It’s the end of the beer world as we know it—the Tribaun, center and heart of the local craft beer revolution, is transforming the way Tiroleans enjoy this wonderful, inexpensive, storied beverage: beer. Located in 5, Museumsstraße Street in the heart of downtown, the Tribaun opened its doors to a craft beer-starved Innsbruck—and has done a great job bringing in new and different beers and exposing people in Tirol’s capital to great craft beer. The international staff at the Tribaun, all dedicated craft beer enthusiasts, are pioneers in developing a world that contributes to the pleasure of everyday life in Innsbruck, in more ways than beer. There is lots of room for thirsty and adventurous minds who are tired of the industrialized, uninteresting beers flooding the market, for new-born or born again beer drinkers, so to speak. The Tribaun is the place for those who seek the world of better beer. And that is a good world indeed.
Once you walk through the Tribaun’s hallowed doors, you are treated to a fantastically diverse draft line-up, friendly service and very cosmopolitan atmosphere. The crowd is an international mix, just as the beers and the staff of the Tribaun are. The owner, Robby Haesebrouck, a longhaired Belgian, takes care of the place and it shows in many ways. Robby also happens to be a pretty keen beer geek, so he’s always sharing taste bud-tapping and rare beers with whoever is around and interested. He is not only someone who truly appreciates, enjoys (and drinks) beer, but who knows a great deal about beer, how it’s made, its legend and lore and can demonstrate the range and depth of their beeriness. Beer is the bread of beverages, and Robby is a passionate beer guru with a love for good brews. Over the past 40 years, the craft beer segment has exploded from a mere dozen breweries in the 1980ies to several thousand today – as many as back in the 19th century. In the 1980ies, a handful of “microbrewery” pioneers launched a revolution that would challenge the dominance of brands, and change the way people think about, and drink, beer. Today, the craft beer industry is still growing, with more breweries arriving worldwide every month, even in the ‘Land in the Mountains’ (the Mountain Pale Ale from Schwoicht is incredibly drinkable – even for those who are new to the world of craft beer).
Robby built his beer bar by a formerly grim and shady night club’s old vault. It is a beer-lover’s dream destination and the ambiance is only topped by their beer. The Tribaun is the place in Innsbruck to visit if you want to simply drink awesome craft beer. They curate an incredible list of beers that you simply want to drink, all fresh and all delicious from 20 tap handles. However, beware: Tirol beer drinkers will have to learn to appreciate some of these new “microbrews.” Small-batch artisan breweries, also named microbreweries, are perfecting the art of craft beer (a microbrewery typically makes beer on a three-barrel system or smaller). The recent explosion of microbreweries has shifted the beer industry’s attention to quality, not quantity. The brew masters blend science and art through creativity and passion, experimenting with finest and freshest ingredients in unique combinations. Sometimes resulting in “goose-bump-inducing”, strong 13% ABV beers. A very strong and nearly pitch black beer comes out of one the draught faucets at the Tribaun. From which one? The fifth to the right or the seventh to the left? … I can’t remember. Anyway, we will see if people in Innsbruck are willing and knowledgeable enough to appreciate the great new and different craft beers they are exposed to nowadays. Thanks to Robby.
Some work behind a desk all day, others work behind a beer tap. South African-born Gerko Visser is one of those lucky that is generous enough to share his beer bounty with mortals. Loving the life on the other side of the bar, the craft beer enthusiast is responsible for amusement – and for the elaborate tap handles that were lovingly carved by him. Having a degree in Natural Sciences, he grew up on an isolated and remote Western Cape farm – hours away from the next town. Nevertheless (or maybe just therefore), he likes living in Tirol and his enthusiasm for snow and the mountains resembles a Tirolean. Another successful example of new Innsbruck-based internationality and openness is to be found in the person of Mishu, an Egyptian who has a deep passion for good beer, too. It was love that brought Mishu to Innsbruck and to the Tribaun. Every time a new guest enters the Tribaun for the first time, it’s a joy to see their reaction as they are greeted with a big smile by Mishu. Everyone feels at home here in these old vaults. They also have really great food, such as the hearty platter with thick-cut smoked bacon and delicate cheese. As cosmopolitan as it may be, it’s pretty hard to go wrong with bacon and beer.
In contrast to most industrialized beers, craft beers are complex and unadulterated. Expect powerful and robust flavours, some malty, often a little sweet, and sometimes smoky or with hints of lemony grain. If current trends hold, things are only going to get better for the hopheads and the malt mavens among us. (Think: better quality, more diversity, and continuing experimentation.) In the end, I found some of the very best brews being made here at the Tribaun—and feel fortunate that Innsbruck is now part of this craft-brewing renaissance. Enjoy.
Opening Hours Bar:
Monday – Sunday: 3:00pm –Close
Opening Hours Shop:
Monday – Sunday: 3:00pm – 9:00pm