So the invite specifies BYOB (Bring Your Own Booze), but in close circles your choice will speak volumes. Gone are the days of blindly pulling a bottle of the cheapest Veltliner off a supermarket shelf or grabbing the first six pack within reach. When it comes to beer, as with wine, you are what you drink and who wants to be tin can of a personality, inevitably ending up the makeshift ashtray. Here’s our list of the 5 best beers to reflect your undisputable good taste, but with price tags that won’t make you regret sharing them with strangers.
A good Zwickl – Austria’s unfiltered beer of choice – is hard to beat when it comes to a full-flavored brew – and Schwechater is our favorite of the bunch. It’s a bit heavier than a Helles (lager), but the depth and richness means you can have one or two fewer and feel just as quenched.
Augustiner Edelstoff / Tegernseer
Of course we love our Austrian beers, but Bavarians are like extended family, and they are world renowned for solid, clean beer. The simplicity and crispness of flavor is what we’re looking for in a Bavarian Helles, and Augustiner and Tegernseer deliver the best of what Germany’s deep south has to offer. No bells or whistles, no cinnamon or coffee grounds or blood orange zest – it’s a beer drinker’s beer.
Gösser Spezial is a standard, done better. Gösser is ubiquitous across Vienna, and is certainly a fine specimen. But the Spezial is aptly named, and a six-pack can outlast a long conversation among friends. A touch heavier and higher in alcohol content than the original, the taste sets it apart. It’s a beer you take the time to enjoy unlike those you’d buy by the palette.
Our personal inside tip, Murauer Märzen is the pride of beer sophisticates all across Austria. It might be a bit harder to find, but if you do, grab some while you can. A true Styrian jewel, and easy cheat to show you know your way around Austrian hops and malt.