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 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 might need to know, frankly, but, for the record, there are other stands, too (think street food, in particular)
- Next dates: TBA (usually Nov and April)
- Book a spot on a guided craft beer tour* of Vienna
- See also:
The Craft Bier Fest
(The craft beer festival at the winter 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 to track down and taste various 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.
Numerous breweries present their best efforts to turn water, yeast, hops and (mostly) barley into a golden nectar.
The Craft Bier Fest traditionally focuses on Austria and its eastern neighbours, but breweries from all over Europe and beyond sometimes 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.
The last event I attended (April 2023) had a far smaller geographical focus. But the Czech breweries, in particular, had some excellent beers, including a delicious white porter.
2023 dates, tickets & tips
The festival traditionally appears twice a year. The first 2023 event took place on April 14th and 15th. The second usually takes place in November.
Ticket information is available from the website (see below): you typically buy online or on the door.
Your ticket 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.
On my April visit, most breweries sold 0.1 litres of beer for two tokens (which cost €1 each), so the per litre price is rather high compared to bars.
But brewery staff were often generous with portions. Plus, the more you want in your glass, the cheaper it gets: 2 tokens for 0.1 litres, 3 tokens for 0.2 litres, for example.
We put €20 into tokens and tasted around eight beers, which was well worth it (though I shall not be drinking any beer with “Vintage” in the title ever again).
How to get to the Craft Beer Festival
The festival typically occupies the large Marx Halle venue that has come a long way since its days as a slaughterhouse.
If at the Marx halle, jump on the U3 subway to Erdberg or Schlachthausgasse and then walk. Or travel to the St. Marx stop on the 18 or 71 trams.
Address: Karl-Farkas-Gasse 19, 1030 Vienna | Event website