Five Croatian Craft Breweries Making a Splash

Lauren Simmonds

croatian craft breweries

October the 23rd, 2023 – Croatia has several old brands when it comes to the beer scene, but what about craft beer? Croatian craft breweries have been popping up like mushrooms over more recent years. Here are just five favourites.

Zmajska pivovara (dragon brewery)

Zmajska pivovara/Facebook

Often referred to as the pioneer of craft brewing in Croatia, Zmajska pivovara came to be in 2013 and has since become wildly popular and one of the most well known Croatian craft breweries of all. Zmajska pivovara states that it is endlessly proud of its commitment to home brewing, independence, creativity and innovation when it comes to the world of craft beer. Selling not only craft beer but whiskey and the increasingly popular hard seltzer, Zmajska pivovara continues to expand its already enviably wide range of products to suit the ever-evolving taste buds of Croatia’s craft beer and alcohol appreciators.

The Garden Brewery

The Garden Brewery/Facebook

It wasn’t long before this very well known Zagreb-based brewery began making headlines and taking home a variety of awards for its beer. Even younger than the aforementioned Zmajska pivovara, this, one of the most popular Croatian craft breweries, was founded only in 2016. Since its establishment, it has enjoyed almost unbridled levels of success across the country. This brewery’s humble beginnings stem from bringing new types of Croatian craft beer to numerous festivals held each summer along the Adriatic coast, and its presence has grown exponentially since then. Offering tours and tastings, this is one of the Croatian craft breweries with a very extensive range – selling everything from fruity beverages to IPA, dark, low alcohol and even adventurous concoctions like coconut and almond stout.

Bura Brew

Bura brew/Facebook

Hailing from the popular coastal Istrian town of Porec, Bura Brew is named after that pesky wind that whips across the surface of the Adriatic Sea in winter. This is another of the Croatian craft breweries that is far from aged. Founded in 2015 by three craft beer lovers with a dream and the determination to make that dream a reality in Croatia, Bura Brew has grown in popularity ever since. Their craft beer is unpasteurised and doesn’t undergo any additional treatment outside of the necessary. Using solely water, wheat malt, hops, barley malt and yeast, this brewery claims that everything they do when it comes to production is done with great care. Promising to offer the consumer a pleasant and simple taste each time they drink a beer made by Bura Brew, they offer a range of IPAs and ales.

Dubrovnik Beer Company

Dubrovnik Beer Company/Facebook

Dubrovnik is known globally for a variety of reasons, but being home to one of the increasingly popular Croatian craft breweries typically isn’t one of them. This brewery’s beers are unpasteurised and unfiltered, and are growing in popularity wherever they’re offered. With lagers like Maestral, pale ales like Fortunal and even milk stout and IPA on offer, the Dubrovnik Beer Company is firmly placing Croatia’s southernmost city and tourist Mecca on the rapidly expanding map of Croatian craft breweries. With tours and tap room events on offer to the wider public, this southern Dalmatian brewery’s apparent plans for ”world domination” (as they say so themselves) might not be that far-fetched.

Nova Runda

Nova Runda/Facebook

Translated literally into English as new/another round, Nova Runda encapsulates exactly what you’ll be thinking when you try what they have on offer. The blossoming world of Croatian craft breweries was made richer for Nova Runda’s existence when it was established in 2014 after endless planning and campaigns to get things off the ground. A key player in the Croatian craft brewing revolution, Nova Runda says that its entire production philosophy is based on beer that must be consumed fresh, and that’s why they don’t bottle it, serve it solely from cans and kegs. They add that their main guiding thread was to provide the Croatian beer market with beers which are different from your typical industrial macro lagers. They created hoppy and complex beverages that call the consumer to think a little about what they’re drinking, and to understand that beer brewing is an art in itself.


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