New bar at Szimpla adopts scientific approach to craft beer
Venerable Budapest ruin pub Szimpla kert has started dabbling with chemistry after years of successful mixology. A bar within a bar, first-floor Labor now proffers the beers of local craft experts Mad Scientist, serving their drinks in laboratory flasks that you can take home with you. Mad Scientist is already well known in Hungary – they often show up at beer festivals in lab coats and safety glasses, transforming the whole drinking experience into a scene from Breaking Bad. As well as its small-batch brews, regularly changing guest ales will also be featured.
Jam72, Smooth Hoperator, Mango Bay, Tokyo Lemonade, Liquid Cocaine, Monkey Temple and of course, Duke of Budapest. These are not indie bands but the delicious beers of Mad Scientist, as popular today in Budapest as the mainstream drinks by international breweries.
Some breweries open pubs to popularize their own products, but in Hungary and around Budapest, few breweries open pubs. However, there are quite a few pop-up outlets around town, beer festivals often provide platform for breweries to present their ales, and an increasing number of quality hangouts highlight a selection of the best local beers. The products of Mad Scientist are definitely one of these.
Szimpla Kert’s staff are true innovators, so we shouldn’t be surprised to hear that Mango Bay and Jam72 will have their own bar here. Szimpla already looks like an enchanted castle, the ideal setting for Mad Scientist to rent a room upstairs and operate Labor, offering their own beers, as well as a regularly selected drink from different guest breweries.
Beer geeks can look forward supping their IPAs and ales from a so-called Erlenmeyer flask (venue name Lombik means laboratory flask in Hungarian). You’ll have to leave a 1,000 HUF deposit for the flask. You can even decide to take it home (it can double up as a plant pot for hipsters) but if you return it empty, you get the deposit back. Flasks measure four deciliters, a normal measure of beer. Most drinks cost between 1,000 and 1,200 HUF, depending on the chosen beer – the same as at high-quality breweries.
If you climb the stairs and turn right, you find pour your own taps illuminated in pink and purple.
- 1075 Budapest, Kazinczy utca 14.
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