There are many reasons that the Augustiner Bräustübl in Salzburg holds the reputation it does as one of the world’s premier beer halls. It benefits from have served as a monastery in a previous life and the architecture, both inside and out, show off that legacy. It is also huge, attracting folks across a broad range of ages and drinking inclinations. There’s something for everyone and it all wonderful.
Head in the main door and down the grand staircase to find the food shops. While beer can be acquired either self-service or through waiter service (an extra €0.50 per beer) the food is strictly self-service. Most of the options focus on the traditional cuisine of the region – there were more different types of pork presented than any one set of arteries should have the joy of experiencing – and covered salads, main dishes and there’s even a bakery offering up desserts.
There are several different rooms in the building, each offering up a slightly different take on the brauhaus experience. Smoking or non, loud and rowdy or quiet and calm, every taste can be served, though apparently not everyone actually goes for the room with the vibe that they prefer.
At one point the table next to ours (and ours as well, by association) received a visit from a manager suggesting that perhaps things should be a bit calmer so as to not upset other customers in the room. Perhaps the several rounds of schnapps shots amidst the liters of beer had something to do with that. The fact that we were in one of the louder, rowdier rooms and still being shushed was particularly awkward.
We managed to relax on Sunday evening in one of the more quiet rooms and sing songs that are quite certainly not appropriate in mixed company We were already laughing pretty hard when we realized that the older crowd at the table next to us actually asked us to sing them again. It turns out that they had absolutely no idea what the words we were singing meant and they just thought we sounded good and that we were having a good time so they were encouraging the mirth. Needless to say that I’m quite hopeful the videos made of said singing (of which I own one) will remain in private collections.
Whether you’re there for a slab of pork belly or a schnitzel, a sausage or kertoffelsalat, beer or schnapps, a rowdy night or just pre-gaming before hitting the clubs, the Augustiner is the place to end up in Salzburg. Assuming you remember to stop drinking at an appropriate point you’ll be glad you did.
Food ranges in price from €2-12 depending on what you’re ordering and how much you get (some stuff is sold by the kilo). Beers are €2.90 for a half liter and €5.80 for a liter; waiter service adds €0.50 on to the beer prices. If you choose the self-service beer option just follow the crowds to the huge shelf of steins, rinse one out, pay for your beer at the cashier and present the receipt at the keg. Piece of cake. There are sodas available, too, but I have no idea how much they cost. Probably more than the beer.
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