Austrian Beer culture
Austrian beer a perfect match with Viennese cuisine
Particularly in combination with hearty and heavy dishes such as the original version of Goulash, Restaurant Kronprinz Rudolph likes to serve a good glass of beer. Our beers are all produced by the Ottakringer Brewery - like Schick Hotels, the brewery is a Viennese family business known for its standards of quality. The various varieties of beers at Restaurant Kronprinz Rudolph are served either as a “Pfiff” (0.2 l), a “Seidel” (0.3 l) or a “Halbe” (0.5 l), and are of course freshly tapped - just as they should be - and served in a glass.
The history of beer and how beer made it to Austria
Beer is a natural product which is as old as the history of human culture. Even the old Sumerians (3,000 B.C.) knew how to brew beer. Among the Babylonians, beer was already the drink of the general populace, and around 700 B.C. King Hammurabi passed a law regulating the serving of beer. Beer was also a well-regarded drink among the Assyrians, and as early as 1,000 B.C., Egyptians could choose between twenty beer varieties. The Greeks and Romans became acquainted with beer on their tours of conquest in the Near East, and the Germans, as well, took every opportunity to consume this drink. The Germanic “original beer” didn’t, of course, possess anywhere near the quality of today’s brew - and it didn’t keep as long, either.
In our neck of the woods, the art of brewing beer reached its first zenith during the Middle Ages, when sedentary monks proved themselves to be true masters of brewing. Only in the 11th century, as the bourgeoisie succeeded the nobility as the main economic actors, did the first breweries not run by men of the cloth take up operations. Beer now became the everyday drink of peasants and workers, as well as of rich traders. The art of brewing flourished particularly well in Bohemia, where beer has to this day remained the most popular drink, and from where beer began its victorious march to Bavaria and Austria. We learn from a civil directive from the year 1212 that beer had by that time probably also been introduced in Vienna.
As early as the 14th century, there were inns in Austria where beer was served, and the first official mention of a brewery in Vienna comes from the year 1384.
Bottom-fermenting beer was already being brewed toward the end of the 15th century, and by that time, the use of hops had also become common in beer production.
The great victorious march of beer only began during the second half of the 19th century, with the industrial production of light, bottom-fermenting lager beers, to which development Austrian beer brewer Anton Dreher made a significant contribution. Austria became one of the most important beer-exporting countries. It was likewise Austrian brewers who celebrated great success at the Paris World Fair in 1867. At last, Austria had also become a beer country.