There’s that moment in spring when you first step out of your home without a coat, when the brasseries and restaurants finally put out the chairs on the sidewalk and you suddenly feel the lack of vitamins and meat in your body, and all this at the same time. The solution is really a no-brainer: have a vaseful of unfiltered wheat beer – the real liquid bread. Of course, it’s not as easy here as it is in, for instance, Munich – but it’s far from impossible. If you want to drink some wheat beer, have a go at the following places in Budapest.
If it’s wheat beer, whereever else to go than the specialist of German beers in Ganz utca behind Király Bath. You can taste the Kapuziner Hefeweizen, this spicy, yeasty, straw-colored Bavarian wheat in a hidden garden shaded by ivy.
Erdinger is a mild, elegant, mainstream wheat beer that you can find at a couple of places in Budapest, the nearest of which to Ganz utca is Polo Pub. A visit to the brewery at Erding, 30 km from Munich is said to be unforgettable experience.
And if you’re in Viziváros, go as far as the next corner, where a Bavarian sausage place, not so well-known for whatever reason, operates. Scherdel wheat beer draft here owes its popularity rather to its uniqueness than its excellence.
If you take yourself seriously, you’ll go to Csakajósör in Kertész utca, that’s a setter of standards anyways, and taste one of the best Bavarian wheat beers of the oldest, 1000-year-old brewery: Weihenstephan wheat. There are hardly any other wheat beers that could better the Weihenstephan with its sparkling sweet and citrus-like aromas rich in nutritions, tingly hop and umami and thickness as vegetable soup’s.
Bavaria is closer to us not only geographically but in flavors, too. But if you feel like having something exotic, don’t hesitate to turn to the Belgians. Blanche d’Ardenne, for example, the slightly lactic acidic, little spicy and refreshing brewage can be drunk at the Danube.
The Czech has started making beers recently and they’re not bad at it at all. If you haven’t tasted any of them yet, go to Beer Bier, where it’s not rare to find Cerna Hora Velen. But watch out! The offer changes continuously, make sure to check what’s currently served.
Paulaner’s wheat beer is a staple in Bavaria but a special, rare experience here. I believe that the Paulaner in Mom Park, that was once a brewpub, is the only good brasserie in a mall. And soon it’ll have an outdoor area, too.
Hoegaarden, having been injected some funds and upgraded, was the savior of the Belgian witbier 30 years ago and they still make fine beer. Ever since Borsodi is the importer it’s one of the most frequent wheat beers in Budapest. It’s worth to try even for the huge glass.
At the cellar in Wesselényi utca you can try 40 different kinds of Czech beer, including the pleasant Czech wheat beer, that is lighter and milder than its Bavarian predecessors.
The most classic of Bavarian wheat beers, Maisel’s Weisse, can be found at Madách tér. The aromas reminiscent of banana and clove surround a light bread-like flavor of malt.
Don’t be surprised to find Slovak wheat beers in Budapest. Anything goes when it comes to beer, the only requirement is quality. Kaltenecker goes as far as brewing three types of wheat beer, that can be tasted in a sort of crop rotation manner at Piritós. And finally, an advice: please, don’t let lemon be put into your wheat beer at least once so that you can feel the flavor why you chose to have wheat beer in the first place. Beer with lemon is like pizza with ketchup, a no-go.