Saturday, June 6, 2015

Craft Beer Revolution: Dispatches from the Eastern Front

Jedna Craft Beer, Warsaw, Poland

The bartender’s long, Amish-style beard and thick black-rimmed glasses looked as if they could be purchased as an all-in-one Halloween costume labeled “The Hipster”.  I gave him a warm Western nod, ordered a blonde pale ale, and sat down at the permanently IPA-scented wooden bar. The barkeep’s pleasant demeanor faded as soon as I opted for the smaller sized beer—or maybe because I’d just ordered the blonde, the weakest beer on the chalk written list. I sipped and examined the empty bottles of Stone and Alesmith that were proudly displayed near the cash register.  Now, if you’re thinking that this is quite an unremarkable scene, you’re probably right—if it had happened in San Diego, California.

But this occurred in Warsaw, Poland two weeks ago at Jedna Craft Beer.
And I experienced something similar last week at Kanaal Bar in Sofia, Bulgaria. The only difference in Sofia was that I got to speak to one of the full-bearded brewers that night as I sipped his fresh, tasty IPA.  His name was Branomir, he’s Serbian, and he’s one of few craft brewers in the Balkans

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