Total Split inspection made a tour through the beer scene in the Diocletian’s city, and while tasting different brands sacrified for the higher purpose – how to help you, our dear readers not to be ripped off while sipping a tankard in Split.
First of all, rules. Actually, there are no rules. At least not those that would prevent you from drinking beer anywhere, anytime. Even that bought in the supermarket, and brought to the beach. Of course, it would be nice toward locals if travellers follow rules they have at home. Drunk guy on the beach is never very nice view, nor is the one stumbling around through 1,700 years old streets.
Next, assortment. Market is pretty much divided between two biggest breweries in Croatia, Zagrebacka and Karlovacka, and most bars offers only their beers – Ozujsko (pron. Ohzhuyskoh) or Karlovacko (carlowatchkoh). Most others they either produce as derivates of two mentioned, plus dark beers like Tomislav, or import, like Beck’s, Stella Artois, Staropramen, etc. There are of course other breweries and brands, like Pan, Velebitsko, and more familiar like Bavaria, Heineken, Tuborg, etc. And that’s pretty much it, at least as most of the bars and stores are concerned. Sizes are also limited, either .33 litres, called small beer, or .5 (large). Same is with draughts, with addition of .2 litre glass. Important – there is no a single store in Split dedicated only to beers, maybe an idea for some entrepreneur. Only in some bigger supermarkets it’s possible to find a range wider than mentioned before. This is wine country, after all.
Prices vary, but not very much. In stores, small bottles are around six kunas (for future reference, 1 euro is 7.6 kunas), and half-liters from 7, and up. Cans are about one or two kunas more, but when buying a bottle you will probably have to pay deposit, usually 1.25 kunas.
In restaurants, bars and cafés, normal prices for the most popular beers, Ozujsko and Karlovacko are between 12 and 15 for small beer, and 14 to 18 for large one. It depends on a location, and on popularity of the venue. Same goes with most other brands, like Pan, Velebitsko light and dark, with imported beers like Zlatorog, Beck’s, Staropramen, Staropramen Selection, Heineken, Bavaria, Tuborg, Leffe, Stella Artois, Carling and some others being about two kunas more expensive. Dark beers are another kuna or two more expensive. Prices for draught are almost the same, but choice is even less wide, usually Ozujsko and Karlovacko are offered, sometime Tomislav, pretty good dark beer.
And that’s pretty much it. With one or two exceptions. One of them was discovered and tested recently by Total Split team – Dva tona pub, named after Two Tones, ska record label from the early eighties. Lot of memories on youth were awaken. Total Split’s beer expert already wrote about it
They have really great range of foreign beers, with reasonable value-for-money prices. However, here’s just a piece of advice, and tip for the hidden jewel in their beer list – limited produced dark lager Grička vještica. You can’t pronounce it? Just point with finger. Half liter for 21 kunas, a bargain.