A Guide to Local Craft Beer in Sofia

Sofia Sign

Me, cold and whistling, next to the Sofia sign which is across the street from 1001 Beers.

First off, Sofia’s beer scene is sick.

And on top of this it’s definitely one of my favorite cities in Eastern Europe. You’ll find an amazing craft beer scene, organic stuff, and a plethora of good hikes if you’re into the great outdoors. Although none of that is what this particular post is about though so lets get into the nitty gritty: craft beer.

Nosferatu is, hands down, my favorite place to grab a beer in Sofia.

Now, I mean, it’s a bottle shop combined with a bar named after one of the most iconic vampire films of all time. You’ll find a great selection of beer, a cozy tasting room, and most likely some metal music in the background.  There’s local beers, foreign beers, and you can drink them there or take them away to wherever you want. A huge plus is that every beer you see on display is kept cold in their back fridge which isn’t the case for all beer stores – yay for cold beer! The owner’s also a super nice guy who’s more than happy to suggest some great local beers for you. Nothing but good vibes and tasty beers to be found here.

1001 Beers is a great bottle shop but the selection is mostly imported beer.

For that reason it’s an ideal store if you’re wanting to pick some beers up for take away and it’s also within walking distance to Nosferatu. A couple of things I remember on the downside is that their credit/debit card minimum is quite high and the local selection could have been better. If you’re looking for the best selection of imported beers this might be the best place. Which would make sense considering their tagline is “The biggest selection of imported beers in Sofia”. However, I’m personally always more keen to support and sample the local guys.

100 beers is a small bottle shop with a nice selection.

Most noteworthy, I actually found a couple of beers here I didn’t see anywhere else like the Ailyak X-Men Mosaic IPA. Unfortunately every beer isn’t kept cold but the ones they do have in the fridge you can drink there. They also had a little kegerator with a couple of beers to choose from when I visited… and some dude hanging out who told me I should never drink beers from Glarus.

Beera is a cool little beer store just a few steps from Vitosha blvd.

While it’s primarily a bottle shop but there are a few seats inside and out where you can enjoy a beer. When I visited the selection was on the smaller side with fewer local options. However, the selection of imported beers was quite impressive. It’s not the area I found myself hanging out in most of the time but if you’re around it’s within stumbling distant from the beer bar Vitamin B.

Kanaal is a super well renowned beer bar in Sofia.

For that reason I had it on my list as a must visit and it didn’t disappoint. At first impression  it’s like entering an alternate universe that’s full of wacky disco balls and amazing craft beer. Kanaal’s decor is apparently Dutch inspired – go figure? Their staff is also super friendly and helped guide me towards a tasty local beer. It might seem a bit out there location wise but it’s really close to the Military Academy Park which I recommend checking out while you’re in the area.

And now to mention some of my favorite craft beers in Sofia.

To start, I’m super happy I got to enjoy a good few many of Camel’s American amber ale. Their brewery had recently burnt down just before I visited Sofia so if you look closely you’ll even notice burn marks on the label.

Next up, Ailyak’s Mosaic X-Men IPA definitely hits the spot if you’re looking for that complex single hop, earthy pine, bitterness. It pours a beautiful orange haze that you’ll probably find yourself staring into, pondering the meaning of life, before you take your first sip.

Finally we have the White Stork Tropikalia IPA. White Stork is probably the most solid craft brewery that you’ll find at most anywhere that has craft beer. Well they’re actually not a brewery, per se, but a gypsy brewer which I personally find quite cool. It sort of adds to the beer allure, ya know? Anyway, back to the Tropikalia IPA, it’s a juicy american style IPA that’s infused with Hibiscus flowers. I’m a fan of adding unique things to make beers more interesting and I loved the combination.

 

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