Lately, more and more small breweries appear in Croatia, which are noted for their domestic manufacture and different approach to not only making but also promoting beer. Craft beer in Croatia became very popular and is gaining cult status among consumers. This type of beer is made in small(er) amounts and under controlled conditions. Thanks to this special, more personal approach, the taste is different which is always a challenge for beer tasters.
Let us list some of the breweries.
Visibaba beer is a Belgian beer manufacturer in Croatia. While making a flavor and the name, they’ve decided to join two passions – beer and music. For instance:
- India Pale Ale named Janis Hoplin
- Belgian witbier named John Lemon
- Porter beer named Bob Barley
Since these names are compound of beer types, i.e. they insinuate dominant ingredient, Visibaba brewery is making derivatives out of famous musicians’ names.
Zmajska brewery was established in 2013. in Zagreb, probably as first craft brewery that produces only ale beer. Main characteristic of ale is that only basic ingredients are being used. The beer they make is constantly winning good reviews and awards. It has rich flavor and is available in selected cafés and shops, where they offer 3 types:
- Pale Ale
- Pozoj – IPA beer
This year, Zmajska brewery has been listed by Ratebeer among ten best new breweries in the world, competing with more than 3800 breweries. So they make very famous craft beer in Croatia! One of the places where you can taste it is in Burgeraj in Preradovićeva Street.
Holdem brewery is also one of the first craft beer manufacturers in Croatia. They produce different styles of beer, but focusing on the main recipe: „Love for the beer and using only high quality ingredients“.
San Servolo in Buje, Croatia, has been opened in the beginning of 2013. It is the only brewery of such type in Istria, Croatian penninsula. The brewery got its name after saint San Servolo, the guardian of Buje. Their red and dark beer is being made following their own, original recipe, brewed by German beer purity law made in 1516., which means that San Servolo brewery uses only 4 ingredients: barley malt, hop, yeast and water. Natural water taken from Saint John spring that flows through the valley of river Mirna, gives this beer spring freshness and guarantees refined flavor of all of its ingredients, so noone will remain indifferent. The only place where you can taste San Servolo beer in Zagreb is in Yellow Submarine burger restaurant.
Daruvarska brewery is one of the oldest in Croatia. They make ABA 5th Element beer using traditional method. Bottle filling is done by hand – all the workers help during the bottling, so the atmosphere looks like the one we expect in typicall homebrewer’s basement. Beer is being distributed on the market with 5 different labels that represent 4 elements: water, air, earth and fire and the 5th element is the brewer’s love, which makes the beer special and unique.
Medvedgrad pubs offer some of the best craft beers in Zagreb. The manufacture demands following traditional, old principles of beer making and using only the best ingredients. The beer is being made of malt, hop, water and yeast. The brewery produces high quality beer that attracts by its flavor, bouquet and color richness which will satisfy even the biggest gourmets. Their beer is not far behind the best world samples. It is not filtered, has no preservatives and makeshifts, and is made out of best ingredients while using the most advanced technology, but in a traditional way. Medvedgrad pubs offer 11 types of beer that will thrill you with their flavor. You can taste the beer in one of the 4 Medvedgrad pubs in Zagreb and in Wok by Matija restaurant.
Vukovarsko beer is being made by following Bavarian Beer Law from 1516. and it doesn’t have preservatives and similar but is completely natural. It contains malt, hop, water and yeast only.
Varionica Craft brewery made beer in the basement for years, but they gathered courage and joined the revolution of making craft beer in Croatia. They wish to make many different types of high quality beer in small amounts so they and their buyers can enjoy in variety of fresh flavors that this type of manufacture allows. At the moment, they offer Pale Ale tap beer that smells after citrus and pine, it has rich flavor and amber color.
Family brewery and tasting room Bošnjak in Sičice near Nova Gradiška offer craftf beer made under controled conditions, but their beer has one small imperfection – there is too little beer for sale! They constantly produce extremely smooth and refreshing light and dark beer. If you don’t feel like travelling to Slavonija region, taste the Bošnjak beer in Beertija café at Pavla Hatza Street 16 in Zagreb.