Thursday, September 17, 2009

Kloster Mülln Pilgrimage

Salzburg is one of Europe's most beautiful cities, and always one of our favorite travel destinations. And I never visit Salzburg with out a trip to Augustiner Bräu at Kloster Mülln. This monestary is the location of Austria's largest Biergarten and beer hall, and whether you are inside or outside in the shade under the chestnut trees, it is one of Europe's greatest beer drinking experiences. Located just west of the pedestrian area of the old town, one can get there via a narrow walkway around the steep cliffs (approx. 15 minutes), or, if you visit the Festung high above the town, you can stroll down through the Mönchberg park to the entrence (approx. 30 minutes).

Kloster Mülln is a very traditional beer hall. It is exclusively self service - so patrons select a half liter or full Maß (no glass, only Stein) from the rack, give it a thorough cleaning at the cold water rinse station, pay the attendant, and finally get their beer. There is only one type of beer served - a Märzenbier. And it is still brewed by the monks, and it is still served in front of you out of weathered wooden kegs. Truly a treat, and truly a great, world-class beer.

I've only visited Salzburg in the summer, so I usually sit outside in the Biergarten, but this year it was dreary and rainy, so everyone was inside in one of the two main halls, which are masterpieces. I sat in the the Stockhammersaal (hall), which was the inspiration for the design for my basement. The color scheme, dark wood paneling, bench, table, wall painting, Steinkrug on the wall, etc. were all ideas inspired by this room. But I must admit, my basement is not even worthy of a 1000:1 replica of this magnificent beer hall. But I have to work with what I've got.

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