Romanians take their beer very seriously, it is a deeply integrated part of their culture and way of life. They even have a comical saying:
“Not all those who wander are lost. They’re probably just looking for beer.”
The Romanians love enjoying an ice-cold beer in the middle of their summer’s worst heat, especially after a long day of manual labour.
As the numbers stand right now, the Romanians are some of the heaviest beer drinkers in the world. Every year they consume roughly 17,000 hectolitres collectively. Beer (and wine), in Romania, are considered to be a part of food sales, so there is no extra tax, laws and restrictions like there are in other countries in the world.
Find out more about Romanian beer culture, the most popular Romanian beer brands and everything else about local brews.
Brief History of Romanian Beer
The first national association of beer in Romania came about in 1877. This happened during the Independence War of Romania, a pivotal and important time for the country and its people. After this momentous event, the ability to purchase and drink beer freely in pubs and bars slowly but surely became the norm.
Pubs and bars in Romania all of a sudden became social hubs and meeting places for socialising and business alike. Beer and beer pubs/bars were mostly inhabited by the Romanian urban middle-class.
Romania in fact has a long and proud history of brewing beer, dating back to the early 18th century. Even during the harder years which were rife with communism, there were still as many as 120 breweries around the country. This number began to fall after the revolution in 1989, the number went as low as just 20 or so in 2012.
How Many Breweries Are In Romania?
There are currently 86 breweries in Romania. This number is increasing dramatically each year. Breweries in Romania create around 6000 jobs and add huge value to the Romanian economy.
What Is Romania’s Most Popular Beer?
Timisoreana is the most popular beer in Romania. The Timisoareana brewery was founded in Timisoara in 1718 and its beer-making rituals date back around 300 years. This delicious lager is a hit with everyone, of all creeds and classes. It has a rich malty taste and is without a doubt Romania’s favourite.
What Are The Different Styles Of Dutch Beer?
The 7 most popular styles of Dutch beer are:
- Pale Lager
What Are The Best Romanian Beers?
The best Romanian beers to try on the next trip to Romania or just to order online are:
- Ursus: Beer is named after the Latin word for “bear”
- Timișoreana: Beer is named after the Romanian city of Timișoara
- Stejar: The Romanian word for “oak” and is Asahi
- Bergenbier: Beer is owned by Molson Coors (a popular Canadian brewery)
- Ciuc: This beer is named after Miercurea Ciuc
- Silva: The Latin word for “forest” and it is owned by Heineken
What Are The Best Microbrew Or Craft Beers In Romania?
There are some wonderful microbreweries in Romania that produce really delicious craft beers. The rise and popularity of craft beers in Romania get bigger and better with each year. Here are some high quality Romanian craft beers to look out for:
- Ground Zero Beer
- Hop Hooligans Beer
- Three Happy Brewers Beer
- Sikaru Beer
- Lăpușna Beer
- Sara Beer
- Clinica de Ber
What Are The Best Romanian Beers To Pair With Romanian Food?
Romanian food is jam packed full of flavour and intense tastes. These unique and delicious tastes and aromas make for really exciting beer pairing with the exotic flavours of Romanian food. Here are some dishes to try and the beers to partner them with:
Sarmale: these are essentially cabbage rolls. They are considered Romania’s national dish and are absolutely delicious. This smokey, sour, creamy dish pairs perfectly with a lighter ale, such as a cold bottle of Timosoara.
Ciorba de burta: this is tripe soup. Tripe can be a highly debated food topic, some people love it and some people, not so much. However, this traditional Romanian dish is creamy, salty and very special. Most Romanians will tell you that it tastes like home. Pair this warm soup with a cold bottle of Ursus or Ground Zero Beer and you will be good to go.
Balmos: this is a truly traditional Romanian dish with no other origins or influences from any other culture or country. It is considered a traditional shepherds dish and is fatty, buttery, cheesy and delicious. It is the best thing for your body on a cold winter’s night, paired with a bottle of Witbier or Bergenbier to compliment the corn flour cheesy deliciousness.
Jumari: this is a dish that consists of a special type of Romanian bacon/pork which is the smokey and salty part of the pig fat. It then gets flavoured with all types of spices that complement the fat’s natural flavours. It then gets fried and paired with other delicious sides, put this salty meal together with a sweet Silva beer.
Mici: this is Romania’s most popular meat dish to do on the barbeque. They are sausages that have not been put into casings. They are a combination of high quality meats and spices, grilled to perfection and enjoyed by everyone. The best beer to pair with this strong tasting meaty meal is a cold bottle of Stejar.
Julfa with hemp mousse: last but not least on our list of delicious food pairs, this sweet and sticky dessert is sweet, creamy and nutty and not a dish to miss. Paired with a Hop Hooligans to cut through all that sweetness and you have yourself a delicious pair.
How To Order A Beer In Romanian
Should you find yourself in one of the small, warm, loud and homely Romanian pubs or bars and you want to order a beer, then all you need to say is:
“I would like to have a beer, please”: “Aș dori un/o bere, vă rog!”
Noroc! (that’s Romanian for cheers!).