Craft beer in Bulgaria - worthy alternative to wine?
Do you wonder where to try crafted beer in Bulgaria? In our review you will find out where to find the most stylish and trendy places in Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna and Burgas that offer their guests special types of beer prepared according to unique recipes.
In Bulgaria, beer production did not begin until the second half of the nineteenth century. The first breweries were founded by foreign entrepreneurs from Austria-Hungary, Switzerland and France. It should be noted that some of the factories opened at that time, including the oldest brewery in Shumen, underwent many upgrades and still work. In those distant days, of course, beer was not so popular and could not compete with wine and rakiya - favorite Bulgarian beverages.
Currently, consumption of beer in Bulgaria has increased significantly. To this date, the country does not fall below the 15th place in Europe for consuming this drink, which is about 75 liters per year per capita.
Several recent years have shown a significant development of craft brewing in Bulgaria, which now can be surely identified as an independent industry. About 20 small productions opened in different cities of the country. They produce an average of 3000 to 10,000 liters of unique varieties of beer per year.
The most famous and respected producers:
- White Stork Beer Co, Sofia
- Pivovarnata 359, Mramor village, region Sofia
- Glarus Craft Brewing, Varna
- Rhombus Craft Brewery, Pazardjik
- GB Craft Brewery Blek Pine, Sofia
- Jagerhof, Zhitnitsa village, region Plovdiv
- Ailyak, Sofia
- Hills Brewery, Perushtitsa town, region Plovdiv
- Beer workshop Ah!, Sofia
Not falling behind them, there are also several young, bold and creative microbreweries, such as:
- Mad Panda, Sofia
- Metalhead Brewings, Burgas
- Trima and Dvama, Sliven
- Brothers Brewery, Varna
They win their audience by surprising it not only with the taste of the new beer, but also with the impressive design of the labels.
There is also a recent crafting experiment of a relatively large brewery Lomsko Pivo that provokes interest. The new brand Vitoshko Lale, positioned as summer craft beer, confidently stands on the shelves of special shops and beer bars.
The cost of a bottle of Bulgarian-made craft beer ranges from 2.50 to 7 levs in specialized beer shops, which are being opened more and more often in the big cities of the country. Here are the largest retail points that you can visit in Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna and Burgas:
- Sofia: 100Beers, Beera, Nosferatu Craft Beer Shop, Beer Shop, Sofia
- Burgas: Papa Beer, Мокро Куче, The Beers
- Plovdiv: Beer shop, Beer & Wine Shop
- Varna: Averi Beers
Some shops work in degustation mode and offer customers to try their favorite brands’ samples. Almost all these stores have online branches. Look for them online and order beer with delivery.
Fans of the relaxed atmosphere of beer bars will be advised to drink a glass or two in these noisy and cheerful, but cozy beer bars located on the central city streets. We recommend the following places offering craft beer:
- Sofia: KANAAL, FlipFlop Bar, Boarding, Beer Box, Tap 12 Blues Bar, Bilaria Halbite Network, BiraBar, BarFly
- Plovdiv: Bar Craft Capana, Kotka and Mishka, Monkey House, Beer Stop
- Varna: Diagonal, Barat, Schaigata, Bar Brand
- Burgas: Papa Beer, Buddy
There is one more category of producers, which besides production also have their own beer restaurants. In Plovdiv, we recommend you to go to Jagerhof, where you can serve freshly brewed beer using Bavarian technology, and in Burgas - to the Veritas Brewery restaurant, whose owner is a native of Ukraine.
Barcafe.bg has the addresses of all the above places. Just type the name of the bar in the search bar. Good luck and... cheers!