Bucharest – La 100 de Beri

My favourite pub of last year was the Hop and Vine in Hull, something I’ve bored people about many times. There are many things that pubs should do, but the finest ones offer something extra, which is in my view engagement beyond the norm.

My first impressions were neutral as there were no customers or staff members visible, so I wondered whether I’d walked into a pub that was closed. However, this changed soon enough, a staff member came over and seemed friendly and helpful.

This is my first drink, which was an imperial stout, a brave choice and that was noted by the barman. But, it was the only dark option on draught, and I’m fine with a little strength in the afternoon. It’s the Never Over BA beer from Hop Hooligans, who I can only describe as Romania’s Tiny Rebel. I’m running out of time to try more beers from this brewery, so I’ll just have to come back to Romania, I’m prepared to do that in my quest for beer perfection. As a beer, this was top notch, a richness of flavour, chocolate, coffee and perhaps even a bit of vanilla in there.

That screen at the back has a stream from Untappd and I stupidly tagged the wrong beer, but not before the brewery themselves had liked my review. So, since it was the correct brewery and nearly the right beer, I left it. If anyone is bored and clicks on the above image, my check-in is visible in the bottom-left of the screen.

A couple of pages from the beer list, which was extensive and had some interesting options from Poland that I recognised.

My second choice, not quite as rich a flavour as I hoped for, but the peanut butter was still evident and it had a smooth taste. The barman told me that this brewery produces Belgian style beers, but I’m confused as to how that works with dark beers. I’ll ask Nathan, he’ll likely know…. Back to the drink, the barman wouldn’t let me drink it for a few minutes, he wanted it to come down to the right temperature and something about it being unfiltered, unpasturised and naturally carbonated. Nathan will probably know about that as well.

The barman showed me these after I had ordered the above, something quite tempting, I mean, barrel aged and peated? Marvellous!

Anyway, my main memory of this visit would be the member of bar staff, who enthused about beer and made clear his thoughts about many aspects of beer and culture. I think I agreed with nearly everything that he said, which was rather lovely, but it’s clear that he was a character who absolutely loved beer and that is quite marvellous. His mantra of quality over quantity is entirely right in my view, it’s far better to get a third of something excellent than a pint of something average, even if they’re the same price.

I can say with some certainty that any British person coming here wanting to drink pints of Fosters won’t necessarily be given a vast of respect, but I’d say that the barman wouldn’t sneer, he just knows quality and excellence in beer. Actually, he might sneer, but in a way. Generic lagers are becoming tiresome and I’m always disappointed when venues that should know better keep prioritising them.

I intended to spend no more than 30 minutes in this pub as I wanted to visit a couple of others, but I managed to accidentally spend over two hours here. And it didn’t seem that long at all. It’s going to take something special for this not to win my pub of 2020 award, but the year is yet young….. But, this is definitely a recommended location, it dripped character, soul and authenticity and that isn’t common enough.