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Salzburg Is Austria’s Beer Capital

World Travel – Tourism

Open Eyes Opinion {source: Austrian Tourist Office/US}

Salzburg – Austria’s Beer Capital

by Teresa Faudon

The history of beer in Salzburg goes back well over 600 years. When you visit Salzburg today, you’ll find that this legacy has resulted in a very diverse beer culture, with ancient traditions and cutting-edge brewing technology making their mark in equal measure.


With 11 breweries in Salzburg, and 10 breweries in the city’s immediate surroundings, Salzburg is indeed Austria’s beer capital. There are numerous ways you can explore the city’s beer culture during your stay.

One of the most relaxing and pleasant ways is a visit to a local beer garden. Sit underneath ancient horse-chestnut trees, surrounded by beautiful views or historic architecture, and enjoy the house brew, accompanied by hearty and excellent local fare.

You can take a guided walking tour through Salzburg’s picturesque Old-Town and learn all about its history, enjoy a beer tasting here and there, and visit a few select breweries. No major celebration in Salzburg is complete without traditional dishes and a good glass of beer.

If your timing is good, you’ll be able to attend festivities such as the Maypole celebrations on May 1, or the Salzburg Harvest Festival, all of which are occasions on which locals love to sport their traditional costume: Dirndl and Lederhosen.

True beer connoisseurs will love to visit some of the breweries in Salzburg, and compare brewing styles and results. There’s the market leader – Stiegl, the long-serving and well-known Augustiner Bräu at the monastery in Mülln, the Weißbierbrauerei or the only organic (BIO) brewery in the world – the Salzburg ‘Gusswerk’.

In many cases, the historic architecture of the old breweries is still intact. In combination with modern brewing techniques and equipment, the result is a unique experience that is typical of the region.

Salzburg’s oldest brewery, and Austria’s biggest, is the Stiegl Brauwelt, on the outskirts of the city. It was founded in 1492, the same year Christopher Columbus set sail for the New World.

An elaborate showroom visualizes the company’s history, the brewing process, as well as the special techniques used by Stiegl itself. Your visit ends with a tour of the shop, and you can taste your way through their products and local specialties at the adjacent beer hall.

The historic Augustiner Bräu Kloster Mülln occupies the halls of a former monastery and still uses old machinery to brew its beer. Among those is a huge cooler, which is relatively rare these days. The “Bräustüberl” at the Augustiner Bräu is one of the city’s best-loved beer restaurants, where your beer is still served in classic beersteins, and the interior mirrors the historic setting of the brewery itself with its art-deco design.

By contrast, the Trumer brewery in Obertrum near Salzburg uses state-of-the-art technology to make its beer. Guided tours at World of Trumer are a fun experience that includes interactive elements such as a station where you use your sense of smell to identify ingredients.

Old recipes are still used by Die WEISSE, Salzburg’s wheat beer brewery established in 1901: this is where the pale “Weisse,“ a naturally cloudy wheat beer, is brewed and filled into swing top bottles.

These beers, brewed with a lot of love and creativity, taste best fresh from the tap: Aside from the rustic beer halls at the various breweries,  you can also enjoy the refreshing brew at restaurants such as the beer pub “Zum fidelen Affen,” which serves delicious Salzburger dishes and beers.

At Friesacher’s Einkehr, just outside of the city, everything revolves around beer: the extensive menu contains some nice beer rarities, various types of stout, international draught beer specialties and, the absolute highlight, beer from a freshly tapped Augustiner barrel each evening. True to the brewer’s tradition, the tapping of the barrel is announced by ringing a bell.

After acquiring all of that hard-earned beer knowledge, you’ll know your Stiegl from your Augustiner Pils and will be able to order like a local when you next sit down to enjoy your new favorite brew in the historic ambiance of Salzburg’s Old Town.


[photo credits – featured image: “Old Town Salzburg across the Salzach river” by Jiuguang Wang – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –]


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