I should perhaps start this off with a hearty piratical “Arrrrrr!” or some other rum-soaked cliché. But I won’t.
Anyway, if you like a drop of rum or a gin and tonic of an evening, then the aptly-named Vienna Rumfestival and Ginmarkt Wien might be your thing.
- 2-day rum and gin festivals held at Ottakringer Brewery
- Tastings, workshops, food & music
- Ticketed separately, but combi-tickets available (but sell out fast)
- 2020 dates: Sept 25-26
- See also: Events in Vienna | Cocktail festival
What are the festivals all about?
Drinking rum and gin. A celebration of rum and gin. The two festivals share a date and location, both taking place on the premises of Vienna’s main brewer (Ottakringer).
The Vienna Rumfestival will be in its fifth year in 2020, offering visitors the chance to discover different types of rum from dozens of brands. Get a flavour (see what I did there?) of the event from this video:
It’s the brainchild of rum aficionados, who will no doubt grimace at my earlier pirate comment. After all, rum has escaped its historical naval milieu to become a drink of the world, albeit resonant with Caribbean flair and history.
The Ginmarkt Wien festival is a year younger and goes better with tonic and a slice of lemon. Here’s a video from the organisers:
The rum festival
Obviously, there is the chance to sample and/or buy the drink that led Lord Byron to write:
“There’s nought, no doubt, so much the spirit calms
As rum and true religion: thus it was”
Various tastings and workshops cost extra and are likely in German anyway. But your basic entry ticket includes drink vouchers and a festival glass. You can buy more vouchers on site, too.
The last event had its own food areas (with a pop-up Caribbean kitchen), musical entertainment (with live Cuban music from 7 pm), and even a cigar lounge.
A strong cocktail theme runs through the rum festival, of course. This includes the annual cocktail challenge on the Friday. In 2019, expert barkeepers attempted to create a totally-new rum-based cocktail in just 30 minutes in an event sponsored by Bacardi.
The gin festival
As well as plenty of gin to sample from numerous brands, there’s also food and music, the latter courtesy of various DJs. The Gin Festival shares some facilities with its rum cousin (such as the pop-up kitchen).
2020 dates and tickets
In 2020, the festivals take place on Friday, September 25 and Saturday, September 26. I don’t have opening times yet, but last year it was from 1pm (rum) / 4pm (gin) to 10pm.
As mentioned before, tickets to each festival get you entrance, tasting vouchers, and a free glass. Buy them as soon as they become available online (see below for links); combination tickets for both festivals tend to sell out fast. There may also be a few tickets available on each day at the events themselves.
How to get to the festivals
The Ottakringer Brauerei (Ottakringer brewery) site is picking up a reputation as an excellent event location: it also hosts a long summer beer festival, for example.
Subway: Take the U3 to its final station (Ottakring) and walk down (or jump on the nearby 44 tram)
Tram: Take line 2, 9 or 44 to the Johann-Nepomuk-Berger-Platz stop, which is opposite the brewery. Or the 46 line to Feßtgasse.