Vienna Craft Beer Fest – November 20th and 21st, 2015
Beer lovers have a reason to be excited: In about two and a half weeks, on November 20 and 21, 2015, the third Vienna Craft Beer Fest will take place. Like last year, the event location is the Anker-Expedithalle Wien (the former Brotfabrik) on Laaer Berg. This location’s generous space is an advantage – after all, 66 Austrian and international breweries are now slated to appear with their high-quality beer specialties.
Craft beer – what’s it all about?
In Austria, beer is every bit as popular and liked as Wiener Schnitzel. As the European vice-champion in beer consumption (after our Czech neighbors), “Märzen” is considered the preferred beer of the Austrians. In Austria – and especially in Vienna – beer has a long history. In the 19th century, the capital city was home to the largest and third-largest breweries in the world. Already back then, they were based on quality and innovation (see the blog articles part 1, part 2 and part 3 on “Viennese beer”).
Today’s creative beer variations are actually not novelties, but rather new trends. Types of beer such as IPA (India pale ale) have already existed longer than the popular “lager.” Craft beers have a more intense taste and are beers for aficionados and connoisseurs, for individualists. It would be a shame to merely “down” these classy beer specialties – and mostly too expensive as well.
The meaning of the word “craft” is still not explicitly defined among experts. The origin probably derives from the English term “handcrafted,” meaning “handmade” (which is no longer really the case even for the smallest breweries). Sepp Wejwar, known as “Biersepp” and as the beer expert, is highly motivating in his approach to the term: C for creativity, R for radical, A for alternation (variety), F for fire/passion and T for talent – all necessary attributes for brewing a craft beer.
Craft beer currently makes up 1–4% of the Austrian market. Given the approximately 9 million hectoliters of Austrian beer per year, this may not sound extraordinary, but craft beer is in an upward trend. Meanwhile, numerous large and small as well as the smallest Austrian breweries have craft beer on offer. Craft beer quenches the desire of beer lovers for individuality and the increased demand of upscale gastronomy.
From idea to successful festival
“A ‘craft beer festival’ for Vienna… why don’t we have one yet?” Two beer lovers asked this question at the end of 2013 on their way back from a German craft beer festival. Together with a third like-minded person, they decided not to discuss it for very long, but rather to get it going right away themselves.
This sort of unprecedented festival attracted – despite the bad weather – over 4000 guests to the Donaukanal, and the press went head over heels. It showed: “Vienna and Austria are really in the mood for handcrafted beer!” (quote: Craft Beer Fest Vienna team).
In November 2014, the festival entered its second round, this time in the weatherproof Anker-Expedithalle Wien, and with an even larger and more international selection.
The third festival, from November 20–21, 2015, is inspiring high expectations that will evidently also be fulfilled.
2015 Craft Beer Fest Vienna
On November 20 and 21, 2015, Austria’s largest event centered around craft beer and beer culture will take place during the “Vienna Beer Week powered by Bierland Österreich [beer country of Austria].” Numerous exclusive events surrounding beer will attract guests interested in beer to the the city’s best beer places or interesting breweries from Monday through Sunday.
According to the most recent numbers, already 66 breweries from 11 countries will attend this year’s Craft Beer Fest. Browse through the complete list, and there should also be a list available online for download a few days before the festival.
Advance tickets for the Craft Beer Fest have been available for two weeks. You can purchase electronic 1-day or 2-day tickets at ntry.at.
Tickets cost € 10.00 (including glass, magazine and info folder) and are also available at the box office.
The Vienna Craft Bier Fest will take place in a convenient and barrier-free location in the “Anker-Expedithalle, former Brotfabrik” located at Laaer Berg. The address is Puchsbaumgasse 1C, 1100 Vienna. The hall is located at the intersection of Absberggasse and Puchsbaumgasse. A barrier-free entrance is available via Puchsbaumgasse. Further information on travel to the festival is available here.
Friday, November 20, 2015, from 3:00 PM through 11:00 PM
Saturday, November 21, 2015, from 3:00 PM through 11:00 PM
Further up-to-date information and details are available at http://www.craftbierfest.at/
The CulturBrauer (also represented with a stand at the Vienna Craft Beer Fest) offer various specialty boxes, among them craft beer boxes – for beer lovers and newcomers to craft beer. For details, see http://www.culturbrauer.at/genusspakete/
As a traditional private Viennese hotel group, the Schick Hotels & Restaurants Vienna are naturally also associated with Viennese beer. Since the summer of 2015, the Gault&Millau-rated restaurant “Das Schick” has offered special beers alongside the classics. These special beers go perfectly with the Austrian-Spanish culinary delights that are served to you over the rooftops of Vienna with “a gourmet view.”