In the recent years, Romania has been going through a boom regarding the production of craft beer. Craft beer is normally produced in small independent breweries, where the ones producing it, put all the accent on quality, and not quantity. It’s all about mingling with flavors, about mixing all sorts of hops to get that special taste. From Indian Pale Ale, to Weiss beer, to Stout, to Pils, you name it, they have it and produce it.
The beers are normally unpasteurized which gives them a more intense taste, but in the same time a shorter ‘best before’ date (usually about 2 – 3 months). There craft beers are naturally fermented for at least 21 days, but some might need even 70 days to get the wanted flavor.
The beer is best kept in dark colored glass bottles (dark green or brown) so the light doesn’t alter their intense taste. Also, the design of the bottles and the labels are very creative and differ so much from what you would normally find at regular beers in supermarkets.
We’re more of an IPA (India Pale Ale) type of people, so this post will be our personal choice of craft beers from Romania. Most probably we will be updating the article often, as new micro breweries appear every day.
So let’s GO!
Our number one favorite craft beer in Romania right now is Crowd Control from Hop Hooligans. They are a micro brewery based in Bucharest who produce probably around 20 types of beers (but they might be introducing new assortments as we speak). They have IPAs, Porters, Stouts, Weissbier, Milk Stout, Coffe Stout, so many blends.
Crowd Control is a perfect IPA, in our opinion, with an excellent blend of hops that gives it a great bitter taste, just like any IPA should have.
Besides Crowd Control, we also like Shock Therapy, Emperor, Fist Fight, Royal Execution and Summer Punch. On their Facebook page, they have a map with the places where you can find and drink their beers.
Pure.C from HopHead Brewing is our number two craft beer from Romania right now. Again, we’re talking about an IPA, this time crafted in Cluj Napoca. Red Line and Opium shouldn’t also be ignored, they also are some tasty ales.
HopHead has 7 assortments in total, producing, besides the ales, some blonde beers and stout and porter. You will find their beers in quite a lot of restaurants and bars in Cluj Napoca, but also in Sibiu, Bucharest and Timisoara. A list with all the places where you can drink their beer, can be found here.
Ground Zero Beer
Ground Zero, also based in Bucharest, produce 9 assortments of beer, all circling around Ale: Imperial Ale, Red Ale, Sessionable Pale Ale, Autumn Ale, New England Ale.
Our favorite so far: Imperial Fuck (the producers say about it ‘The most hardcore beer in Romania‘. And it truly is, with 9% alcohol, so drink responsibly), Morning Glory and Easy Rider.
They own two main places in Bucharest where you can find their beer, their headquarters in Baneasa (Str. Someşul Rece 123, Bucharest) and Beautyfood. At the headquarters they normally have Saturday events, like brunches, with local food and of course, tasty beer. Also, at Beautyfood you can enjoy a good beer with some very delicious food.
They also have on their Facebook page a list with all the places where you can find their beer in Romania.
1717 is a local beer from Sibiu. in 1717 the first micro-brewery from the Sibiu area opened. Having this as a starting point, a group of 4 friends came up with a modern mix of hops , but keeping the Transylvanian taste and culture alive.
They produce 3 types of beer – Red Ale, WeiB plus and WeiB, the Red Ale and the WeiB plus being our favorites.
On their Facebook page, they have a map with all the places where you can buy and taste 1717.
Bereta has been producing beer for the last 3 – 4 years in the Western part of Romania. They don’t have their own brewery yet, which means that they don’t produce regularly and not in big quantities.
But whenever we find Bereta available, we go for the Ai-Pi-Ei, a proper IPA. Times are Changing is also a proper IPA they produce. In Timisoara, their home town, you can sometimes find the beer available in Viniloteca, a very cool vinyl bar or online, on their Facebook page, where they also post updates when they start producing.
Perfektum wasn’t that much one of our favorites, but things changed when they launched their new IPA beer, Perfektum IPA, which has the amber taste we really search in every beer.
They also have Perfektum Black IPA, Perfektum Red Ale and Perfektum Pale Ale. You can find them in bars in the main cities of Romania and also online on berero.ro
Tiltott Igazi Sor
These guys have a proper factory in Harghita and they export quite a lot in Hungary (I’ve seen the beer for sale in some of the supermarkets there while on vacation).
Their new Crem Sor, a lager type beer, is very tasty indeed, I would say their best so far. They also have a more weird one, the Csiki Mezes, which is a lager with honey, perfect for the winter holidays.
You will find these guys mostly in the areas of Romania where Hungarians also live.
Also based in Bucharest, Sikaru has been producing some tasty IPAs in the last years. The English IPA and the IPA are not to be missed and during summer time, try the Summer IPA, exactly what’s needed for surviving the heat.
Cosmopolit is based in Cluj Napoca and produces 3 assortments of beer, our favorite being Phaza Lunii and Ursa Amara, both being some Pale Ales, Ursa Amara being a very bitter one.
You will mostly find them in bars in Cluj Napoca and in a nice place in Bucharest called La 100 Beri, where they only serve beer of all kinds.
Zăganu is a 100% Romanian, independent micro-brewery, founded in 2013 by 2 enthusiastic young people. The craft brewery is situated near the Zăganu mountain, in the Romanian Carpathian mountains, close to the resort called Cheia, in Maneciu-Ungureni, Prahova county. The mountain Zăganu and the beers draw their name form the bearded eagle (Zăganu in Romanian) a majestic species of vulture that was hunted down to extinction more than 80 years ago.
They have 5 assortment of beer, blonde, black and of course our two favorites, Zăganu Rosie (Belgian IPA) and Zăganu India Pale Ale.
In 2016 they launched another beer, a special edition called Adonis, dedicated to the first zăgan (bearded eagle) seen on the Romanian skies after 80 years since extinction. In August 2017, they opened the 1st Zăganu bar, called Fabrica de Bere Bună, in Bucharest, on Calea Victoriei 91-93.
Three Happy Brewers
Three Happy Brewers is the story of 3 friends who in 2015 started producing beer for their own use, who before that have traveled the world to chose the ingredients that would go in their beers. Their motto is – Worldwide beers, passionately crafted in Bucharest.
They produce 5 assortments of beer: West-Coast IPA, Czech Pilsner, English Amber, Belgian Enkel and Australian Pale Ale. As they are quite new on the market, we hadn’t had the chance to taste them all, but the Australian Pale Ale we did taste, was quite promising.
On their website, they have a map with all the places you can find and taste their assortments.
Nemțeana comes from the Eastern part of Romania, born from a family passion. They only have two assortments, Red and Blonde, but they found the perfect recipe for both of them.
Nemțeana can be found also in some supermarkets in the country, but check their Facebook page for more.
Lăpușna is produced at the base of the Calimani mountains, from an old German recipe. They haven’t been on the market for long, but their two assortments are really worth giving a try. For us, it’s definitely the Red one we like most.
Sara is produced in the Western part of Romania, at the base of the Semenic Mountains, using the purest water in the area. It’s a small family business and the people producing it also own a guesthouse in Valiug, where, of course, you can also taste their beer.
They only produce a dark beer, so not really our type of beer. But those who are more into dark beer, say that it’s very much worth the try.
Klausen Burger is a very cool pub in Cluj Napoca that has recently started to bottle its craft beer they were selling in-house. They have a few assortments, we tried them, but nothing that would surprise us too much. Still the Red Revolution would be the best for us.
However, if you’re in Cluj and you want to have a fresh beer and a nice view, then Klausen Burger is the place. Expect however to get very crowded during summer time and weekends, so be patient until someone takes your order.
Wicked Barrel is quite new on the market, but we did manage to get our hands on a few Jaw Drop (India Pale Ale) bottles to see what these guys are about. They are at the beginning, but they know how to make a good beer, that’s for sure.
On their Facebook page, you can find out where to buy and taste their beer.
The guys from Amistad also got this year on the market and had a pwerfull start with about 7 assortments: IPA, Porter, Red Ale.
So far, we only tasted the Red Ale, we weren’t so impressed about it, but we have to give the other assortments a chance as well.
Sunstone is a collaboration between Romania and Moldavia and although they have been producing since 2014, it’s only that this year we heard about them.
They have only one assortment for the moment, not something very spectacular, but we’ll see what comes up next.
What is very interesting about craft beer is than one assortment can have a different taste depending on the batch it comes from. You might say at first that you don’t like a certain beer and then, taste it again after a year and find that it has a different taste and you enjoy it.
This is all due to the fact that all these beers are produced in small quantities. The producers follow a recipe, but nothing is standard and they have all the freedom in the world to experiment. In the end, by experimenting, you develop and you gain more experience.
For us, the consumers, all we can do it encourage them and buy their beers instead of the big brands that are now so unnatural and tasteless. It might be that the price is higher for a craft beer, but in some situations I guess that quality has its price.
This is about all we have tasted so far. There are some brands that are out on the market, but we haven’t managed yet to try them. The list will be for sure updated!
Online store where you can find most of the beers mentioned above is Berero.ro.