Stiegl Brauwelt, Salzburg

Stiegl is the largest brewery in Salzburg, and has a long tradition of beer making (and marketing). With our Salzburg card we headed out to visit, see the museum, and find out what our free gift and beer tastings would look like.

There were tours advertised, but if you don’t speak German, they may as well not exist. We had planned our trip to coincide with one, so were disappointed that there was nothing English-based on offer.

Walking around the museum without a guide was quite dull: the information on beer production was hard to follow (even for someone who knows the process quite well), and much of the historic information was only interesting for its steam-punk combinations of wood, metal and leather that seemed to make up most of the brewing and office equipment on show.

Displays of advertising, bottle, and glass design were interesting if you have an eye for that kind of thing… but if not…

We extricated ourselves right before the museum closed and, since the weather was fine, sat by a fountain beneath the chestnut trees in a small courtyard. There were eight beers on tap, and our museum entry entitled us to three tastes each.

We were impressed by the 200ml servings — no thimblefuls here! Crunching on ‘beer crackers’ and comparing different brews, we were served by a beer sommelier who could tell us something of the different flavours and backgrounds of the beer — as well as pointing out the young brew-master enjoying an after-work drink a few tables away.

Plus we were given a “free gift” as part of our entrance fee — a choice of a nicely styled beer glass or a bottle of beer to take away — we chose beer.

Worth visiting Steigl? The museum is passable, but if you enjoy a quiet drink make sure to come out and try some beers in the late afternoon: you’ll find enough to like in the courtyard and restaurants to keep you there all evening.

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