NEW PARTNER BAR
Feel die Beate
Whether you’re a barfly or a whisky lover, this legendary late-night local pub in Graz is ready to offer a warm welcome to everyone – and now with a selection of enticing Society bottlings to share
The first time Mischa Mendlick walked through the doors of die Beate in Graz, Austria, it was as a late-night reveller in search of libation.
Today, it’s his own gaff, a place to share his love of whisky, but also a late-night bar true to its original roots as a neighbourhood institution.
Located in the Griessgasse, Austria’s newest partner bar die Beate is a stone’s throw from Graz’s old town. Austria’s second largest city is filled with art, culture and plenty of nightlife, thanks to it being a home to students from four different universities.
That nightlife played a key part in bringing Graz native Mischa into the city’s bar scene. “While I was at university, I worked at bars and after I graduated, I realised that this was the path I would like to follow,” he tells Unfiltered.
“A couple of years later the option of a second bar – die Beate – came and I used it as a platform for my new hobby.
“Graz isn’t the biggest town so once all the bars close, there are only a handful of places you can get a drink in the early hours of the morning. Die Beate was such a place. The owner, Beate, ran that bar for almost 30 years and it had a special pace the heart of many barflies, myself included. After she died a couple of owners tried their luck, but to be fair, it is in a shady part of town, so it wasn’t easy to get started.”
It took Mischa a couple of months to get the bar in shape, peeling off dozens of layers of wallpaper to discover the walls underneath had a beautiful pattern. Today die Beate remains a minimalistic, softly lit space that serves as a cosy refuge from the chilly Austrian winter nights.
A DEEPER DIG INTO WHISKY
This isn’t Mischa’s first bar, but it’s the first one that dives straight into the world of single malts, something he learned to appreciate while working at a friend’s pub. “I still was not into ‘hard spirits’, but I tried to learn about whisky to understand what it was I was selling,” he says. “After a few funny coincidences I found myself hosting a whisky tasting there and that was when I really found out how interesting whisky can be.”
A short time later at an SMWS tasting in Murau, Mischa met Austrian ambassador Jutta Unterguggenberger and found himself intrigued by the Society. “I knew right there I wanted to dig deeper and see if I could get some SMWS bottles on the shelf.”
SPACE IS THE ONLY LIMIT
On the bar at die Beate, you’ll find spirits and even more whisky, including the recent addition of Society bottles. “There is only a physical limit of space that will put an end to my purchases,” says Mischa about his collection. “We’re moving away from ‘non-Scotch’ as there is so much I want to offer and Scotch has always suited me most. We display a lot of peated whiskies, but not only Islay, a deep affection to Springbank and Kilkerran is obvious and lately, we have more independent bottlings too.”
A PLACE FOR EVERYONE
Most importantly, the local remains exactly that. “Die Beate is a place that doesn’t exclude anyone,” says Mischa. “We have people from all social standings getting together for a beer and a dram. The changing collection also helps you to try something new every time and the people working here know what you might like if you trust them. “Being a partner bar means that we are a serious whisky bar. I always incorporate at least one SMWS bottling in any tasting, since it helps explain how whisky is created. I just love the concept behind the Society and I am very proud to be part of it.”