Craft beer has become quite the phenomenon in Budapest, with more and more speciality brew shops popping up around town. The public interest in where our beer comes from, and the quality of the ingredients which go into it, has driven this interest in drinks beyond those available in the corner store. Out of all the craft beer shops in Budapest, one stands out: BeerSelection, the mecca for craft beers in the city. Featuring more than 500 different brews, it is the beer enthusiast’s dream, and recent overhauls have brought even more selection and tasting opportunities.
BeerSelection sells its magnificent assortment of craft beers in a brick-and-mortar shop on József körút, as well as online. They feature many small-scale breweries, selling labels from domestic beer makers like Mad Scientist, Monyo, Horizont, Fehér Nyúl or Balkezes, as well as foreign imports like the Northern Monk, the Mikkeller and other top American, Swedish, Danish, Polish, Czech or Belgian specialties.
Five hundred different brews is an astonishing number, and the first visit to BeerSelection can be a little overwhelming. But the staff on-hand are knowledgeable and experienced, and are happy to guide everyone who comes through the doors to their perfect beer.
A focus on education
“Once you drop in,” say the owners, “you’re not happy to drink anything else”. Educational events like beer tastings are held weekly, in a refurbished gallery seating 20-25 people. They also organise beer premieres, wherein breweries can showcase their newest releases. The events begin with a quick introduction by suppliers, after which attendees are able to sample everything. It’s a great way to see the names behind the brands, and expand your knowledge of all things beer.
Another highlight is their Brewery of the Month series, which features a different manufacturer each time. During the evening you can taste five to six different beers, for only 2,000 forints.
What is a good beer?
“That depends entirely on your own tastes,” say the owners, “but what is very important is to use quality ingredients under expert hands”. Beer comes in a wide range of varieties, and what is good is completely subjective to the drinker. From the simplest lager, to the most popular and bitter IPAs, to the more full-bodied coffee-chocolate Russian Imperial Stouts, almost anything is imaginable, and so all preferences are valid.
BeerSelection aims to be the beer store where you’ll make your most pleasant memories, regardless of experience, knowledge of beer or any previous experimentations. "It is a high priority for us to raise awareness of this world to as many ordinary beer consumers as possible,” say the owners, “and to show that there is life beyond the 200-forint drink".
Enjoy a local beer, curate your own selection to take home, and from March you will be able to fill 1L bottles from the tap, all at BeerSelection. This year, the company also donated items to the Wesley János Kindergarten, Elementary School, Vocational School and Grammar School, which operate a kindergarten/school for disadvantaged young people.