Melanie Haider and Mario Huber have made a name for themselves by producing excellent schnapps from regional produce in the only distillery in the Lechtal Valley where visitors can see how the schnapps is made before trying it themselves.
The Brennerei Lechtaler Haussegen takes its name from "Haussegen", a word which literally means "house blessing" but is also used in a much wider context to express the state of things at home. If an Austrian says, for example, "Der Haussegen hängt schief" (literally: "The house blessing is crooked"), then that means there's trouble brewing. However, that is certainly not the case with Melanie Haider and Mario Huber or their distillery in the Lechtal Valley, where the secrets of extracting fine spirits from locally sourced produce are willingly divulged to visitors before sitting down to enjoy a glass (or two) of this clear liquid made in an enormous copper pot over an open fire.
Tradition meets innovation
The Brennerei Lechtaler Haussegen, the only distillery of its kind in the Lechtal Valley, is driven by the passion which Melanie Haider and Mario Huber share for local produce and the craft of distilling schnapps. True to their principle of using fruit from the surrounding region, the duo focus on schnapps made from apples, pears, plums and rownberries as well as typical regional flowers such as gentians, masterwort and bloodwort. At the same time, they enjoy experimenting with new ideas such as banana schnapps (!) and a range of home-made liqueurs.
Among the most tastebud-tantalising inventions are the "Bergheubrand", an apple schnapps with aromatic mountain herbs collected from the lush alpine meadows of the Lechtal Valley, and "Kramat", a gin-like juniper berry schnapps refined with lemon balm and other herbs.