Brewers

Excerpts from the book „Von irgendwo in alle Welt“ by Georg J. E. Mautner Markhof:

… In 1840, Adolf Ignaz leases the Brewery St. Marx belonging to the Citizens Hospital Economic Commission and decides to live there as well. Another useful object is obviously not available. Such a step requires a tremendous amount of self-confidence: it is, as an unknown chronicler notes, “a game of chance in which not much is to be gained, but everything is to be lost”. All the tenants in front of him had failed, most had lost their fortune.
There is no doubt that the Citizens Hospital Commission is pleased to have found another adventurer. The condition of the brewery is aptly characterized by a report from 1820:

“Just as you are leaving the church, you notice on the right two wheels, some of which attract the visitors attention, and which are only very simple winds through which beer is brought up from the cellar on a small wagon of the brewer. Anyone who finds pleasure in brewing art will meet enough curious people here in the buildings. A horse that always walks in circles and operates a machine that cools the beer. Four oxen who keep pedaling the same footsteps, driving a machine through which the water is driven up many fathoms. (Novag 1820). Novag works as a doctor in the public hospital. With his book he wants to sing praises to the local facilities, but his report does not convey enthusiasm, but reflects a completely run-down and outdated business …

Excerpts from the memoirs of Theodor I. Mautner Markhof:

… Since the founding of the brewery in Floridsdorf, my father and I had a great task to solve. The whole family fortune was invested in the thing, and everything had to be done in order to prevail. Our principles were: firstly, there should be no better beer than ours, secondly care and esteem of the customers, and thirdly, the best of agreement and a warm heart for employees and workers. My father always said, “As long as I have food, my old workers will have food too.” He granted paid leave at a time when such claims were still completely unknown. He once had all the daughters of the workforce trained in a good Viennese cooking school, which was of great advantage for their further progress. We have also always been in the best of agreement with our people, and we can say with quiet conscience that since grandfather started to operate industrially, there has been no serious conflict with our people. It goes without saying that the old breweries did not like us as a new competitor and that we often had to fight heavy competition. When the old Dreher once announced “Now we will fight with the money”, that was of course not pleasant, because we had no free capital available, while countless millions were available to him. We have survived this too and our old St. Georgs brewery has grown to an annual production of about 220,000 hectoliters …

Excerpts from the memoirs of Manfred I. Mautner Markhof:

… And I also have the peculiar noise in the ear, the heavy, with barrels treated car pulled by huge Pinzgauer horses, when leaving the factory gate made; with the rattling of the large iron wheels on the granite pavement with the clash of iron hook hanging barrels mingled.
That the beer output at that time in the summer months already started at 2 o’clock in the morning, had to be taken into account and could not disturb a boy with budding brewer’s heart of course in any way ….
At that time, the workers were primarily Slovaks, which was by no means unusual in a multi-ethnic state, as was the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. It was also a firm idea that e. g., in the malting of a brewery, where there was a great deal of manual work to be done on the threshing floor, this work could really only be performed by Slovaks. As a result, the signs on the doors did not say “close”, but “zavirate”, since these exceptionally good workers were generally ignorant of the German language. The relationship that united us to all brewery workers was an absolutely familial and patriarchal one. My grandfather e. g. said still all employees “you”. He had an excellent name memory so that he could address each of his people by name …Very typical of my father’s attitude towards his people was that I for example, once had received a considerable slap from him, with my cap flying off in a high arc, because I had not returned the friendly greeting of an approaching worker by removing my headgear …

Excerpts from the book „Von irgendwo in alle Welt“ by Georg J. E. Mautner Markhof:

…Without having an heir, Victor decided in 1913 to merge St. Marx with the brewery Dreher in Schwechat and the brewery Meichl in Simmering. The new company gets the monster name “United Breweries Schwechat, St. Marx and Simmering, Dreher, Mautner, Meichl AG. Victor becomes vice-president of the merged breweries and Kuno member of the board of directors.
What is astonishing about this liquidation of his paternal and grandfathered heritage is that Victor does not offer the brewery St. Marx to the cousins ​​Theodor I. and George II. Anton …
After the merger in 1913, beer production in St. Marx is discontinued. The events of the First World War hit Schwechat to the core, mainly because there is no barley at all, an indispensable raw material … It’s a tough time for the Austrian breweries. Schwechat is one of the survivors, but nobody talks more about the dozens of breweries that came under the wheels … In the following time, the entrepreneurial family Mautner Markhof manages to get the majority over Schwechat. The plan for this transaction comes from George III., and he will also negotiate on his own … Internationally, the brewery Schwechat is simply too small to be able to withstand the big breweries all over the world in the distant future. At some point, the family is well aware, you will have to team up with a competitor. As a partner offers the Brau AG, which has already signaled interest in working with Schwechat. The most important shareholders of Brau AG are also from old brewery families, and the size of the two partners would be about the same … On August 29, 1978, the merger with Brau AG is completed – into Brau Union AG. With this step Mautner Markhof naturally loses the majority influence over Schwechat, but after all the family (via the holding St. Georg AG) becomes the largest shareholder group of the Brau Union AG …

Report from Theodor II. Heinrich Mautner Markhof:

The Hamilton (later Mautner Markhof Industriebeteiligung) was established as a holding company for the Hager Group in order to manage the proceeds from the sale of my father´s agency network. In the next step, my brother and I took part in the Hamilton in order to acquire further Brau Union AG shares of the family. At the time when my cousins ​​signaled to sell St. George (in which the Bau Union AG shares were held) shares, I bought, on behalf of Hamilton, their stakes. In order to finance all these stock purchases, additional loans had to be raised, but just enough to make it possible for us to pay back the interest and also the capital with the dividend, calculated to be ten years. If the dividend had not been there, my brother and I would have had to settle the installments and interest in person. Well, we were lucky. The Linzer families Beuerle, Kretz etc., who had also been involved in the Brau Union AG, had decided to take the story into their own hands quickly and completely unexpectedly. It was discussed whether we should sell everything together, or merge with an internationally strong partner, or bring in a new partner into the business. We quickly agreed in 2003 that the sale to an international beer group – the Heineken Group – would bring the most profit. From the proceeds of this sale, some family members have reinvested shares in Heineken shares and thus a part of the family is still involved in the beer brewing business capital today. My cousin Marcus Mautner Markhof has been actively pursuing the tradition as a beer brewer since 2013 – he owns the brewery Grieskirchen GmbH.