Turning water, hops and malt into beer!
Brewing is basically applied biotechnology. It makes use of natural processes to transform natural raw materials into a natural beverage. Add to that generations of expertise and Austria’s stringent foodstuff regulations – on which many other countries have modelled their legislation – and you get a superbly pure and unspoilt glass of beer.
Here are the recognised types of beer in Austria:
Märzen: balanced malty flavour, mildly bitter hoppy aroma, light in colour
Pils: bottom-fermenting, strongly hoppy, light-coloured full-strength beer
Special beer: full-strength beers with an original wort of at least 12.5 degrees
Wheat beer: made using at least 50% wheat malt
Zwickel: unfiltered, made cloudy by the yeast and insoluble proteins
One of Austria’s traditional brewing regions is the “Mühlviertel”, between the Danube and the Bohemian Forest, which produces a wealth of fine beers. This region includes Austria’s only monastery brewery in Schlägel Abbey, the country’s oldest brewery, the Gutsbrauhof in St. Martin, the long-established Municipal Braucommune in Freistadt, and countless castle breweries, palace breweries and other small breweries.