Salzburg: Three Beer Suggestions

After toasting with a glass of Duits & Lauret Stout in May we went on our honeymoon to the Alps. Yes, not a trip where you would expect the best beer in the world but every country had its highlight. Zürich had the amazing Fork & Bottle, Liechtenstein has two good local breweries and Verona had one interesting brewpub called Terzo Grado. Our final stop was Salzburg, they city that gave us the most beer pleasure. Here a review of three of places we went to: Stiegl, Augustiner and Die Weisse.

Stiegl

Salzburg’s Heineken and one of the major breweries in Austria with an old-fashioned logo that dominates the gables of many bars. It is a decent lager, yet nothing extraordinary. What is extraordinary, is their brewery / museum:  the Stiegl Brauwelt.

Located a fair bit outside of the city so a cab or bus is needed, or someone willing not to drink who can drive. Sidenote: if you enjoy fast machines a visit to Red Bull’s Hanger 7 is nice: Formula 1 cars, motors, planes and more is on show for free. The Stiegl museum is in an older part of the brewery and is huge. They claim to be the biggest beermuseum in Europe. Big installations show how the process of brewing works. When you finally get through these halls there are more halls dedicated to the long history of Stiegl.

Attached to the ticket are three coupons for a sample of one of their beers in the adjoining restaurant/beer hall. The 0.2 liter glass is the right size to try different ones. Stiegl serves mostly the beers that you would expect in Austria: a Pilsner, a Zwickl, a Weizen, a couple of Radlers and an alcohol free beer. They also have a beer of the month which now was a Pale Ale. It is a shame that this beer probably won’t sell that well in the region because it was by far the best beer on offer. It reeks of the commercialism of the Heineken experience in Amsterdam, but we have to admit it was good fun.

Garden at the Stiegl Keller

Garden at the Stiegl Keller

Stiegl Keller

In downtown Salzburg, at the foot of one of the mountains is the Stiegl Keller, a gigantic beerhall with multiple rooms and a garden. They serve most of the beers you can get in the Brauwelt. We didn’t see it by night so only the garden was open. It did have the best schnitzel we had the entire trip and the Austrian food in general has been good.

Augustiner

The Stone Mugs

The Stone Mugs

It was a rainy day when we went to check out the Augustiner brewery on the eastern edge of the city centre. We were there 15 minutes before it opened and some tourists were standing outside waiting to get in. When the door opened we went inside and through hallways and up and down stairways we came to the middle of the building. First a corridor with food stalls and a door leading to a huge room with tables. Inside we noticed that there were more people already inside than were standing with us. The building had more entrances. Most of these either walked towards a door through where people were already coming with stone mugs filled with beer. Seemed to be a self service, though some waiters were walking around.

I followed the people walking through the door and what I say there was something I have

A stone mug filled with beer

A stone mug filled with beer

not seen before. On shelves stood the stone mugs, both half liter and liter sized. I took the half liter mug and walked towards a little booth where a guy took my order and gave me receipt. With that receipt I walked to the bar where two dudes were tapping the beer from huge barrels I handed over my receipt and they poured my mug full of lovely liquid and walked back. They only serve one beerstyle, a Märzen. A lovely creamy brew with lots of banana notes. It was time for some food as well so I strolled through the food corridor. Schnitzel, fries, cheeses, different sausages and pork products and the like. If you didn’t want the food for sale there you were more than welcome to bring your own and eat it there.  There are three big halls of which one was for smokers. This is something we still had to get used too. Augustiner is definitely an unique beerdrinking experience.

Die Weisse

The iconic Die Weisse bottle

The iconic Die Weisse bottle

In Salzburgs ‘Newtown’ you can find Die Weisse, a brewery that most resembles an American style brewpub. As any place here it is huge, has a beer garden and food. Different from other brewpubs they offer quite a selection of beer. Their standard beer is a Weizen but you can get a pilsner, a bock and more. They also serve different combinations of beer with soda drinks. Admitted, the beer is not of the greatest quality but it’s a worthy stop for either lunch or dinner. The barstaff speaks English and the prices are reasonable. Nicely decorated too and it has a great garden too. It seems to be a very popular place for locals to go since most tables were reserved.

Would we suggest Salzburg as a beer destination? No, Münich and northern Italy are more interesting and have better beer. But when you are there, you should definitely visit at least the three places mentioned here.

Martyn Buisman with help from Wendy Buisman-Bos

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Dirk Breedveld on 09/07/2013 at 2:46 pm

    MMMM, i think that you missed Trumer close to Salzburg in Obertrum, and it is also worth mentioning Alchimiste Belge a nice beerpub

    Reply

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