Highlander, Sobieskiplatz 4, Wien 1090
Open: Sunday to Thursday 11.00-24.00; Friday to Saturday 11.00-01.00
Trams 37 and 38 run along Nussdorferstrasse which is one block away from the pub.
Alight at the Canisiusgasse stop and walk in an easterly direction along that street to the first intersection which is Sobieskigasse. Turn left into it and two blocks along you'll find the Highlander.