What’s the best location for a beer festival? If you answered “in a brewery,” then award yourself a bottle of something golden and cold. In the case of the Ottakringer Bierfest, that location is the city’s giant Ottakringer brewery in the 16th district.
- Features Ottakringer’s standard beers, craft beers, and exclusive beer editions
- Includes live music, food, and other bonuses
- 2022 dates: TBA (was Jul 1 – Sept 3 in 2021)
- See also: Craft Beer Festival | Vienna Beer Festival | Beer in Austria
The Ottakringer beer festival
As a long-time active observer of the Vienna beer scene (someone has to do it), I’ve become an admirer of Ottakringer, the city’s main brewery.
In recent years, Ottakringer have added a rather fine craft beer arm to their product palette. And the brewery premises host all sorts of excellent cultural events, such as Vinyl & Music or the Rum and Gin Festivals.
The pinnacle of the annual calendar at Ottakringer is probably their own Bierfest (beer festival). I go every year with my neighbour.
The large brewery forecourt fills with tables, benches, beer tents and food stalls, all spreading out in front of a stage (as you can see in the video at the bottom of the page).
But this is not simply an outdoor beer event.
First, while you can consume Ottakringer’s own standard products, their Brauwerk craft beer line produces a range of porters, pale ales, and more for you to taste.
Second, the stage serves more than just a decorative purpose, with live performances from bands and singers.
Third, there’s street food, so you have something to wash down with the beer. Think the kind of snacks and meals that fit with Austrian beer culture (perhaps sausages, schnitzel and spare ribs) with little touches of eclecticism (perhaps trout burgers and veggie burgers).
A few bonus experiences typically round off the festival, such as something called beer yoga, which I’ve not had the pleasure of enjoying but certainly sounds intriguing.
The Bierfest is the (possibly temporary) alternative to Ottakringer’s pre-pandemic summer event, which had a slightly more global remit. The Braukulturwochen included a guest brewery (which changed every couple of days or so): usually small or specialist breweries from the provinces or overseas.
Around 18 national and international guest breweries joined the last full festival back in 2019, for example, at some point. Among the more exotic guests were Sakiškiųalus from Lithuania, Fierce & Noble from the UK, and Alexander from Israel.
2022 dates & tickets
I don’t have dates for 2022 just yet, but the festival usually runs from early July to early September, Monday to Saturday. Typical times are 4pm to midnight.
Entry is free, but the beer and food isn’t (obviously). Reserve a table through the website (see below).
If the event returns to its pre-pandemic format, expect plenty of guest breweries. If not, one or two special events may still take place on some days. For example, the Vinyl & Music festival held Summer Nights specials mid-July and mid-August last time, and a few local craft beer breweries also made an occasional appearance.
How to get to the beer festival
The Ottakringer brewery is in Vienna’s 16th district (called Ottakring), but easily reached by subway or tram.
Subway: take the U3 out to Ottakring station and walk down Ottakringer Straße back toward the city centre (or jump on the 44 tram that goes down the same street)
Tram: Take the 2, 9 or 44 trams to Johann-Nepomuk-Berger-Platz, a stop practically outside the brewery. The 44 leaves from Schottentor in the city center, for example, and the 2 leaves from various stops around the Ringstrassen boulevard that rings the old town.
Address: Ottakringer Platz 1, 1160 Vienna | Website