Austrians allegedly 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)
- Usually 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: Nov 18-19, 2022
- usually held in May and November each year
- See also:
The Craft Bier Fest
(The craft beer festival at a previous venue; photo © Craft Bier Fest / Max Garschall)
Austrians are fairly loyal to local beers, so the craft beer movement of recent years fits naturally 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, 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 all that, various other stands offer 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.
2022 dates and tickets
The festival normally appears twice a year (when pandemics allow). The last event took place May 13th and 14th 2022 (4pm to 11pm on both days) with the next one scheduled for November 18th and 19th.
Ticket information becomes available from the website (see below): you usually buy online or on the door.
The ticket price typically 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 last May event venue was in the Prater recreational area, which also offers such delights as the Riesenrad giant Ferris wheel or Madame Tussauds. We shall see if the festival stays there for the 2023 version.
Reach the Prater venue easily on the subway…take the U1 line to Praterstern and walk up along the tree-lined boulevard or through the entertainment complex. Alternatively, take the U2 to Messe Prater and walk down past some impressive architecture.
Address: Viktor Gernot’s Praterbühne, Prater 121, 1020 Vienna | Event website
The November festival takes place in the large Marx Halle venue that has come a long way since its days as a slaughterhouse.
Jump on the U3 subway to Erdberg or Schlachthausgasse and then walk. Or reach the St. Marx stop on the 18 or 71 trams.
Address: Karl-Farkas-Gasse 19, 1030 Vienna | Event website