Founded in 1837, the Ottakringer Brewery is the last major Viennese brewery and at the same time one of the last major independent breweries in Austria. As a medium-sized family business, this independence is particularly important.
Ottakringer Brauerei History
The Ottakringer Brewery was opened in 1837 by the master miller Heinrich Plank under the name of Planksche Brauerei, after the diocese of Klosterneuburg had granted approval for the production of beer. In 1850 it was taken over and expanded into a large brewery by cousins Ignaz and Jakob Kuffner from Lundenburg. Within ten years, production went from 18,318 hl to 64,183 hl. When Kaiser Franz Joseph ordered the city walls to be torn down and a large number of residential buildings began to be built, Ottakringer also grew. A new fermentation cellar and a larger warehouse went into operation. Around 1890, production was already around 170,000 hl. Moriz von Kuffner, son of Ignaz von Kuffner, took over the brewery in 1882 and in the last year before the war increased production to over 350,000 hl, a quantity that was never reached between the two world wars. In 1905, Kuffner turned the brewery into a joint stock company.
Even before Nazi Germany's annexation of Austria, Moriz von Kuffner was forced to sell his business due to his Jewish background. It was sold for a rather low price of 14 million Austrian schillings to Gustav Harmer, who was also forced to leave the business for two years after the war. After the liberation by the Allies, the brewery was temporarily run by the Russians, before the Harmer family was able to legally prove their purchase and again produced 150,000 hl starting in 1955. The heirs of Moriz von Kuffner, who died in the meantime in Zurich , were compensated for their expulsion and threats from the Nazi regime, which had led to the sale of the company to the Harmer family.
In 1977, the brewery contributed greatly to the dissolution of the beer cartel by withdrawing from it. From then on, any restaurant could choose the brewery it wanted as a supplier, regardless of its location. In 1989, bottling in brown bottles usually used in Austria was discontinued and Ottakringer was the first brewery in Austria to introduce the famous green "shoulder bottles"