The Starkenberger Brewery is situated within a castle nestled high in the mountains of Northern Austria. The brewery remains one of the only places where you can swim in beer. I visited with a dozen or so friends late afternoon one Saturday in October.
We arrived around 4 pm, and firstly did a ~1 hour tour of the operations followed by a tasting. We then had a great meal at the on site restaurant, to prepare for our beer swimming adventure.
By around 7 pm, the staff were getting ready to go home. They gave us instructions for where to go and how to close-up the brewery, then we were left to our own devices…
The beer swimming room is adjacent the actual production operations, and consists of two large fermentation tanks filled with beer/mash, at different temperatures. Wooden seating and flooring has been installed in the tanks, which are otherwise too deep to sit/stand in. There is also a beer tap in the room, which serves unlimited beer. The atmosphere is humid and yeasty-smelling.
It is quite a weird sensation to swim in beer, and not at all as disgusting as it otherwise sounds. The swimming beer is quite different from the stuff that gets drunk, and is quite dilute and not sticky at all. Apparently it is very good for the skin.
After a fun few hours wallowing in beer, we somehow made our way out and down the mountain. We were staying in a hotel in Tarrenz, which was a convenient and pleasant village surrounded by beautiful mountains.
- Getting There: Fly to Munich, from where it is a ~2 hour drive.
- Brewery: Recommend to pre-book direct with the Starkenberger Brewery
- Accommodation: Plenty of good hotel options in Tarrenz.
- Recommend taking a taxi up the mountain to the brewery from Tarrenz, and back.
- Do not plan to drive after a visit!