A Guide to Craft Beer in Vienna, Austria
I had reached my breaking point when I was in Vienna, Austria. I mean, I liked the local wine, but I had enough. I needed to find beer in Vienna.
I missed the breweries, beer halls, and beer gardens that I so much enjoyed in Munich and Salzburg. Surely a city as large as Vienna had a beer scene buried somewhere among its wine taverns, quaint cafés, and imperialist architecture. And no I wasn’t talking about the tacky Irish pub scene that attracts throngs of thirsty backpackers.
With more than a dozen breweries in the city and a plethora of pubs, I was quite delighted to learn that there is plenty of good beer in Vienna to quench my thirst. After an hour or so spent plotting out a self-guided beer tour, my wife and I enjoyed a leisurely, sunny spring afternoon soaking up rays and suds.
Hopefully this guide will help you, too find beer in Vienna!
Our tour started out with Plutzer Brau for lunch.
At first I was skeptical as Plutzer Brau resembled more of a bar than a brewery. I poked around inside before I determined that it was a brewery. Satisfied, we requested a table in the courtyard. While the offering of in-house brews was quite limited, the quality definitely surpassed expectations as the tavern seemed more like a late night bar than a community watering hole.
I started with the Helles as a crisper, lighter lager is better for opening the palette. The beer also paired better with the mixed BBQ platter that we ordered. While it wasn’t authentic Austrian beer food, it was finger licking good.
Next we headed over to 7 Stern Brau.
After making several wrong turns in the maze of Spittelberg, we finally found 7 Stern Brau and commandeered seats in the shaded courtyard. While I read that the kitchen was more than capable, we were stuffed from our previous feast and tossed the food menu aside for beer. 7 Stern claims that they are the first brewery in Vienna to step beyond the 1516 laws and brew creative beers that can rival the US craft beer boom.
I ordered the Chilli Beer and immediately began to breathe fire. It was hottest beer I’ve ever experienced. I followed it up with a Hemp Beer. The sweet, herbal lager helped extinguish the fire. Both beers proved that the brewery could back up its claims of brewing the most innovative craft beer in Vienna.
Other breweries you should plan to visit.
Plutzer and 7 Stern are just a jumping off point to Vienna’s beer scene. To truly experience the wide variety of breweries, I suggest purchasing hop-on hop-off bus tickets and marrying them with RateBeer’s list of the best breweries. Some must sips for your itinerary are 1516 for the HopDevil clone, Salm Bräu for their traditional decoction mashing methods, or Universitäts Bräuhaus for some of the most traditional Austrian brews in town.
We stayed at the Le Meridien while we were in Vienna. It’s central location was perfect for exploring the beer scene and more. Check out the latest reviews of TripAdvisor or the prices on Travelocity or Expedia. Or, check out these other recommended hotels.