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
(Photo © 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. You could, of course, take a road trip through the country to track down and taste all the varieties. That would take a while.
As an alternative, simply drop into the two-day celebration of specialist beers that is the Craft Bier Fest in Vienna. 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.
The Craft Bier Fest traditionally focuses on Austria and its eastern neighbours, but breweries from all over Europe and beyond typically attend, too. At one event, for example, I spotted brews from Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, Scotland, England, Ireland, Estonia, Germany, Wales, Russia, and the USA.
2021 dates and tickets
The last edition of the Craft Bier Fest was provisionally planned for November 27th to 28th in 2020 but that fell within a period of national lockdown. I’m waiting for new dates to appear.
Doors typically open from 4pm to 11pm. You can usually buy your tickets on the door or in advance from the website (see below, when available).
The ticket price 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