Are you to worry when the bartender is almost as tipsy as you are? Of course not, as it simply means that they love beer just as much as you do. An offshoot of Csak a jó sör, one of Budapest’s first craft beer bars, Hopaholic is more of a pub, as opposed to an almost civil beer shop. Lying in the pulsating heart of the party neighbourhood, it could easily fall into the trap of stag-do bait, yet it doesn’t: it remains an honest, basic, straightforward craft beer den.
The food to be had is minimal: crisps, salty sticks and the occasionally available hermelin (somewhat chilly, pickled camembert cheese, the undisputed royalty of Czech beer snacks), but the beer is always relentlessly top class, if a bit on the expensive side.
International curiosities are available, such as draught beers, or in canned or bottled versions, alongside the newest & best local varieties: Hungary’s notoriously weak commercial beer offering has given birth to an effervescent craft beer scene, probably the best in Eastern Europe, and a brave counterpart to the classically recognized English or German market. For lovers of classic IPAs, I warmly recommend Hopster from Balkezes, while those who fancy something exotic should try anything from Mad Scientist.
The evening crowd is made up of well-informed, if somewhat merry regulars plus the odd tourists who will soon be sucked into the general atmosphere of friendliness & merriment. There are no strangers in Hopaholic, only fellow beer lovers you haven’t met yet.