Tipple of the week: Soproni IPA

Soproni IPA
Soproni IPA

Don’t click back—give me a few minutes on this one. My tipple of the week is Soproni’s IPA (or to give it its full name, Soproni Óvatos Duhaj IPA).

There’s an old joke among Budapestian expats: ‘what’s the difference between sex in a canoe and Soproni? Nothing, they’re both fucking close to water.’ And it’s true. I’m a man of simple tastes though, and I like my lager to be, primarily speaking, cheap. I’m a beer sommelier’s wet dream—I’ll take whatever’s on tap, second cheapest. Because no-one wants to drink Arany Ászok.

And most of the time, ‘whatever’s on tap, second cheapest’ is the old stag-do favourite, Soproni, normally coming in at about the same price as a bus ticket. But, Heineken’s mass-production breweries have come up with something a bit interesting—an IPA.

This light, almost-Reinheitsgebot-compliant brew is borne of the sörgyárak just a couple of kilometres away from the Austrian border.

Soproni recommend you drink it at 8-11°C, which is probably a bit on the warm side, and you’ll end up disappointed. At lager temperatures though, some of the roughness round the edges fades away and it tastes light, with fruity hints against a mild backdrop. This is a great summer beer with its citrus tang, and permeated the festival scene last summer.

You could be forgiven for thinking it costs twice as much as its little lager brother, but where it’s on tap, it’s rarely more than 100 HUF more expensive, and the supermarket price is only 40 HUF more, and it’s definitely worth the extra.

What it’s not: Craft beer. Sophisticated. Classy.

What it is: Cheap. Easy to drink. Surprisingly tasty.