[I wrote the below in February 2020, when I last visited Bucharest. On my recent visit to the city, I decided to include this on our list of pubs to visit and it seems to just be known as Zaganu now, the name of the brewer. November 2023]
If I was in the UK, then I’d be worried about any location which puts the words “craft beer” on their frontage, as beer lovers will find excellent drinking establishments without such embellishments. However, this is Romania and the craft beer scene is a little behind the curve, although this bar most certainly isn’t. It’s beautifully on-trend and I hope in a few years that Bucharest will be teeming with bars like this.
The two blackboards at the bar, with the draught versions on the left and the bottles on the right. There are several beers from Zaganu and they are the operators of this bar and their brewery is around 100 kilometres to the north of Bucharest. They started their brewing operation in 2013, so very much pioneers in this field in Romania. The number of breweries in Bucharest is though growing and this bar features several beers from these businesses as well.
The bottled beer list.
The bar is modern in its decor and there’s a contemporary feel to the establishment, it’s all nicely done. There is an upstairs area for when it’s busier, although it wasn’t open when I visited.
I thought about going for the beer flight, but I was in a mood for a dark beer (although it might be easier for me to note when I’m not in the mood for a dark beer) and there was only one draught option for that.That was the Russian Imperial Stout and it was a little strong for what I wanted, but I’m all for making sacrifices in my quest for the perfect beer. It tasted fine, a richness of flavour although lacking a little in aftertaste, but it was at the appropriate chilled temperature and was a refreshing beer. There was a chocolatey flavour to it which I liked, it was certainly an above average beer.
I thought I’d have a little snack as well, this is the Mexican hot dog, which was surprisingly not as messy to eat as it might appear. Freshly made, all very nice.
There was table service offered, which surprised me slightly as I’m used to going to the bar, but the staff member was always friendly and helpful. Most of the customers when I was in the bar spoke English (although they all seemed to be from other European countries and were using English as a communication tool rather than it being their native language) so this is clearly a popular location with visitors. The prices were a little high perhaps by a local standard, as my beer and hot dog was just under £7, but compared to the UK that’s very reasonable.
Warsaw has seen a craft beer revolution over the last few years, with CNN saying they were one of the best cities in the world for it, and I hope that Bucharest will be following over the next few years. Hopefully this street will be packed with craft beer bars before I know it….