Austrian Beer Guide

A completely personal, completely unfinished guide to some Austrian beers along with a few nice places to drink them, based on my last and only two trips to Austria in '92 and '93. An explanation of the rating system follows. I also have a small guide to Austrian restaurants. Austria is a fine country to drink beer in; there are currently 360 distinct brands produced by 66 breweries.[1] A complete list of breweries with their addresses, phone, and fax numbers is available.

Thanks to all the people who have visited this Guide, especially those who have sent me comments and advice! The Beer Guide has been visited approximately times since . A graph of accesses to this page over time is available. N.B.: accesses in the graph drop off to zero because our Web stats summary program needs to be upgraded... A correct graph will reappear when I get time to fix this.

There are a lot of other web pages related to Austria and also many related to beer.

Austrian Beers by Province


Brauhaus Nussdorf The best beers brewed in Vienna come from this micro in Nussdorf. They are served only on the premises in the "Bier Heurige". All are top-fermented. The Old Whisky Bier (***+) is made from whisky malts and has a slightly smokey flavor, the Zwickel Bier (****) is (true to style) unfiltered, and Sir Henry's Stout (****) is a superb stout (however surprising it may be to find it brewed in Vienna). St Thomas Brau (***) is a reddish altbier, it's color hidden in a stoneware humpen. The Doppelhopfen-Hell (**), while pleasant, doesn't live up to it's name in hoppiness.

Ottakringer Ottakringer Gold Fassl (***) is my favorite Viennese beer (apart from the Nussdorfers, which are only available at the brewery). It's soft, malty and well-balanced, and very good vom Faß. Ottakringer also produces a non-alcoholic beer, Null Komma Josef, notable for it's hilarious name which means, literally, "Zero Point Joe"; this is Viennese slang for "next to nothing". I'll leave it unrated except to say that Clausthaler is better.


Gösser "Gut, besser, ein echtes Gösser!" Gösser is widely available throughout Austria, and produces a number of beers under that name. Gösser Spezial (**+) and Export (**) are typical Austrian beers, slightly malty and pale. Gösser Märzen (*+) is somewhat stronger, distinctly yellow, but disappointing. Gösser Gold (*) is thin and flavorless, much like an American premium beer like Bud or Miller.

Reininghaus Reininghaus (**) is produced by the same brewery conglomerate (Steirerbrau) as Gösser and is very similar.

Puntigamer Puntigamer (**) is also produced by Steirerbrau and shows a family resemblance. They also produce a Märzen.

Schladminger Schladminger Bier (**) is brewed in Schladming, at the base of the south wall of the Dachstein massif. The Schladminger glacier, at the top of the Dachstein, is a fine place to enjoy a Schladminger.


Trumer Pils Nice and dry (***). Brewed by Privatbrauerei Josef Sigl.

Stiegl Stiegl beer (**) has been brewed since 1492.

Edelweiß Weizen One of the few Austrian weiß beers (**+).


Brauerei Schwechat The Schwechat brewery is located in a suburb of Vienna, near the airport. Schwechater Hopfenperle (**+) is pleasantly malty.

I feel obliged to mention that many of my Austrian correspondants have castigated me for giving Schwechater too high a rating. In fact many have pointed out to me that, as any Viennese knows, Schwechater's unofficial slogan is "Schlecht, schlechter, Schwechater" (or alternately, "Schwach, schwächer, Schwechater"); cf. Gösser. I will be sure to re-evaluate it when next in Vienna.

Kaiser Bier Kaiser (**) is brewed by Wieselburger and is a typical Austrian; there is also a dark Doppelmalz (**). Wieselburger Bier (**+) is better; I only had it once, from the bottle and would like to try it again. See also Kartausen-Bräu.


Mohren Brau


Hirter Hirter (**) is an extremely light beer that's been brewed in Kärnten since 1290!

My Hirter rating seems to be one of my least popular; many Austrians have informed me that it deserves a much higher rating (indeed, most of my relatives seem to think better of it than I did). I'm eager to try it vom Faß.

Be sure to check out the official Hirter web page.


Eggenberger The intensely malty Eggenberger Urbock (****), at 23 degrees Plato, is the strongest beer in Austria. It may also be the best beer in Austria. Eggenberger's Hopfen König (****) is a very complexly hoppy pils. Brewed in Vorchdorf.

Zipfer Zipfer Urtyp (***) is one of the hoppier Austrian beers.

Baumgartner I enjoyed a Baumgartner (**) in the Grabner Almhaus.

Kapsreiter Landbier Goldbraun Golden brown Kapsreiter Landbier (***+) is intensely aromatic; it comes in a bottle with a ceramic stopper. Brewed in Schärding. According to my sources, the brewery is now owned by Ottakringer of Vienna.

Non-Austrian Beers

There are also a number of non-Austrian beers commonly available in Austria (especially Vienna) that are worth seeking out.

Czech Republic

Budweiser Budvar Budvar (****) is widely available in Vienna; soft and slightly sweet, yet hoppy.

Bohemia Regent This well-balanced Czech beer (****), brewed in Trebon since 1379, is available from Julius Meinl stores. The brewery supposedly also brews a porter!

Places To Drink Fine Austrian Beers


Brauhaus Nussdorf Baron Bachofen von Echt's wonderful Schönbrunn-yellow brewhouse is near the Danube at the edge of the Wienerwald; in addition to the top-fermented Nussdorf beers, he serves wonderful food; I recommend the bierschnitzel.) XIX Bezirk, 1 Freihof Gasse, Nussdorf, Wien. Phone: (1) 37 26 52. Take either the U4 or U6 subways to the end of the line at Heiligenstadt station; from there take the Schnellbahn one stop to Nussdorf. Walk one block north on Heiligenstädter Straße to Freihof Gasse.

Beethovenhaus Bierteufl This bier beisl is in one of Beethoven's many ex-residences. It has over one hundred beers available, thirty-six of which are Austrian. The decor is dark and pleasant with heavy wood beams everywhere. They also serve food; avoid the rather ordinary "specials" in favor of the excellent hausmannskost (home-cooking), like the garlicky biersuppe and the delicious Speck-Eier nockerl. III Bezirk, Corner of Ungargasse and Beatrixgasse. Take the U3 subway to Landstraße station. Walk one block south on Invaliden Straße to Ungargasse; turn left and walk one block to Beatrixgasse (the O Straßenbahn goes right to the door from Landstraße station).

Karl Kolarik's Schweizerhaus im Wiener Prater The Schweizerhaus isn't really a place to drink beer per se: it's a place to go for one perfect meal with one perfect beer. The Schweizerhaus is in the Wurstel Prater (the midway of the Volks Prater); it's a large, noisy and crowded restaurant with an extensive menu. But it's justly famous for one meal: hintere Schweinsstelzen with Budweiser Budvar. The Schweinsstelzen is a huge hunk of fresh ham (about as big as your head), on the shank bone, rubbed with coarse salt and caraway and perfectly grilled. It's served with enough grated horseradish on the side to make your eyes water. And the traditional beverage is Budvar vom Faß. This is as Viennese an experience as you could hope for; not to be missed. (I'm told the Schweizerhaus closes for the winter.) Prater 116, Wien. Phone: (1) 728 0152.

Unvisited Places

Disclaimer: I haven't visited these places, but they have been mentioned by several of my correspondants.

Fischer Bräu The beer is strongly recommended by many correspondants. Also try the toasts. XIX Bezirk, Billrothstrasse 17, corner Schegargasse. Phone: (1) 319 62 64. Take the 38 Straßenbahn from Schottentor.

Wieden Bräu

I can really recommend "Wieden Braeu", it is one of my favorite places (and this not only because it's only five minutes away from where I live). They have their own, small brewery (part of it INSIDE the room, so you can watch how your beer is brewed while drinking), they produce a refreshing beer called Helles, a spicier Märzen and a malty, dark brown "Dunkles". They don't seem to fill it in bottles for outside sale. It is also a good place for eating.
Christian Unfried, Universität Wien
IV Bezirk, Waaggasse 5. Phone: (1) 58 60 300.


Siebensternbräu is relatively new (one or two years) and a real brewpub of which there are not so many in Vienna. Their pils is excellent and so is the food you get there. In fact, the pub is near the so-called 'Spittelberg' (within walking distance) which is a picturesque group of old houses with nice pubs.
Thomas Salzberger
VII Bezirk, Siebensterngasse 19. Phone: (1) 523 86 97. Take the 49 Straßenbahn; Siebensternbräu is just a few stops from the Volkstheater subway station (U2 and U3).

Medl Bräu XIV Bezirk, Linzerstraße 275. Phone: (1) 94 43 40.

Plutzer Bräu VII Bezirk, Schrankgasse 2. Phone: (1) 52 61 215.

Salm Bräu III Bezirk, Rennweg 8. Phone: (1) 799 599 2. Open daily from 11am till midnight. The following information is from the proprietor, Ing. Albert Welledits, VP <>

complete renovated part of the baroque Salesianer Convent between Convent and lower Belvedere.
baroque, upscale pub athmosphare, on two levels, streetlevel with the brewhouse located in the centre of the space with 130 seats, cellar (from 1715 !) 110 seats, also located the fermentation and storagetanks all visible.
Vienna's only weissbeerbrewery serving pale weissbeer made in traditional bavarian recipe, also served bottom fermented Helles, Maerzen and Pils (czech style).
exclusive vienna cousine
till Christmas on every sunday: beerbrunch & jazz live on every saturday: saturday jazz evening
recommended, res-rate up to 75% of seat capacity. No credit cards, major foreign currencies accepted.
2 vessel 16hl brewhouse in copper design, with high-tech controlling system and remote heatingsystem, full automatic, full decoction plant.
one week fermenting time, 3 fermentation tanks.
three weeks storagetime, 9 storage tanks, one bockbeer tank own yeast growing plant; six dispensing tanks each 16hl; all tanks fully insulated and computer controlled cooled by low temp glycol system.
See the Salm Bräu page for more information.

Bierklinik I Bezirk, near Stephansdom.


Kartause Gaming This lovely restored Carthusian monastery in the village of Gaming is the only place to enjoy the contract-brewed Kartausen-Bräu (****) (brewed by Wieselburger). The monastery, with its reddish-orange tile roofs, is beautifully set in a river valley amidst rolling green hills.


Unvisited Places

Stiegl Beerhall
Stiegl has a beerhall/restaurant on the road up the Monchburg. It has several rooms of varying levels of formality from a fine restaurant to cafeteria style to just plain beer. Prices are reasonable for a tourist town. The nice thing about this place is the upper garden terraces that have very nice views looking out over the city and have chestnut trees growing up through the floor. I don't have an address but it is a well known local landmark.
Andrew E. Smith, University of Cincinnati


Unvisited Places

The Schloß in Steyr
Another very nice place to have a beer is in the castle (Schloß) in Steyr. They have a very inexepensive, dark paneled restaurant with outside tables in the castle gardens. They serve a variety of beers, but primarily have Styrian beers like Gosser. Great food, great beer! What more could you want?
Andrew E. Smith, University of Cincinnati

Beer Rating Scale

My beer rating scale is as follows:
Worse than no beer at all
Poor quality; flavorless
Acceptable beer, decent quality
Much better than average, worth seeking out
Superb, top-quality


My thanks to the good doctor himself, David Farley, for doing the scans.

Thanks also to my many correspondants, in Austria and elsewhere; I only have space to list those who contributed information or corrections that went directly in to this page:

Backlinks: Michael Jackson's Beer Hunter Online [City.Net] [Magellan] Blue Ribbon

End Notes

  1. Source: Nordamerikische Wochen Post, 5 November 1994.

Keith Waclena This page last updated: Thu Jul 9 18:41:23 CDT 1998