A return to Budapest finally allowed a catch up with Dániel Bart, who originally contacted us a month ago after we had written to Fóti Kézműves Sörfőzde, a craft brewery about 25km north-east of Budapest. Unfortunately Sziget Festival and its aftermath prevented us from meeting up when we were here last time…
Dániel runs Folyékony Kenyér, a Hungarian beer blog and also branded Fót’s Keserű Méz after trying a test batch on a visit to the brewery in early 2011. He thought the bitter honey beer was so good that he convinced the owner to brew it on a larger scale and a few months later it was available on tap at Szimpla Kert (one of our favourite bars in Budapest). It has also been available in bottles since August.
Dániel suggested that we meet at Csak a jó sörök! (Only good beer!), a specialist beer store in Erzsébetváros, Budapest’s 7th District. The reason for meeting there was the premiere of Ogre Söre, a pilsner brewed by Hungary’s oldest and most successful craft brewery, Békésszentandrási Sörfőzde.
The story goes that Dániel wrote an article about the blueberry, cherry and plum beers that Békésszentandrási are now producing. Beer lover, Ogre, was a little bit disgruntled by the fruit beer trend and commented on the article that there are no Czech-style beers being produced by microbreweries in Hungary – Dániel told us that the majority of the easy-drinking styles follow Bavarian recipes. The head brewer from Békésszentandrási contacted Ogre to discuss the idea and from that, Ogre Söre was born. Ogre has been rewarded for his input with his name and photo on the label!
From the couple of glasses we had yesterday, we have to say that it’s a very good beer and it would be great to see it take off in Hungary in order to challenge the commercial breweries. Hopefully this will start to happen next week at Főzdefeszt, a craft beer festival in Budapest of which Dániel is the main organiser.
Over 12,000 people attended the very first Főzdefeszt in May 2011 and this, the 4th edition, is expected to be at least twice as big, with over 20 Hungarian craft breweries represented, along with a handful of British, Czech, German and Slovenian brewers.
Unfortunately we won’t be able to attend, but on the plus side we picked up several bottles of Hungarian craft beer from Csak a jó sörök! (including Ogre Söre and Keserű Méz) to test out over the next couple of days…