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Beer guide to Austria

Lots in common with its German neighbours, but enough to differentiate

Austrian Brew: Austrian beers have a lot in common with their South German or Bavarian counterparts, but their varied brewing style is what differentiates their flavour. In Austria, only beers brewed to at least 5 per cent alcohol are labelled full strength with anything 4 per cent or under labelled as light, or as the bottle would say, "leicht".

Brews to look out for

Dunkel: A dark, sweet lager weighing containing 5.5 per cent alcohol content with hints of spice.

Märzen: This is the Austrian word for Lager, which is the everyday beer of most breweries and is a malty, relatively mildly hopped golden beer containing 5 to 5.5 per cent ABV.

Pils: This is the second-most common type of beer, especially on draught. Pale yellow in colour, very light in body, and relatively high in alcohol; the flavour leans more towards spice rather than being a straight bitter.

Gold beer: This range of brews is more bitter and fuller bodied. Some say they’re comparable to American premium beers such as Bud or Miller.

Spezialbier: These are about 6 per cent, pale yellow, full-bodied, malty and hoppy.

Bock: Amber or pale brown containing 6.5-7 per cent alcohol with a very full body and bittersweet flavour.

Weizen or Weissbier: German-style wheat beers containing about 5 per cent alcohol are also brewed in the west of Austria and are either pale yellow or amber in colour. The flavour is light and spicy with a very mild hop taste.

Keller or Zwickl: Unfiltered (cloudy) complex flavoured lager beers, which are unlikely to be found at an airport bar as they’re more delicate than standard beers and require special storage.

Thirst quencher: If ever in doubt for what to drink, just ask for a Pils!

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Cheapflights' beer lover's guide to European Airports | Beer guide to England | Beer guide to Scotland | Beer guide to Ireland | Beer guide to France | Beer guide to Spain | Beer guide to Germany

Updated May 2014

Oonagh Shiel
Content Manager at Cheapflights whose travel life can be best summed up as BC (before children) and PC (post children). We only travel during the school holidays so short-haul trips and staycations are our specialities!