Bulgaria is far behind the Czech Republic in beer consumption, ranking 15th in consumption per capita (181 liters per person per year vs. 63 liters). The Czech Republic has left its mark on Bulgarian brewing – Czech brewer František Milde founded a beer factory under the Shumensko brand in Shumen in 1882 and also helped establish the Bulgarian Brewers Association.
The first beer I tasted on the Black Sea coast was Kamenitza beer with a lion emblem. It is one of the best-selling beers in Bulgaria, founded in 1881. I had the beer with lunch in the restaurant Rhomphaia in town of Balchik, and it quenched my thirst reliably.
During my visit to the Key Beer Bar, I had the opportunity to taste a much richer range of Bulgarian beers – the tasting direction was from right to left. Lager Shumensko from the brewery co-founded by the Czech brewer, a basic type of beer. Next was a pale ale from the craft brewery Glarus. They use American and Slovenian hops for this beer. A light and drinkable beer with a fresh taste. Third, I tasted Glarus Hazelnut – a dark beer combining five types of malt with the flavor of roasted hazelnuts. Very interesting taste for me.
The beer Chisto i Prosto (translated as clean and simple) from the nano brewery Trima i Dvama (three and two) caught my attention significantly more. The penultimate beer was Chipa IPA from the same brewery as Chisto i Prosto. A luxury that, in my opinion, would not offend any Czech. The last beer was a Pale Ale from the microbrewery Kazan Artizan in Sofia and the clear winner.
I certainly do not consider myself a beer expert, but in my opinion, Bulgarian beers, especially from small craft breweries, are definitely worth trying.
Cheers and drink responsibly!