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Europe BUDAPEST - Small but growing craft brew movement!

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

  1. Yeeengling

    Yeeengling Apr 28, 2011 Tennessee

    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
    steveh likes this.
  2. Yeeengling

    Yeeengling Apr 28, 2011 Tennessee

    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 Aug 23, 1996 Colorado
    Staff Moderator Site Editor Fest Crew Subscriber Beer Trader

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

    steveh likes this.
  4. PhillyStyle

    PhillyStyle Apr 8, 2008 Georgia

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

    nloetz Jun 2, 2005 Austria

    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 Jun 2, 2005 Austria

  7. nloetz

    nloetz Jun 2, 2005 Austria

    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 Jun 2, 2005 Austria

    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.
  9. forse

    forse Oct 4, 2013 Hungary

  10. EvoFX

    EvoFX May 30, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    Thanks a lot! I was just there this summer, and may be going back early spring! putting this into my notes!
  11. dirtylou

    dirtylou May 12, 2005 Washington
    Beer Trader

    Will be making a 3-night visit in June - this thread is bookmarked!
  12. forse

    forse Oct 4, 2013 Hungary

    If anyone needs info about Budapest craft beer bars, just drop me a PM or ask here, I will update with some newbies here.
    nloetz likes this.
  13. andrewkeycell

    andrewkeycell Feb 24, 2015 Ukraine

    hey all, and here's mine recommendations

    go to Corvin-Negyed metro to visit nearby ruin craft beer bar Elesto.
    Location : Tuzolto u 22, Budapest 1094, Hungary

    also in the city center visit Lehuto Craft Beer Bar
    Hollo Utca 12-14, Budapest, Hungary
  14. FrankenBier

    FrankenBier Feb 4, 2003 California

    Headed to Budapest on Thursday, for five nights. Have list of about 40 or so places gleaned from various internet sources. Since it's what I do, the list is here (I didn't include any of the Belgian bars -- I'll drink Belgian beer when I go to Belgium :) ) Won't make them all but looking forward to trying :)

    After Budapest I fly to Tokyo for 6 days then back to LA. Flying around the world for the first time. Hope to taste 80 different beers so I can say "Around the World in 80 Beers" -- OK, not original but the best I can do.
    forse and Redrover like this.
  15. forse

    forse Oct 4, 2013 Hungary

    I hope you didn't waste too much time for all of them, because half of the places I can see on the list is forgettable.
  16. dirtylou

    dirtylou May 12, 2005 Washington
    Beer Trader

    Coming into Budapest next weekend - not super beer centric, but enjoying some of nloetz's reviews - will certainly hit up Hopfanatic and Legenda Sörfőzde Pub, sandwiched around dinner at Zeller Bistro.

    Also, not sure of the quality of the Buda Castle Beer Festival, but since I arrive on final sunday of the festival, definitely plan to go have a few beers there.
    Redrover likes this.
  17. forse

    forse Oct 4, 2013 Hungary

    There are (and were) some beer festivals in Budapest this summer, but believe me, Buda Castle Beer Fest is the worst one. :) I recommend you above mentioned places instead of the castle beer fest.
  18. dirtylou

    dirtylou May 12, 2005 Washington
    Beer Trader

    Interesting - what's the issue with that festival? Too many people? Selection not great?

    It seemed like a good opportunity to be in front of a lot of Hungarian beer (which is the goal)
  19. forse

    forse Oct 4, 2013 Hungary

    Expensive, boring and low quality concerts (Dr. Alban!), and the fest sponsored by multinational beer companies (Heineken and some Hungarian companies like Borsodi, Soproni). But if you already decided to go, let me propose some beers there, because a few craft beer breweries will be there: Csupor Bunny hop, Zip's Saison,Hopfanatic beers, Rothbeer, Rizmajer beers...more information at www.sorfesztival.hu, infos in English are available.
  20. DJ-Hophead

    DJ-Hophead May 28, 2015 United Kingdom (England)

    I went there in Oct 2014 and had a great time. The Hopfanatic range was superb particularly the Bitter Fly and NoHopLimit were my faves. A pint or so of Legenda's Brutal Bitter always finished me off for the night.
    forse likes this.
  21. SHU06Les

    SHU06Les Jan 17, 2013 New Jersey

    I just booked a trip to Budapest in September. I'm really excited! Anything new happening since the latest posts? Anyone with recommendations for great places for day drinking and people watching at an outdoor place if the weather is nice. It seems like there are plenty of places to get wine and do that, which I'm not opposed to, but I'd prefer somewhere with decent beer.
  22. SRBush1974

    SRBush1974 Apr 18, 2015 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Planning on going next summer, so took a look at the above. Will keep an eye on it. Probably will split time between Budapest and Gyor, as my wife has family there. Hoping to get to another City/Country during the 2 weeks I'll be there. Maybe take a train to Vienna or somewhere else. If not, head up to Lake Balaton.
  23. SHU06Les

    SHU06Les Jan 17, 2013 New Jersey

    I'll let you know how my trip goes in September. I decided to take a weekend trip to Belgium while I'm there. It's a 2 hour flight and not that expensive. I'd say it's definitely worth looking into.
  24. SHU06Les

    SHU06Les Jan 17, 2013 New Jersey

    I was just in Budapest a couple weeks ago and had a great time. Beer aside, it's a beautiful underrated city and well worth a visit. I met up with Forse from BA and shared some beers I brought from home at Csak a jo sor.

    Csak a jo sor has the best craft beer selection, with some local stuff. There was a wide range of Mikkeller including beer geek variations, decent selection of Belgians (best was Drie Fonteinen) and some American beers like Alaskan smoked porter, Rogue, Anchor.

    These are some other places I stopped at on the Pest side.
    Bestia - a restaurant with good food, some local craft beer and a great view of St. Stephen's Basilica.
    Jonas Craft Beer HouseJ- good local selection with outdoor seating and view of the Danube
    Neked Csak Deszo
    - maybe the largest number of local beers on tap

    On the Buda side
    Spiler Biergarten - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Spíler-Biergarten/293941180795773 - I was doing some sightseeing and passed by this place (across the street from Mary Magdalene tower) around noon and stopped in for a beer. Prices may have been slightly higher, but it's worth stopping in for a beer if you need a moment to relax.
    Belga Sorozo - stopped here for dinner. Decent food and solid Belgian selection with a great view of the parliament.
    Hunyadi Cafe - it was closed the day I was there, but seems like a great place to check out http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaura...ws-Hunyadi_Cafe-Budapest_Central_Hungary.html

    Recently, a monastery started brewing beer, but I didn't get to try any.

    Also, this bar , Marionett just opened
    forse likes this.
  25. forse

    forse Oct 4, 2013 Hungary

    Thx for those amazing beers, I hope you enjoyed our company at Csakajosor and you could try some good Hungarian craft beers.
    We tried those monastery beers at Főzdefeszt, but wasn't so exciting or tasty...believe me, you've lost nothing. :)
    See ya next time!
  26. kkdowning

    kkdowning Apr 14, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I'll be in Budapest in two weeks. Any new recommendations beyond what is already in this thread? Thanks!
  27. SHU06Les

    SHU06Les Jan 17, 2013 New Jersey

    kkdowning likes this.
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