Tuesday 14th September 2009
In the past Vienna was more noted for its wine than beer. The city is surrounded on three sides by vineyards and its reputation for producing some of the best wines in Central Europe is well founded. The beer situation had got so bad by the 1980s that most Viennese bars and restaurants served the products of the two remaining breweries in the area, Ottakringer and Schwechat, plus a few other beers from large regional brewers. However over the last twenty or so years it has seen a renaissance with the establishment of many small breweries, mostly brewpubs and my first visit was to one of the early pioneers.
This brew pub was opened in 1991 and proved to be an immediate success. It is to be found, not unsurprisingly, in the Wieden district, which is just south of the city centre.
The beers are made to the German Reinheitsgebot pure beer law that dates from 1516. There are three regulars: Helles (light) (4.3%); Dunkel (dark) (4.5%) and Märzen (in the Munich style) (5.1%). There is always a Special. On the occasion of my visit this was Wiesenbier (5.5%) as we were in the Oktoberfest season.
All of the beers are unfiltered and are transferred from the maturation tanks to the glass with the use of compressed air so there is no carbon dioxide to spoil the taste. There is a happy hour from 14.00 to 16.00.
One shouldn't overlook the dining menu which concentrates on Austrian and Bavarian cuisine. Exceptionally good value is provided by the Monday to Friday lunchtime menu when you can have a soup of the day and a dish of the day for just €6 (2009) and if you don't fancy that day's offering you can change the main course to a Turkey Schnitzel. As you can tell I like this pub a lot and if there's only time to visit one pub in Vienna, this is the one.
Wieden Bräu, Waaggasse 5, Wien 1040. Tel: 01 586 0300
Open: Monday to Friday 11.30-24.00;
Saturday, Sunday and Holidays (except July and August) 11.30-24.00;
Saturday, Sunday and Holidays (July and August) 16.00-24.00
Taubstummengasse station on U-Bahn line U1 is about five minutes walk away, Kettenbrückengasse station on U-Bahn line U4 is around ten minutes walk. The tram stop at Paulanergasse is about five minutes walk away and is served by trams 1 and 62 and also the WLB (Vienna Local Railway) to Wiener Neustadt.