Although Croatia is famous for its exquisite wines and vineyards, the daily drink of choice for many Croats is beer. We love beer so much that we’ve officially classified it as food.
According to Comparecamp.com the average Croat drinks about 135, 7 liters of beer annually.That’s a lot. And when you love something that much, you learn how to make it good.
Although the first real brewery in Croatia was founded in Osijek in the end of 17th century, and there are a couple of other towns famous for their long brewing tradition, the beer champion of Croatia is Zagreb.
The first private brewery in Zagreb was founded in 1740 and the capital got its own official brewery in 1892. Today, beer is an important part of the cities identity and gastronomy.
Although commercial breweries in Croatia produce a variety of beers of the finest quality, there always those who demand more.
Microbreweries or craft breweries are small, independently owned breweries, generally characterized with their emphasis on the art of brewing, quality of product and a variety of different beers. Although brewing artisans are not new in Europe, the trend of micro brewing has really took on in the last couple of decades, starting in the USA and the UK and spreading around the world.
The beer enthusiasts of Zagreb soon joined the party. In the last couple of years Zagreb has witnessed the blossoming of a budding micro brewing scene offering a wide range of Ales, Stouts, Porters and other delicious types of beer.
Trying a domestic beer is a ritual for many travelers. If you plan to do so, here are some of the best micro-breweries in Zagreb!
Medvedgrad brewery is the oldest microbrewery in Zagreb. This family owned company has been making fantastic beer for 20 years now. Famous for their trademark beers like ‘’Griča Vještica’’ and ‘’Zlatni Medvjed’’, the brewery prouds itself as a trend starter and an icebreaker within the industry.
All of the beers are unfiltered, made with the finest natural ingredients, using the modern technology but in a traditional manner. Medvedgrad’s efforts were recognized with an award for the best brewery in 2014 by Ratebeer magazine.
As the oldest brewery in town, Medvedgrads pubs have become a popular gathering place amog the people of Zagreb, serving classical ‘’beer’’ foods along with a wide variety of beer.
Recently the brewery branched out and put out a bottled version of its classic beers in shops across Zagreb.
Zmajska Pivovara , or ‘’the Dragon brewery’’, may not have the tradition like Medvedgrad, but it’s certainly not lacking in quality.
That’s because, although Zmajska might be young, it is a product of passionate beer lovers after created after years of home brewing and sharing among friends.
Luckily the good people of Zmajska Pivovara decided to present the world with their brewing skills. And the world seems very pleased with them.
Within the first year of its existence it was rated among ten best newly open breweries in the world, and its Porter beer was rated among 15 best Porters worldwide.
Along with their famed Porter, a dark, aromatic and intoxicating ale, Zmajska produces a refreshing American pale ale and a strong, limited edition Indian pale ale.
Nova runda literally translates as ‘’another round’’. If you are a beer lover, that is probably one of your favorite sentences.
Well, it is for Marko Filipin and Miroslav Šuvak. The founders of ‘’Nova Runda’’ are proven beer lovers and awarded home brewers. The boys turned their passion and knowledge into another member of the micro brewing revolution in Croatia.
The dominant beers on the Croatian beer scene are Euro Lagers and ‘’Nova runda’’ is looking to change that, producing a high quality, hop based, American Ale. A planed next step is the production of traditional British Cask Ales.
The beers from Nova Runda can be found at a dozen location across Zagreb but also in Split, Pula and Poreč.
The last but certainly not least micro brewer on our list is Varionica. Much like Nova Runda and Zmajska Pivovara, Varionica is a product of home brwers passion for beer.
After years of brewing and perfecting their beer making skills in their own basement, Matija Mrazek and Davor Simičić founded Varionica in 2014.
Currently, varionica is producing two beer brands. A pine and citrus scented ale and a coriander and orange scented Belgian wheat beer.
Photo Credit: (1) Pivnica medvedgrad (2) Pivnica medvedgrad (3) Zmajska Pivovara (4) Nova Runda (5) Varionica