From the largest raspberry juice manufacturer during the monarchy to the Old Viennese Schnapsmuseum today
Friedrich Fischer was a qualified chemist and worked as a distiller in the liqueur factory D. Weiss & Co. in the 10th district of Vienna. When he married Betty Pomberger in 1902, he moved to Wilhelmsdorf and began working in the Pomberger general store (founded in 1875).
Now nothing stood in the way of Fischer’s imagination: Friedrich Fischer was not satisfied with just producing brandies and herbal liqueurs; so he looked for niches in the market and started producing fruit juice on an industrial scale. “During the company’s heyday, before and during the First World War, up to 60 tons of berries were pressed each season; which resulted in a threefold raspberry juice. The company supplied its juice to Austria, the countries of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Balkans. A salesman from the company traveled to these countries personally,” recalled his son, Ernst Fischer. Friedrich Fischer was able to expand and purchased some more houses in the Wilhelmstraße. Later, at his request, his son also joined the business. He learned the business from the ground up and learned his skills from the artisans who worked at the company.
The Second World War was a very difficult time for the Fischer family: Except for the front of house No. 19 with the old company sign and the office, all the Fischer houses were completely destroyed. After the war, Ernst Fischer began to rebuild the company and he and his son Gerhard faced trying times: His customers, local grocers and spirits shops, were driven out of business by supermarkets, which at the time were only focused on price and not quality.
The great-grandson of the company founder, Gerhard Fischer’s son Gerald, wanted to awaken the old Meidlinger family business from its slumber and revitalize it. Motivated by Gerald, the Fischer’s decided to renovate the business and provide visitors insight into the tradition of the distillery craft with public tours. Since autumn 1990, the old factory premises have been open in its new splendor for more than 25,000 visitors per year and the brandies and liqueurs of the Old Vienna Schnapsmuseum made following traditional family recipes are enjoying a new popularity and are even being exported to many countries overseas.