Although David’s very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about beer, reads on the subject constantly, is always on the lookout for local craft beers when we travel, and has even written on beer for our local paper, he’s never written for Wanderwiles. (I’ve definitely used his input for previous beer posts, though.) I hope this write-up is the first of many from him. -T
We’d read and heard that the craft beer scene in Bucharest is growing, so of course had to try at least one beer bar while there. I did some research and came up with a list of possibilities. It turned out that Bogdan offers a beer tasting tour and, while we weren’t interested in that, he confirmed one of my top picks as a personal favorite. So, on a free afternoon, we headed to Fabrica de Bere Bunã (The Good Beer Factory), a long stroll down Calea Vitoriei from our AirBnB apartment. Located in an old factory, Fabrica de Bere Bunã offered ten of their own beers on tap and another twelve bottled beers from various Romanian brewers. The place is brewpub chic (white subway tiles, natural wood, and chalkboard beer lists) with two-story seating inside (stools only) and outdoor tables on the sidewalk, too.
We shared a flight of four beers, all from small Romanian brewers. [See lead photo.] Haunted – an IPA (6.5% ABV) from Addictive Brewing, which just opened in July 2019 – was light gold with a slight haze and a dank, bitter taste, a fine IPA. Tamara said it reminded her of a men’s restroom without the urinal cakes, but I think that’s just beerspeak for dank (right?). Our next IPA was Fortul 13 (5.7% ABV) from Clandestin Beer (opened in March 2019). It appeared gold and clear, had a nose of apricot and grass, and a slight bitterness. A very good rendition of an American IPA, and much more to Tamara’s liking. We sampled two beers from Zăganu, a Romanian craft beer pioneer opened in October 2013 and named after an iconic Romanian vulture that appears on all their bottle labels. (Zăganu also owns Fabrica de Bere Bunã.) Their beers are widely available. We had Adonis, an American pale ale (5.9%) that was medium gold with a frothy white head. It was lightly hopped with an aroma and taste that was citrusy, grassy and slightly floral. We also tried Brună (7.1% ABV), a schwarzbier that was dark brown, almost black. Aromas of toasted malt, yeasty bread, banana, and slight bubble gum. Taste was similar with a raisin sweetness, and a hint of sour reminiscent of a Belgian oud bruin that was uncharacteristic of this style of beer but tasty.
After Fabrica de Bere Bunã, we walked a few blocks to M60, another spot recommended by Bogdan. Both its Facebook page and its actual brick-and-mortar location emphasize coffee and we almost didn’t go in. Inside, we did find a selection of bottled craft beers on their counter and refrigerated (and bought a can of Hop Hooligans Crowd Control NEIPA), but this place really is more of a coffee shop than a beer bar or brewpub. Bucharest has quite a few other venues with craft brews from Romania and other locales, including Mikkeller Bucharest, Beer O’Clock (although closed during our visit), La 100 de Beri, and Bere şi Bere Pub. For info on these and others, click here https://beerologique.org/bucharest/ and here https://www.ratebeer.com/places/city/bucharest/0/167/.