A new trend
Small-scale brewing structures
Austria’s easternmost federal state belonged to Hungary until 1921. As a result, its brewing history was informed by Hungary’s. Hungary used to have big agricultural structures and small brewing ones. Brewing and the sale of beer were tied to the local manor. In other words, it was usually aristocratic landowners who decided whether people should drink wine or beer. As a result, from the 15th to the 19th century, there were an immense number of small breweries in the area that now makes up Burgenland, and—depending on the grape harvest—they sometimes tended to thrive and sometimes didn’t. Later, those small breweries were squeezed out by bigger industrial breweries in the cities—and those breweries were not located in the area that is now Burgenland.
A new trend
Following 107 years of a Burgenland without breweries, it was 1990 before the old tradition was revived and the first small brewery opened again in Eisenstadt. Three decades later, Burgenland has a dozen breweries. They are living proof that beer has a perfectly legitimate place in wine-growing country. It is particularly striking that a number of brewers are also using traditional regional ingredients like sweet chestnut, Uhudler grapes, European sage and lemon thyme alongside hops and malt.
Bierland Österreich is the communications presence of the Austrian Brewers Association. The association in its current organizational form within the framework Food Industries Association of Austria of the Austrian Economic Chambers, took over the representation of the interests of Austrian brewers in 1945 and thus the agendas of the so-called "Brauherren-Verein" founded in 1850.