Sunday, April 24, 2011

A taste of Austria

It is time to enter Vienna for the first time. The capital of Austria is a beautiful city, and the monumental architecture of Vienna is interesting to behold. Vienna is easy to reach. Many airline companies have flights to the Austrian capital, and Vienna is one of the Central European hubs in the railway system. It is easy to get from Vienna to more or less any major Central European city by train.

Beerwise Austria seems like a country of pale lagers. The helles (pale lager beer) is sold everywhere, and at most bars this is what you will get if you order a beer.

The Austrian macro breweries seem to have most of the beer shelves in the supermarkets in Vienna together with some international brands. Breweries like Ottakringer, Stiegl, Zipfer, Schwechater and Wieselburger are new names to me, and it will be interesting to take a look at (and taste!) these beers.

First out is Stiegl bier from Mozart's home city Salzburg. This is a pale lager with some carbonation and a medium sized head. In the nose there is some malts and a touch of sweetness. In the mouth grains and sweetness dance along before a partly sweet finish. Normally I am not a fan of sweet pale lagers, but this one was nice.

Ottakringer is a Viennese brewery. The Ottakringer helles is a very pale lager with some carbonation and a medium sized head. I feel fruit and grains in the nose. In the mouth this beer has a fruity feeling before a semibitter finish. It is a lovely beer that I believe to be an excellent thirst quencher in Summer.

Kaiser Fasstyp is another pale lager. There is some carbonation and a medium sized head. The nose has malts and sweetness. In the mouth I feel sweetness before a finish where grapes take the lead. In addition to this the beer has a metallic taste that probably is from the can. Kaiser is a boring beer that is not to be recommended.

But Vienna can be recommended. The city has a fantastic system of trams, buses, trains and metro lines that makes it easy to get from one part of the town to another. And there are also some interesting beer sites to be found in the Austrian capital.

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