As craft coffee, the craft beer movement is spreading ever deeper into the Budapest mainstream with new microbreweries popping up at a head-spinning pace. At the bars below, you can sample everything from crispy lagers to hop-forward double IPAs, sourced both from small Hungarian breweries and international producers.
Hopaholic, located inside Budapest's party district, is a snug craft beer bar known for its dizzying range of international craft beers. They source bottled beers from over 250 microbreweries across the world and there's also ten rotating beers on tap. Do you feel like downing a cloudy, yeasty hefeweizen? Perhaps an imperial stout from Denmark sporting a 10% ABV? Or, rather, a tarty and fruity Moldavian-Hungarian lambic beer? Not a problem.
Hops Beer Bar is a divey-looking craft beer bar in the heart of Budapest's party district. The moment you realize that this isn't your average dive bar is when you get a glimpse at the more than 200 types of bottled craft beers stacked in the fridge. It's this extensive beer selection that makes Hops Beer Bar a pilgrimage-site for craft beer fans in Budapest.
Due to bad urban planning, cars have better access to Danube vistas than city residents in Budapest. A handful of bars, however, can boast a precious river panorama, and Jónás Craft Beer House is one of them. So, while sipping your citrusy pale ale here, you can marvel at Gellért Hill and the stately building of the Budapest University of Technology on the opposite bank. If you come from the city center, take tram #2 for a scenic ride along the Danube and get off at Zsil utca, almost right outside Jónás.
In 2018, Scottish craft beer giant, BrewDog, opened a massive bar inside Budapest's party district. The decor feels like it's still the early aughts: there are leather banquettes, reclaimed wood table tops, Edison bulbs, and a vintage sign board listing the 25 beers on tap. BrewDog's own beers flow from ten of those, with the remainder dedicated to a rotating set of local—Mad Scientist and Horizont during my visits—and foreign breweries.
KEG is a spacious craft beer bar in Budapest’s increasingly trendy Újbuda neighborhood. The place is just off Bartók Béla Boulevard, the main artery of the area, inside a remodeled brick-arched basement. Digital flap displays show the 32 (!) types of draft beers available, most of them sourced from local breweries. But you can also run into foreign beers such as a 15% ABV imperial stout from Denmark’s Mikkeller brewery. For those unsure what to order, KEG offers a tasting special where the bartenders (or you) select five 1 dl / 3.4 oz samples for €7.
Bölcső may not have the deepest craft beer selections in Budapest, nor does it sling In-N-Out-level Double-Doubles, but the combination of above-average beers and burgers makes this lively neighborhood joint a worthy destination. Once here, you'll also get to explore a charming Buda neighborhood on the less-traveled side of the city. Being in Buda means that the patrons here are mainly locals, especially thirty-plus millennials who've developed a taste for craft beers.
Neked Csak Dezső is a spacious craft beer bar on the ground floor of a high-ceilinged building near Budapest's party district. The gleaming white and overlit space feels a little too polished despite attempts to spruce up the decor with patches of red brick and exposed fermentation tanks. They serve 32 rotating tap beers which come from microbreweries across Europe, mainly Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic. Options range from crispy lagers to hop-forward IPAs, and pricey double IPAs with sky-high alcohol content (the IBU scale on the menu helps decode the bitterness levels).