Until recently, what Croatia was definitely not known for was quality beer. Despite the fact that Croatians are beer lovers to their core, the country’s market has been dominated for many years by industrial lagers.
That has begun to change, however. Pioneering microbrewers—the sort of Croatians who have travelled and drank widely, and who want to add a national twist to the beer they love—are becoming common not only in Zagreb, the country’s capital, but across the country. Joining them in forging a new direction for Croatian beer are craft beer-oriented pubs and beer-themed festivals, which are growing in number and popularity every year. These days, there are over 70 craft breweries in Croatia; not bad for a country of just over 4 million.
Croatian craft enthusiasts haven’t been reinventing the wheel. You’ll find your standard IPAs, APAs, stouts, porters, and sours on offer at most local craft breweries. But there is a sense of excitement in the air around the production of craft beer, a D.I.Y. spirit that is alive and kicking.