Austrian Beer Culture
Austrian beer and Viennese cuisine
Especially with hearty meals such as an original Goulash we serve fine beer.
All beers come from Ottakringer Brauerei, known for its top quality.
The different beer types are offered as ‘Pfiff’ (0.2 l), ‘Seidel’ (0.3 l) and ‘Halbe’ (0.5 l) and of course – as it should be – on draught.
You should also taste our own house beer ‘Wirtschafts-Bräu’ of Wiener Wirtschaft – a red Zwickl beer perfectly suited to the goulash specialities of Wiener Wirtschaft.
Beer – a History
Beer is a natural product as old as mankind’s cultural history. The Sumerians (3000 BC) already knew how to brew beer. Among the Babylonians, beer had already become a popular beverage and already in 700 BC King Hammurabi passed a law regulating the sale of beer. Also among Assyrians, beer enjoyed a lofty reputation and among the Egyptians, by 1000 BC there were already twenty different types of beer available. When the Greeks and the Romans conquered the East they got acquainted with beer and also the Germanic tribes seized every opportunity to attain this beverage. Of course, the Germanic ‘primitive beer’ hardly displayed the quality of today’s ‘barley juice’ and did not keep as well as it does today.
In our regions the art of brewing beer reached its first culmination in the Middle Ages, when monks turned out to be the true brewing masters. Only in the 11th century, when citizens relieved the aristocracy as economic agents, breweries were created which weren’t ruled by clergymen. Beer then became the everyday beverage of the peasantry and workers as well as of the wealthy merchants. The art of brewing flourished especially in Bohemia, where beer has remained the most popular beverage to the present, and from there beer started its triumphant advance to Bavaria and Austria. We learn from a civil decree of the year 1212 that the import of beer was permitted also in Vienna.
Already in the 14th century there were restaurants in Austria in which beer was served and the first officially recorded Viennese brewery dates to 1384.
By the end of the 15th century, bottom-fermented beer was already brewed and also the use of hops for beer production had become customary.
But the triumphant advance of beer began in the second half of the 19th century with the industrial production of pale, bottom-fermented lager, to the development of which Austrian brewer Anton Dreher contributed considerably. Austria became one of the most important beer exporting countries. And Austrian brewers were very successful at the Paris World Fair in 1867. Austria had definitely become a beer country.