Brewdog Budapest Review

Inside the dog house. Photo: Virag Eszter Toth for Budapest Pulse.

Brewdog are in town.  

They’ve planted their blue & white flag in Budapest.

Based at the old Anker site (near Deak) this craft beer giant will open it’s first bar in Hungary a few short hours from now.

Pulse got a sneak preview of all things Brewdog Budapest last night. Along with their Equity Punks, The UK’s Ambassador to Hungary Iain Lindsay & the great & good of the cities press we were honoured to snag an invite. 

Damn – we were excited.

You can call them sellout’s. A part of the establishment or fake punks. We really don’t care. Here at Pulse we are right behind what Brewdog do.

A quick history lesson folks. If you were dying on a decent pint back in the day but faced the same obstacles as this writer (namely being skint & bored) chances are you’d end up with a Tennett’s in your hand – after each síp you’d try to convince yourself that the fizzy water you were guzzling down was actually any good.

Then  eleven years ago – along comes Brewdog. Founded in Ellon (just outside Aberdeen) by two pals, the Dog’s cultural impact can’t really be disputed.

They changed everything.

Where we drink.

How we drink. What we drink.

They introduced craft beer to the UK. That ain’t an exaggeration. 

These boys weren’t dillettantes merely along for the ride. Brewdog was & has since remained dedicated to churning out exceptional beer after exceptional beer.

Their eye catching slogan reads ”Craft beer for the people”. They make no apologizes about being popular & why should they? Since 2007, Brewdog has gotten a lot more right than they’ve got wrong.

I still remember the first time I ever walked into one of their bars. I was wandering through Edinburgh’s Cowgate with a pal. We saw that soon to be famous blue & white logo & made our way inside.

The headliners. Photo: Virag Eszter Toth for Budapest Pulse.

This was at around 1pm ona Tuesday. Hey, I was on holiday ok? My pal almost got us both thrown out after asking for a Stella. I made do with a Punk IPA. I’d never tasted any sort of India Pale Ale before. The stuff was a revelation. Incidentally my friend refused to set foot inside Brewdog again. He calls them ”The Starbucks of pubs”. Take from that whatever you want. 

For this writer. Ever since that day  in the Cowgate– I’ve loved what Brewdog do. The dog coming to Budapest is something that I had always dreamed about.

So, does it live up tothe near impossible hype? Well. Yes & no. 

If like me, you’ve visited Brewdog’s the world over then you already know what you’re getting. Bare brick walls. Weird beard enthusiasts. Incredible food. A cracking atmosphere.  Craft spirits.  Most importantly of all though – terrific beers.

Why would Brewdog Budapest be any different? After all it’s one of Europe’s coolest cities. The truth is though, it might take a few months before they find their feet here. 

I won’t lie to you. I was a wee bit disappointed. Mainly by the obscene prices (almost 2k for a Punk IPA?). Brewdog are asking you to pay, UK prices on a Hungarian salary. That will hopefully change soon. 

At the dark end of the street. Photo: Virag Eszter Toth for Budapest Pulse.

If you can get past this then your in for a treat.

What we have here is this– 25 beers on tap. 15 of which are Brewdogs. The other ten taps belonging to a rotating array of guest ales.

The headliners are all on the taplist. Punk IPA, 5am Saint, Jet Black Heart & Dead Pony Club. Despite drinking barrowloads of these brews over the years – they never grow old.

Up in the booth. Photo: Virag Eszter Toth for Budapest Pulse.

The other Brewdog Classics like Abstrakt AB:24 are on offer. Abstrakt is a wonderful Baltic Porter. 

As with any BD, hearty burgers & gigantic hot dogs adorn the food menu. The complimentary brownies last night were also delish. I am looking forward to the sourdough pizza (namely the hero) coming to town.

Brewdog Budapest munchies also comes with a unique local twist – Hungarian style gourmet bites. 

A representative from the chain declared before we sank our beers “Why did we choode Hungary? The way we see it is Hungary chose us.”

Brewdog are one of the biggest craft breweries in the World so some of the local smaller guys might be pissing their pants right around now. They should not be. The Ellon boys & girls always go out of their way to showcase the best beers the natives can produce.

The Hungarian craft beer scence is already thriving – Brewdog joining the party will only lead to more curiousity about what the likes of Mad Scientist, Hop Fanatic & others are doing out here.

Serious about craft beer. Photo: Virag Eszter Toth for Budapest Pulse.

Let’s finish on a Sopranos quote shall we? 

In the season two episode D-Girl, the actor Jon Favareu comes to New Jersey to shoot the shit with the young mobster, Christopher Moltasanti. Moltasanti takes umbrage with Favareu’s film,Swingers. Christopher doesn’t think Swingers is genuine enough. Favareu fires back  ’’Whatever you think of that motherfucker man, I care about how people really talk’’.

That’s just like Brewdog.

Just replace the talking with the beer. Whether you think their hipsters or find them too prententious, you’ve got to be impressed by the brews these self proclaimed motherfuckers make.

It’s as simple as that.

If you love great beer or want to try out IPA for the first time then there won’t be many better places to do it.

I am a fully paid up member of the Brewdog club.

It’s time you got on board as well.

We are lucky to have them in our city.

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