Last weekend the place called Élesztő had its grand opening and we could read some really brilliant buzzwords hidden in its facebook invitation (highlighted by me):
This week we are going to open the ÉLESZTŐ – the first ever ruin pub with craft beer in Budapest in the Tűzoltó utca! The place is located at the former place of Tündérgyár and going to offer 17 types of craft beer, and only craft beer – Hungarian ones in the beginning and later on imported ones.
The Élesztő as a pub is part of a bigger initiative, in which the whole building is going to operate as a gastronomical centre, so to make the 100 year old courtyard a non-official tiny walking street, with cafés, restaurants, breweries, bars and guestrooms.
We simply couldn’t miss it.
So we are in Ferencváros (IX. district) next to the Trafó. It is not the centre of the city, although we can see a lot of people, who come here mainly for the beer, and to go to the Trafó. You cannot see people who are lost and just pop in.
Getting closer to the entrance, at the doorway we can hear the soft murmur, which shows that we are at the right place. Inside we can see a truly cozy interior, a ruin pub with trees, flowers and with low music and a long queue. It is the thirsty crowd.
Finally after ten minutes we get to the counter. Behind it we can see Dániel Bart, one of the owners of the Élesztő. He is also the author of the blog called Folyékony Kenyér and the organiser of the Főzdefeszt (craft beer festival). For those, who don’t know his story, briefly: he has started as a wine drinker, and later on he received a request from the Gösser to write their sponsored blog, so he started to deal with beers so much, he declared the revolution of beer, organised the Főzdefeszt and embraced the case of craft beer, so now we get it from him even in a glass (in the picture on the left hand side).
As we take a look above the counter we can see why they have the huge interest.
So these are the craft beers. 17 types (on Saturday only 16), which is quite confusing and what for more, they are specialities. We have altbier (old beer), cherry beer, brutal, millet, elderberry, and everything else. At the beginning only Hungarian craft beers, but later on they are going to import barrels from London.
So we get our beer which is a ’Hopfanatic Splash’ and a ’Távoli Galaxis’. As we take a walk to the back, we can see another room with armchairs in the shade. From here we can get to the frightening cellar, where the freshly painted toilets are.
There are still some remains of the Tündérgyár and right now the Élesztő couldn’t really move from the stoned and weltering atmosphere to the laughing and pubbing feeling. It is clearly visible that they didn’t really had money for that. Daniel told us that they could simply make up the budget by using DIY invoices.
So this is not the final look of the place. As it is written in the invitation the owners would like to create a kind of gastro walking street where the courtyard in the middle becomes a street and you can go to places to the right and to the left. They would like to spread the concept bit by bit in the 100 year old building, which originally was used as a glassblowing manufacture and then later on as a parking lot, so nobody took care of it.
So soon there will be beer tasting, brewery school, theatre hall, presentations, home restaurant, beer dinners and a café next to the entrance.
Now let’s see the beers. I’ve started with a ’Hopfanatic Splash’ which is a light, lager type of beer, but do not think about the world of tasteless, draught watery beer. It was an exciting beer, rich in aroma, from the newly opened brewery in Kiskunhalas.
But what really surprised me was the ’Távoli Galaxis’. It is from the ’Legenda’ brewery which became the Grand Champion at the 2nd Hungarian Homebrew Competition lately, and according to this it is an unbelievably exciting beer. First it hits the smell of the elderberry into your face. After that comes the intense aroma with the first sip. You get a real strong character but not the bitter one what you can bite. It is absolutely easy to drink and pleasant. Its aftertaste has its own afterlife. It remains in your mouth quite a long time. It is sweet, with pleasant aromas. It is brilliant. When I finished, I was told that the place ran out of it, not only for that night, but absolutely, because only this amount was made of this beer. This is what craft beer means. A brewmaster brews a few hundred liters of beer, what we quickly drink and it is over. And then comes the word 'please' to ask the brewmaster to make more, because it was so good.
So I would like to say the same to Zoltán Róth, to the brewer of the beer.
So the Élesztő is a great place with great beers and cool atmosphere, although the interior needs some improvement, but if they can realize their concept, there won't be any problems in the future. You can also see the prices, and if you would like to have a little bit more expensive industrial beer than the usual ones in downtown Budapest, you have to pay the same. But the experience is way better than that.
After the beer we've also visited the place called Léhűtő. It is also a pub, where you can get quality craft beer, one of the owners is the same, Dániel Bart, but it is totally different. It was opened in a basement lately, only a few meters from the bustle of Gozsdu udvar, but after the atmosphere of Élesztő I didn’t feel like sitting down. It was quiet, stuffy, and even the candles couldn't convince me to stay.
Although I also suggest everyone to visit the place, because you can also have seven types of craft beer, the prices are a little bit higher than in the Élesztő and you don’t have to leave the focus of the city’s nightlife.
1094, Budapest, Tűzoltó utca 22.
Opening hours: Mo - Su 15:00 - 03:00
Budapest, Holló utca 12-14.
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