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BUDAPEST - Small but growing craft brew movement!

Discussion in 'Europe' started by Yeeengling, Nov 6, 2012.

  1. Yeeengling

    Yeeengling Disciple (50) Tennessee Apr 28, 2011

    Dear All,

    Budapest has been my European base of operations for a little more than 2 years now and I am happy to report that after many terrible tasteless Drehers and Sopronis consumed, I have encouraging news for craft Beer Enthusiasts heading that way for business or pleasure. Sidenote, it's an AWESOME city to visit. A bit cold and dark in the Winter but good Christmas markets but Spring-Autumn it's pretty fantastic.

    First, The places you can get good Beer:

    ''Csak a Jol Sort'' (Only Good Beer) - The premium (but quite small) Craft Beer retail in Budapest. The owner does this for the absolute LOVE of beer and it's always full of locals and expats trying bottled beer from all over the world or one of the few taps he hosts, often complimented by one or two of his personal home brews. Excellent vibe and good people albeit a bit crowded. Prices vary, some things you will be surprised about, like how expensive a Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale is....until you realize it traveled halfway across the world then you don't mind the 3 dollar price tag.
    Details about this spot (Show on map)

    Csak a jó sör | Bars, Shopping | Pint of beer HUF 600
    Kertész u. 42-44 | Central Pest | +36302514737
    Mon – Sat 12:00 – 21:00
    Snaps Belgian Beer Bar
    This is another place, family owned by a father and son(I think at least) where you can get a good Belgian Beer. They have Noctornum and Tremens on tap all the time as well as a Kriek from somewhere and last time they even had a different Delerium brew. They have a cooler full of bottled Belgians which varies a little bit and they all cost 800 HUF. (about 3.50 USD) The place has been recently renovated and is quite nice but fills up on Th-Saturday nights. They also placed a smoking ban on themselves (even though the owner smokes) sooner than the government put in place the penalties for the law, and they recognize you after you come in a few times. I always stop by when I am in Budapest, though I do miss the old decorations, the newly renovated place doesn't have a hint of a smokers smell and also has TWO bathrooms now!
    Details about this spot (Show on map)

    Snaps Gallery | Bars, Coffee & tea, Snacks | Delirium Tremens HUF 700
    Király utca 95 | Central Pest | +3613215323
    Mon – Thu 12:00 – 00:00, Fri 12:00 – 02:00, Sat 18:00 – 02:00, Sun 18:00 – 00:00
    This is a place I found the last time I was in Budapest and only opened a few months ago. It's right next to a place where you can get a pretty killer burger but slightly more out of the center (though not close to unreasonably so) than the others. Their selection isn't the greatest but there are some interesting things to try and they are trying to partner with the owner of Csak a jo sort to carry his home brews if his operation gets to the point it can handle that, but we'll see how that shakes out. Of all three places, definitely the biggest. From the street it looks small but inside there is a huge cellar with a nice dark atmosphere, plenty of space for a bigger group to meet. Prices vary but if you are willing to spend 20 bucks you can have 5-6 beers maybe stretch to 7 depending on what exactly you get.
    Details about this spot (Show on map)

    Beer Bier | Bars, Snacks | Large draught beer HUF 650
    Mester u. 46. | Outer Pest | +36305369826
    14:00 – 00:00 daily
  2. Yeeengling

    Yeeengling Disciple (50) Tennessee Apr 28, 2011

    In addition to these places, you can check out some pretty awesome beer festivals in the summer. Here is a link to a list of festivals happening in the capital from June-September (normally) every year. I say normally because the first year they did Fozdefest it was moved to April because of weather, so you never know. Check the event websites regularly for details.

  3. Todd

    Todd Founder (1,410) Colorado Aug 23, 1996 Staff Member

    You should add these places if we don't have them listed yet and review them. Add any events too.

  4. PhillyStyle

    PhillyStyle Savant (490) Georgia Apr 8, 2008

    I will be in Budapest in a couple of weeks. Any update to the above? Or new ones of note?
  5. nloetz

    nloetz Savant (275) Austria Jun 2, 2005

    I've been to Budapest a few times now, but I've somehow not made it to any of their new craft beer locations.
    I've heard good things about a few bars which opened up in the past year or two, but I can't remember any specific names or details. You'll find them if you type "Budapest Craft Beer" in google.

    Does anyone have any information about the homebrew competition in Budapest? I know that they've held one the past couple of years, but I can't find any information about a competition in 2014.
  6. nloetz

    nloetz Savant (275) Austria Jun 2, 2005

  7. nloetz

    nloetz Savant (275) Austria Jun 2, 2005

    Budapest Update:

    I was there last weekend and was surprised at how much the city has changed. It's like that saying about Vegas: If you haven't been to the city for a few years, then you haven't been there.

    Thankfully the prices haven't changed too much and beers are still quite affordable at around $2-3 for a pint of a nice IPA at a bar. There was even one Belgian bar on Dob Utca offering 80 different Belgian beers and an all you can drink option for $20. (I didn't go in, so I can't comment on it beyond what was advertised) It seems as though many of the bars I passed had signs advertising that they craft beer on offer. While I was visiting the Buda palace, I stopped at a beer stand outside which was being run by a couple of the local breweries Bigfoot Sörfőzde and Fóti Kézműves Sörfőzde. The guy working the stand said he was one of the brewers. I guess both breweries are owned and run by the same family. I think his dad worked for Dreher (SABMiller) before deciding to start out on his own. He had around four or so beers on tap and another 12 or so in bottles. I tried the pale and it was pretty good! The bottles were around $2 each I think. I picked up six of them, but haven't tried them yet. I can't promise that his stand is always there, as it could have just been for a special event.

    I did manage to go to the three popular brewpubs while I was there ( Legenda Sörfőzde Pub , Hopfanatic Pub

    , and
    Élesztő ) I'll put reviews on their individual BA pages (linked), but I want to note that all three were well worth visiting. The first two are close to each other, so you could easily hop between them in one night. All three had good beers with Legenda having the best and Eleszto the weakest. (which was even still quite decent)

    I also popped my head into Spiler Bistro Pub, but I didn't have a chance to try anything. The place is located along a hopping at both lunch time and late at night. They had a large, diverse Hungarian craft beer menu, and what looked like high quality food. It was moderately pricey, but I imagine worth it. It gets the 'hipster' label in some reviews, but I would say it's more of a 'scenester' place. The whole alleyway is a long collection of bars spilling into each other. Seems to be the place to to see-and-be-seen with well dressed, good looking people throughout. Definitely the place to go if you want to 'go out' in Budapest.

    Budapest also hosts a craft beer fest once or twice a year. You can find information here: FŐZDEFESZT. The next one is on 6.6.14 , but I'm not sure it shows that on the webpage yet. I'll probably be there.

    Also, the homebrewing competition was a lot of fun, and the people were friendly. $13 paid for goulash and all-you-can-drink homebrew. I had an amazing homebrewed Rauchbier from Róth Zoltán. His IPA, Távoli Galaxis, can be found in shops and bars and is very highly rated. He was a very friendly guy!

    TL;DR - This is craft beer's moment in Budapest

    Note: Googling Legenda's address comes up with a lot of misinformation. It is at Dob u. 101.
  8. nloetz

    nloetz Savant (275) Austria Jun 2, 2005

    I wanted to link to add Hopfanatic Pub to BA's places, review it and then link to that review in the last post, but the 'add a place' queue is backed up by a month.

    Here is my review of Hopfanatic Pub:

    Address: Budapest, Hunyadi tér 11., 1063

    I showed up a bit late at night and it was pretty dead.

    The design and décor lended to a hip-yet-cozy vibe. Kind of jazzy. I would go here if I was looking for a comfortable place to settle in for a while and rest.

    It is located close to Legenda, so one could hit up both bars in the same night.

    They had a number of beers on tap, but I only got to try a few of them because they closed on us. What I had was well done albeit a bit light for my taste. It reminded me of some of the more accessible beers which craft brewers put out when they are trying to woo a new market. They were still good and worth making a trip out there to try. One can also find some of these beers on tap in other bars around the city such as Eleszto.

    The waitress was very friendly and she spent a long time at our table chatting with us. She says that the brewer is only 27. Apparently some of the other restaurants in the city have been trying to court him for his abilities in the kitchen. I’m assuming that this means they have good food at the bar, but I didn’t try anything while I was there.

    The beer is not brewed on premises, but it is the official bar for this brewery.

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