Craft Beer in Budapest


The Hungarian brewing history dates back to the times of the country’s foundation. The nomadic tribes, who arrived at the Carpathian basin, could more easily seed grain on this land, and prepare their own beer (it was called “boza”, and prepared from barley, millet and wheat), than actually planting grapes for wine production. Thanks to the lucky climate of the country, either wine or beer drinking was popular each year: in case of a rainy spring and dry summer, wine was the preferred alcoholic drink, and in case of a dry spring and rainy summer, beer production was supported more. Until the  19th century, anybody, who owned land, could produce beer, and could even sell it. In general, small brewing manufacturers produced most of the beer (the first brewery was founded in 1687 in Pest, by the Bayern Proberger Jakab).

From the middle of the 19th century Kőbánya became a preferred location for the brewing companies. Stones of the outskirts of Pest were often used as a building material for the houses of the city. So the mines, which were left empty, were perfect for storing beer: they were cool, and kept a steady temperature. After WWII, 76% of the beer production of Hungary was produced here.

Currently 3 big companies own 90% of the market: Starbev (Borsodi Brewery), Sabmiller (Dreher Brewery) and Heineken (Soproni and Martfűi), 4-5% is from the Pécsi Brewery, and the rest of the market is for the small craft beer manufacturers and imported beer. (source:

Főzdefeszt 2016, craft beer festival

The most popular scene of the craft beer culture in Budapest is a festival: Főzdefeszt, which takes place between June 10-12, this year. Many craft beer manufacturers from all over the country represent themselves, followed by some quality street food trucks. Craft beer houses and also pubs in Budapest offer a great variety of products. Léhűtő, is one of the most popular pubs specializing in craft beer, as it is in the center of the Budapest nightlife scene, Gozsdu Couryard. Offering around 60 kinds of bottled craft beer and 5-6 different draft beers every day, it is definitely a place to spend some time as a beer lover. They also offer some light snacks as well, and really friendly and passionate guys are ready to help  you find your taste of beer.

craft beer
IPA tasting @Léhűtő

The only brewery that actually has its own pub in the city center is Blonder. They offer 5 kinds of craft beer, all made in Vonyarcvashegy, which is a beautiful hill near Lake Balaton. The pub offers a great selection of food as well, and also nice guest beers, from Békésszentandrás. Neked Csak Dezső! is also situated in the 7th district, and as it is one new bar (and probably the unpronouncable name of the place, Dezső was actually a pig in the “legendary” Hungarian movie “A Tanú”), it is more popular among the locals. The pub offers around 30 kinds of bottled craft beer, and 6-8 on tap.

Beeróság, craft beer pub, that offers 10 different beers on tap

It is impossible to line up all the craft beer pubs of Budapest, but here are some that you can find in Budapest: Beeróság,  Kandalló, Élesztő, Hopfanatic, Legenda, Kaltenberger, Felni , Csak a jó sör, Jónás, Bölcső, Pepin, Hops, Hopaholic, Szimpla.

Fortunately there is a change in beer consumption in Hungary as well. Craft beer is becoming more popular, people are paying more attention to the quality drinks, even though they are a bit more expensive. Events and dinners are organized around craft beer, and the interest of the people is growing. Since 2012 it is also allowed to produce beer at home, up to 1000 liters, and take part in one of the craft beer making contests!