Austrians drink more beer than all but the Czechs. And they have plenty of brews to choose from, as you’ll discover at the Craft Bier Fest (craft beer festival) in Vienna.
- Two-day showcase of the best craft beers from Austria (and beyond)
- Held twice-yearly in spring and autumn
- Yep, you get to taste the beers
- That’s all you need to know, frankly, but, for the record, there are other stands, too (think street food, brewing equipment and advice)
- Next dates: TBA
- See also: Beer in Austria | Wiener Bierfest | Festival of Beer Culture
The Craft Bier Fest
(© Craft Bier Fest / Max Garschall)
Austrians are fairly loyal to local beers, so the craft beer movement of recent years is a natural fit with regional drinking habits. According to the Brewery Association, Austria now boasts over 1000 varieties of beer and almost 300 breweries.
You could take a road trip through the country to track down and taste all these varieties. Or you could simply drop into the Craft Bier Fest in Vienna, a two-day celebration of specialist beers.
Dozens of breweries present their best efforts to turn water, yeast, hops and (mostly) barley into a golden nectar, with tastings a central feature of the event. On top of that, various other stands offer all the technology and know-how that goes into the craft.
It’s too early for details of the next event (in spring 2020), but the previous one in November had numerous winners from the 2019 Austrian Beer Challenge.
The lineup included festival debuts for the Illegal Brewing, Brauviertel, Mei Durscht and Zeiserl breweries (all from Austria). And, as a special feature, various Finnish craft beer companies made an appearance.
The list of participating breweries exceeded 70, with numerous representatives from other countries, including the Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia, and Slovenia.
In addition to the Craft Bier Fest’s traditional focus on Austria and its eastern neighbours, you could find brews from, for example, Poland, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, Scotland, England, Ireland, Estonia, Germany, Wales, Russia, and the USA. Prost!
2020 dates and tickets
I’ll add dates for the spring 2020 craft beer festival as soon as I get them. The 2019 one was May 3rd and 4th, for reference.
Doors typically open from 4pm to 11pm. You can buy your tickets on the door or in advance from the website (see below, when available).
The ticket price usually includes a free beer tasting glass, which you make good use of at the festival. Once there, buy tokens to exchange for samples of the brewer’s art.
How to get to the Craft Beer Festival
The Marx Halle is in the third district, not far from the centre (but not really on any traditional tourist trails).
Subway: Take the U3 line to Erdberg or Schlachthausgasse and it’s a short stroll to the exhibition hall
Tram/bus: Take the 18 tram or 74A bus to Viehmarktgasse (the tram also passes Schlachthausgasse if you want to combine subway and tram). Alternatively, ride the 71 tram to St. Marx or the 80A bus to Neu Marx or Maria-Jacobi-Gasse
Address: Karl-Farkas-Gasse 19, 1030 Vienna | Website