Budapest and Brews (Craft Microbrews that is)

Jónás Craft Beer House

Marc and his Babushka Cart

We spent the day rearranging furniture in the apartment and cleaning, and then cleaning some more; this was definately a college apartment before we moved in. About 4 pm we realized that the grocery marts would be closing soon and would likely not re-open until Monday, so if we wanted to eat on Sunday we had better run out and pick up a few more staples. Conveniently, there are at least three small grocery stores within two blocks of us, a fabulous little bakery behind out building, and a Tesco Hypermart and OBI (Hungarian Home Depot) a short trolley ride away. With store closing times looming, we loaded up our shopping bags and headed out.

We decided not to take Marc’s Babushka cart (little wheeled shopping bag). In hind sight we have decided to always take the Babushka cart grocery shopping, if for no other reason than it makes the Hungarian grandmothers green with envy; the other day one even stopped to ask us where we got it. It is amazing what you can understand from a 4 foot tall, 70 year old Hungarian woman who speaks no English when she is properly motivated; she really wanted Marc’s cart. The cart also makes it alot easier to haul beer home. 

After shopping, we walked the two blocks back to our apartment and as soon as we turned onto our side street we started hearing music, a sort of bluesy jazz southern rock. As we turned the corner onto our street we realized it was live music and was coming from the C.E.T. building across the street….score!  We ran upstairs, threw the groceries in the fridge (you are supposed refridgerate Windex, right?) and headed over to see what had inspired the music.


Woohoo! A mini-festival right across the street from out building! Not sure exactly what the festival was for, but they had a live band, Palinka and Forralt Bor, butchers making sausage from scratch, and around the corner cooking it up (yum) and …wait for it… a craft micro-brewery just opened in the C.E.T. buidling directly across the street from our apartment, Jónás Kézműves Sörház (Jónás Craft Beer House)We are never moving. 


After gorging on kolbasza and homemade bread with spicy mustard, we decided that sitting at the outdoor picnic table was a bit chilly seeing as how the temperature hadn’t made it above freezing all day. Plus it was too cold for the Porter beer we were enjoying to warm up to optimal drinking temperature (although even chilled it was still one of the best Porter beers we have every had). Seeking warmth and more beer, although not necessarily in that order, we migrated into the brewery to explore, or at least explore their beer selection. The bartender didn’t speak English so she passed us off to a young gentleman who turned out to be a guest Brewmaster and had brewed four of the beers they were serving. His name was Marton (at least we think it was Marton, it was a little loud in there) and we spent the next hour and half talking to him about beer and his brewing process. 

Marton is very likely the youngest Brewmaster in Europe at 25 years old (he thinks there might be a 22 year old in England or the Netherlands, but he isn’t sure).  And his beers are quite good! We sampled the "Thermostout" and a Wheat beer named “Wheatathatatlan” (no we don’t know what that means and Marton couldn’t explain the translation, although we do think you could build a pretty decent drinking game around trying to pronounce it). The Thermostout was a traditional stout with a nice sharp bite to it. The Wheat beer was delicious;  a glorious cloudy pale gold with a rich flavor of cardoman and underlying hints clove and citrusy lemon.

Marton has brewed an IPA in the past, the name of which roughly translates into “drunken horse”, we can’t wait to try that one…

© Eat, Drink, and Carry a GPS 2013