The State of Salzburg
Helles, Pils and wheat beer
There is a court brewery in Salzburg—the “Hofbräuhaus”
Like pretty well everything else in Salzburg’s history, beer brewing has had a lot to do with the Church. The Church’s prominent role dates back to a gift from Theodo, Duke of Bavaria, to Rupert, who was Bishop and Abbot of the Archabbey of St. Peter that he founded and subsequently became Saint Rupert. For a long period, a substantial proportion of Salzburg’s beer was free of charge. However, this was not for the benefit of the poor. It was for the court of the Archbishop, who was at the same time the sovereign. He maintained court breweries. Everything that did not end up on the Prince-Archbishop’s menu was sold to the people, but at a higher price than other beers. One of the court breweries, which was set up in 1475, still exists today—although it ceased to belong to the court in the Napoleonic era.
Salzburg’s brewing industry is dominated by a number of centuries-old breweries, but those breweries also make very “modern” beers. Over the past two decades in particular, historical beer styles from other European countries have become fashionable, and their local interpretations have proven particularly popular in tourist destinations.
“Helles,” “Pilsner” and “Weizenbier” wheat beer
Salzburg also stands out because of its proximity to Germany’s brewing culture. A number of breweries in the State of Salzburg have made their mark with German beer styles like “Helles,” “Pilsner” and “Hefeweizen.” In global competitions, Salzburg’s interpretations of these beer styles have vanquished products from their original country of origin. The state’s beer-based mixed drinks also engage in friendly competition with their foreign rivals. Salzburg’s beverage makers are re-interpreting traditional shandy with ingredients that go beyond lemonade, adding things like raspberry juice, elderberry, grapefruit and lemon verbena to beer.
The Austrian Brewers Association represents the interests of the Austrian brewing industry within the framework of Fachverband der Nahrungs- und Genussmittelindustrie der Wirtschaftskammer Österreich.