Seven years ago, the proprietors of Villa Trapp encouraged Greg and Sue to visit the Augustiner Braustubl, which is Austria’s biggest beer garden. And, they liked it.
So, the three of us trekked over Monchsberg Mountain late Monday to find the monastery of Mulln. All the signs showed a mug of beer. Benedictine monks have been brewing beer there since 1621, following a closely guarded secret recipe, using old brewing techniques.
There are three large beer halls, one of them for smokers. Each can accommodate from 200-300 persons at a time. We noted that the last time, the largest of these halls was for smokers, but that has switched, perhaps indicating a decline in smoking. The halls have a number of communal tables, lockers for those who want to keep their own mugs there, and a large food court providing everything from pretzels to schnitzel to bratwurst. During good weather, there is a giant outdoor patio area that can seat over 500 patrons.
Monday night, the third hall had a musical trio, Second Hand Brothers, who largely sang American songs from the 60’s and 70’s including Elvis, the Monkees and many more. And, although few people here seem to have much grasp of English, many were singing all the words of the songs.
An 80 year-old lady, in a traditional Austrian dress, gave Regina some lessons in dancing, including belly dancing.
It was a lively crowd, sometimes led by the Abbot of monastery. And, the beer hall had statues, religious paintings and a crucifix on the wall.