Outside My Hat

Ok, that was possibly the loosest “A Serbian Movie” reference I could make in the title. I will try harder next time. Anyway, in Belgrade for a few days visiting friends, so I thought I would sketch out some notes.

The beer scene here trends heavily towards lager, mixed dark and light – quality wise it is above Carling and Stella, much less fizzy and with a better body, but there it is not up there with the Czech Republic or Poland for stand out standard quality of beer. I was here about six to eight years ago and Jelen used to a pretty solid good quality lager, and has become more mediocre by now – a fact that has been bemoaned oft by locals here. The lager isn’t as bad as the general UK scene, but it isn’t worth hunting out for the beer alone. The general atmosphere of drinking is pretty nice though – table service, relaxed atmosphere. For general every day kafana relaxing I would say try the local drink, rakia. It can vary from fire water to a genuinely smooth and very drinkable spirit. Standard version here is made with plums, but from my experience here if you can find quince rakia it is far superior. If you know any locals the aged home made versions can be awesome as well.

Definitely take advantage of the meat dishes in kafanas, food and drink is cheap as hell and the meat dishes are utterly lovely. I’ve had awesome goulash, and piled high dishes to share. A pint is generally less than a quid fifty, and a good meal will not cost more than a tenner, most cost me five quid. For the local experience a ton of Rakia, and a heap of meat is the way to go. Sorry vegetarians, but this place really does not work well for you.

There is however the start of a Craft scene in Belgrade, I’ve seen a seriously good range of imported beers popping up in specialist shops, but more importantly – they have at least one brew pub! Kabinet Brewing – I got to visit it, very stripped down utilitarian kind of coffee shop looking place – great bottle selection from around the world, and I got to try a couple of their beers – a very fresh tasting porter, almost lemon touched – a smooth Belgian style beer and more. I have one tap review to go up and a bottle to taste when I get home.

I don’t really have enough info to do one of my usual travel notes on the beer scene, but I thought I would do a quick post to the birth of the Belgrade craft beer movement.

Catch ye when I get home, and until then enjoy your drink!

Kabinet Brewing

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