Opened in 2013, Élesztőház is today the pilgrimage site for craft beer fans in Budapest. With 21 different Hungarian craft beer varieties on tap as well as numerous other international beers, it is one of the largest suppliers of craft beer in the city. For the management of the pub, beer is not just a profession but a passion. In 2011 they were the ones who brought the beer revolution to Hungary with the Főzdefeszt – the country's first craft beer festival – which started the trend towards hand-brewed liquid bread. Élesztőház has not been just a beer bar for a long time. Over the years it has grown into a kind of cultural centre in a more or less organic manner. In addition to the original bar, the complex in Tűzoltó utca houses a bistro, a real ale bar, a wine bar, a café, an apartment-restaurant, a beer brewing school and even Hopstel, a small hostel for beer tourists.


District IX, Tűzoltó utca 22.
Open: 3pm-3am
Reservations: (+36) 70 336-1279

See www.elesztohaz.hu


Labor (The Lab) is a bar within a bar. Inside the walls of Budapest's most famous ruin pub, Szimpla Kert, the "Mad Scientists" of the Hungarian craft beer pitched their tents. From the beer menu behind the counter to the coasters and interior design to the barkeeper's outfit, which is based on the periodic table of the elements, Labor consistently reminds you of its motto "chemical laboratory". On many evenings the beer is served in beakers instead of beer glasses. Labor has been delighting hops and malt lovers since September last year, but the boys and girls of "Mad Scientists", who have not yet grown to adolescence, have been experimenting with brewing for some years, and turned professional in 2016. Their core range includes nine craft beers, including Pale Ales, IPAs, Hefeweizen and even a full-bodied Milk Stout. All bottles feature lavishly illustrated labels and sublime names such as Tokyo Lemonade, Puppet Master, Smooth Hoperator or Liquid Cocaine. Although the latter, with an alcohol content of nine percent by volume, is a true heavyweight even for "Double IPA" standards, thanks to its dominant fruity note and complex malt character it is also one of the most interesting beers in the laboratory.

District VII, Kazinczy utca 14.
Open: 6pm-2am
Reservations: (+36) 20 434-1020

See www.facebook.com/laborkraftbeerbar

Hops Beer Bar


No matter the day you visit this small beer bar in Wesselényi utca, the place always seems to be full. Since 2015, Hops Beer Bar has been something of the secret spot of the Budapest craft beer community. Due to its location in the Jewish Quarter, the beer bar is not only popular with locals but also with tourists. Although it cannot keep up with the variety of Élesztőház, offering just nine taps, about 220 international craft beer varieties in bottles at least guarantee that there is something for every taste. Something bizarre, but a special highlight is the decoration of the bar, where the walls are covered with colorful coasters.

District VII, Wesselényi utca 13.
Open: Monday to Thursday 5pm-2am, Fridays and Saturdays 5pm-3am
Reservations: (+36) 30 742-4922

See www.facebook.com/hopsbeerbar

Jónás Kézműves Sörház


The Jónás offers eight taps with regional, hand-brewed beers, a selection of international bottled beers, Hungarian wines, home-made lemonades, as well as organic fruit juices and fruit syrups. The bar, whose name refers to the well-known biblical story of Jonah and the whale, is located in the cultural centre Bálna (Hungarian for whale) on the Pest side of the Danube. While the futuristic glass complex does not promise cosiness at first glance, the owners of Jónás somehow managed to make it comfortable with the help of simple whale-themed style elements. The simple furniture against the background of uncovered ventilation shafts and some heating pipes paired with decorative gears gives the impression of being at the scene of a steampunk novella. The curved window front of the restaurant overlooks the Danube and the historic main building of the Technical and Economic University on the opposite bank of the river. As soon as the temperatures allow, the beer bar moves its business outside to the generously dimensioned terrace of the restaurant, making it a popular insider tip for balmy summer nights.


District IX, Fővám tér 11-12.
Open: Monday to Thursday 11am-12am, Friday and Saturday 11am-2am, Sunday 11am-11pm
Reservations: (+36) 70 930-1392

See www.facebook.com/jonaskezmuvessorhaz/

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