It’s the first time that a lager beer from Hungary was able to take home a prize at the World Beer Idol, one of the most prestigious beer competitions, in the Czech Republic. The beer, called ‘Monarchista’ (The Monarchist) finished in 3rd place.
While the beer’s success may seem like somewhat of a surprise, given that the lager category is usually ruled by German and Czech beers, ‘Monarchist’s win becomes less surprising in light of Hungary’s rapidly grown craft beer scene.
Szent András Brewery, the makers of ‘Monarchista’, describe their award-winning beer in the following way:
The Monarchist is an Imperial-Pilsener craft beer, high in hops and alcohol. It’s made of carefully selected ingredients, all of which were produced in the territory of the former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. The brilliant golden tone of this premium brew comes from the Wiener and the Pilsener malt, while the characteristic taste is provided by the Zatecky (Saaz) hops from the Czech Republic, and the Magnum hops from Slovenia, reminiscent of the piping times of peace.
Beside ‘Monarchist’, two other beers of the brewery, located in Békésszentandrás (a town in the south-east of Hungary) finished in 3rd place in this year’s competition: ‘Málnás Búza’, a raspberry wheat beer, and Esthajnal ’17, which is infused with Earl Grey tea.
Szent András Brewery is one of the pioneers of the now booming but still rather new Hungarian craft beer scene. It was founded 25 years ago, and one of the owners, Béla Bukovinszky says at the beginning their reputation was largely due to the fact that they were the first in Hungary to brew cherry beer made of real fruit (which won a silver medal at last year’s World Beer Idol). Nowadays, their production amounts to 1 million litres per year.
Up until 2010, the beer scene in Hungary was arguably rather boring; in that year, however, the so-called “craft beer revolution” broke out, and Hungarian craft beers have been growing in popularity ever since. Nationwide, many new breweries and pubs are opening that sell quality beer. While these bars are quite popular among members younger generation, prices may be still too high for many.
image via szentandrassorfozde.hu