For any beer connoisseur, Bulgaria offers an exciting terra incognita to explore. Craft beers have only recently become popular in this country. If you want to experience the surprises that Bulgarian brewers have in store for you, here is a selection of the best local craft beers to try and where to find them.
Glarus is a microbrewery located in the seaside city of Varna. Its name means ‘Herring-gull.’ The brewery specializes in ale beers because they offer a wide variety of flavors. Glarus’s beers are neither pasteurized nor filtered. Their catalog includes black IPA, Belgian Saison Ale, English Ale, and Pale Ale.
Divo Pivo was the first craft brewery in Bulgaria and has been operating since 2013. Their emblematic bottles, featuring bears, contain unfiltered ales with a distinct aroma and a long-lasting aftertaste.
Ailyak Beer started as a passion project and has grown into one of the most well-known craft beer brands in Bulgaria. Its name comes from an untranslatable Bulgarian word, “ailyak,” which conveys a sense of freedom, lightness, and a carefree life.
Jagerhof is brewed near Plovdiv and offers seasonal flavors, but its two bestsellers are a lager and a wheat beer brewed according to Bavarian traditions for the purest taste. These beers are non-pasteurized and non-filtered. The best place to try them is at the Jagerhof Pub in Plovdiv, a two-story Bavarian-style building with its own brewing system.
Ah! (Ах! in Bulgarian) experiments with beer flavors in the most unexpected ways, and the results are truly memorable. Try their Bulgarian pale ale or their red ale with sideritis (mountain tea or shepherd’s tea), a local wild medicinal herb found only in limited mountain areas.
Blek Pine is the brainchild of two beer enthusiasts who love to experiment with seasonal ingredients, such as peaches, in their beers. Their all-time bestseller is the first Bulgarian IPA – Blek Pine IPA, but it’s always worth asking about their latest beer offerings.
White Stork is a beer brand that incorporates ingredients from around the world. It is designed and created in Bulgaria, brewed in Belgium using German malts and American hops. The brand offers a range of bold flavors and styles, from pale ale to dark stout.
What began as a family home brewery in 2012 has evolved into a craft brewery offering a wide range of beer styles, including lager, IPA, porter, barley ale, and stout. Rhombus Brewery was the first in Bulgaria to create barley wine.