While in Vienna in April 2009, I of course spent some time getting to know the beer. Since I was only in town for a few days, I couldn’t make a comprehensive exploration of beer haunts. But, armed with some reports from Beer Advocate and a couple of earlier explorers who had posted their notes online (links at the end of this post), I sought out a dozen or so beer destinations and discovered two brewpubs that are definitely worth a visit.
- 1516 Brewing Company in the First District. My full review is on BeerAdvocate here. To summarize, an American-style brew pub in Europe. Everyone speaks English, styles are generally highly varied (and highly hopped – they even brew Hop Devil IPA from Pennsylvania’s Victory Brewing), and the food is generically average. The beer is overall superb, though – I tried everything on the menu and the blackboard and didn’t have a single clunker. Just don’t come here expecting to explore the nuances of Austrian beer history or culture.
- Siebensternbräu in the Seventh District. Still an easy(-ish) walk from the center of the city. Absolutely charming inside, with a tendency toward more European styles in the beers. I had a couple of very good lagers there, and an awesome Käsespätzle (cheese noodles) with bacon. Went beautifully with their signature Hemp beer.
My general sense was that Vienna doesn’t have much of a craft beer culture, that big-company lagers (and some macro wheat beers) are the main offering nearly everywhere. I couldn’t even find a good, “native” Vienna lager anywhere – one of my favorite styles when produced by American craft brewers.
You can’t go wrong with the beers at either of the above-two brewpubs, though, nor the food at Siebensternbräu.
My photos are probably best viewed directly on Flickr here, but I’ve also inserted them as a gallery below. (Most of them were taken with my BlackBerry, so they’re not the greatest quality.)
Thanks again to the authors of the web pages below, which helped me quite a bit on such a short trip:
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