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Die Weisse | © Valentin Weinhäupl - Die Weisse
Art & Culture
Beer with Character
The burgeoning craft-beer scene is very evident in Salzburg, too, Austria’s secret beer capital. The beers brewed here are exquisite specialties. And they have been so for decades.
Beer has been brewed in Salzburg since 1408. The city itself boasts multiple micro breweries, some of which are affiliated with long-established inns, while ten more are located barely a stone’s throw away – from venerable Augustiner Bräu Kloster Mülln to the organic Gusswerk brewery in Hof. Seen against the background of this centuries-old brewing tradition, it is immediately evident that hand-crafted specialty beers are far from being a mere fad here in Salzburg.
“Stieglbrauerei has been focused on producing distinctive beers for the last 20 years”, explains Stiegl’s creative brewmaster Markus Trinker. Their latest coup is known as “Urbier”, created at Stiegl-Gut Wildshut in mighty clay amphorae using a special fermentation process.
Beery enjoyment with cosmopolitan flair
“Craft beers are a declaration of love towards beer”, says Seppi Sigl, head of Trumer Privatbrauerei, who sees the trend towards characterful beers as one that has long since come to fruition in Austria. The sensory range of beer is something you also clearly feel at the “Trumerei”. With its open construction, old wood paneling and graffiti art, this “ale house” is able to draw a young, sophisticated public.
The light-bathed ambience of the “SternLounge” is likewise an integral part of the picture. With top-to-bottom renovations of this tradition-rich location now complete, Sternbräu serves house beers accompanied by Austrian-style tapas variations. “In our chronicle, you can read that Sternbräu already had its own light and dark beers until the late 1930s”, explains Harald Kratzer. Their historic roots can be clearly felt in the Bürgersaal and in the vintage Braumeisterstube.
Brewed with passion: Salzburg’s craft beers
For Christine and Ronald Keil, craft beer is a “revolution of good taste that’s here for the long haul”. In their Bottle Shop inside a historic vaulted cellar, you will discover around 250 types of craft beer, including some which are exceptionally bold.
“Fundamentally, they are honest products, behind which stand creative people who closely identify with their work“, says Gustl Absmann, who has both “Die Weisse” as well as the “Fuxn” under his very able wings. There, aside from countless exotic specimens from Germany, Belgium and Scotland, they also serve their own Fuxn house beer, brewed by Reinhold Barta at the Gusswerk organic brewery.
As you can see, it is absolutely appropriate to describe Austria’s secret beer capital also as the cradle of craft beers. Even though, traditional Salzburg prefers to refer to its passionately brewed hops beverages as “house beer”.