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Austrian Beer - Cheers!

A good beer has only four ingredients: water, grain, a little hops and yeast - the rest depends on the brewer’s skill. (And in Austria, we've got plenty!)

 © Stieglbräu
© Stieglbräu
 © Stiegl
© Stiegl
Beer culture in Salzburg © Tourismus Salzburg
Beer culture in Salzburg © Tourismus Salzburg

Brewing is an ancient trade, and over the centuries it has reached great sophistication that modern-day beers bear little resemblance to the produce of the brewing vats of old.

Brewing is basically applied biotechnology. It makes use of natural processes to transform natural raw materials into a natural beverage. Add to that generations of expertise and Austria’s stringent food regulations – on which many other countries have modelled their legislation – and you get a superbly pure and unspoiled glass of beer.

Here are the recognised types of beer in Austria:

Märzen: balanced malty flavor, mildly bitter hoppy aroma, light in color
Pils: bottom-fermenting, strongly hoppy, light-colored full-strength beer
Special beer: full-strength beers with an original wort of at least 12.5 degrees
Wheat beer: made using at least 50% wheat malt
Zwickel: unfiltered, made cloudy by the yeast and insoluble proteins

Did you know that Salzburg, Austria's secret capital of beer, is brewing beer dating back to 1492?