The craft-beer revolution that continues to sweep across the entire globe has brought welcome additions to the Hungarian-suds scene, with many of Budapest’s top-notch beer bars serving delicious bottles from many of the finest domestic microbreweries. With a staggering number of almost two dozen locally made beers on tap at all times, Élesztő is one of the leaders of this potable progress – and fortunately its management has achieved such success that they could recently open a brand-new pub stocking a wide range of foreign-made artisanal beers.
After opening in the spring of 2013, Élesztő continually satisfies discerning Budapest drinkers with its versatile selection of beers from small-scale Hungarian breweries. The establishment has cultivated a keen local interest in high-quality beers, and the city’s suds-tippling populace now seems ready to try something new, and sample some tasty international favorites after getting acquainted with the best beers of Hungary. Filling that need like ale in a mug, Importer is a new bar specializing in craft beers from all over the world, and we believe this will be a popular haunt for delicious discoveries and tasteful comparisons.
Found a few steps away from the orginal Élesztő in District IX, the entrance toImporter on the corner of Tompa and Liliom leads into a main taproom that is not too elaborately decorated at the moment, but already serves its purpose perfectly well. Our host Gábor Németh Grabovszky told us that they’ll soon add some pizzazz to the austere interior, and spice up the pipes running along the walls with some cool light painting.
However, the stars of the beer bar are not found on the walls, but in the barrels below the counter. The eight kinds of draft beer poured here represent eight different categories, from lighter items through IPAs all the way to full-bodied stouts. The selection changes all the time: we enjoyed a handful of beers brewed by London-based Crate and Northern Monk near Leeds, but chances are that in a couple of weeks other regions, such as Berlin, will take center stage. The German influence is quite strong due to such initiatives as Berlin’s hip artisanal beer festival Braufest, and the prominence of the outstanding German craft beer joint Hopfenreich.
The beers come in a special kind of glass that preserves the fragrance of the drinks for a longer period of time. Another great aspect is that patrons can order as little as 1 dl of whichever beer they’d like, meaning that “tasting your way through” the complete selection is not as challenging as you might assume. Most of the available suds cost 250 forints/dl. Along with the first-rate draft beers, the bar also sells premium bottled varieties, mainly from Belgium, Germany, and England.
The beers are transported in bags from the breweries (in line with the so-called “bag-in” system), and are transferred into plastic barrels upon arrival. They are then served by being pressed from the containers with the help of carbon dioxide, which is kept completely separate from the beers to preserve their natural carbonic acid content.
If all goes according to plan, the bar will add a terrace in spring, and will start servingbeer cocktails in the near future. The foreign artisanal beers that they offer are definitely exceptional, and provide a delectable contrast to their Hungarian counterparts. If you can’t make up your mind about which part of the world you prefer, make sure to visit both Importer and Élesztő to get a full picture of the best craft beers worldwide. via welovebudapest.com