14 Finest Croatian Beers you have to try

14 Finest Croatian Beers you have to try Blog

While the country offers a range of wines and spirits, its homegrown beer scene has been gaining recognition in recent years. Whether you find yourself exploring the streets of Zadar and Dubrovnik or having a drink in the old town beauty of Split, Croatian beer is a companion that enriches the experience. With a newfound focus on small-scale breweries and a dedication to preserving cultural brewing techniques, Croatian beer has transformed into a vibrant and diverse beverage category. The refreshing sea breeze, the gentle lapping of waves against the hull, and the company of friends or fellow travellers create a magical ambience that enhances the enjoyment of the beer.

Join us on this voyage as we raise our glasses to the finest Croatian beers, celebrating the craftsmanship, passion, and cultural significance behind each brew. Embark on this flavorful adventure and unlock the secrets of Croatia's captivating liquid treasures.

The Ultimate List of the Perfect Beer for Your Taste Preference

Bestselling veterans of beer – LAGER


The history of the Karlovac Brewery begins in 1854. when the Hungarian baron built a new brewery in the town of Dubovac. The production was skillfully organized and has, since then, rapidly developed into an astonishing establishment. Karlovačko beer is often described as a popular Croatian pale lager with a rich history and a distinctive taste. The beer is known for its refreshing character, making it a popular choice during hot summer months or as a thirst-quenching beverage.

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Karlovačko lager
  • Karlovačko beer is often described as having a crisp and clean flavor profile.
  • The beer is typically well-balanced, with a mild bitterness and a smooth finish. Karlovačko beer has a noticeable maltiness, providing a slightly sweet and caramel-like taste. This characteristic adds depth and complexity to the overall flavor.
  • The beer has a golden color and is usually clear, presenting an appealing appearance when poured into a glass.
  • Karlovačko beer is not overly bitter but has a balanced level of hop bitterness that complements the malt sweetness. This makes it enjoyable for a wide range of beer drinkers.


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Ožujsko lager

The beer has won numerous gold medals and awards for its quality, and it is the leading beer brand in terms of sales in Croatia.

Ožujsko Beer is another popular Croatian pale lager, with its own unique characteristics, brewed by Zagrebačka Pivovara for more than 120 years. It is one of the oldest beer brands in Croatia that got its famous name by the third month of the year, March, in which the best lager beer is traditionally produced. Ožujsko beer is drunk chilled to March's 5 degrees Celsius. 

Ožujsko beer is often described as having a crisp and light taste, making it easy to drink and refreshing.

It is known for its smoothness and well-balanced flavor profile. The malt sweetness and hop bitterness are harmoniously integrated, resulting in a pleasant drinking experience.

Ožujsko beer typically has a golden color and is clear, contributing to its visual appeal. It often has a clean and crisp finish, leaving a pleasant aftertaste and making it suitable for pairing with various foods. The beer has won numerous gold medals and awards for its quality, and it is the leading beer brand in terms of sales in Croatia.


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      Velebitsko lager

      Velebitsko beer is a refreshing alcoholic beverage, a Croatian pale lager, produced by Ličanka brewery, from Pazarište not far from Gospić. The Ličanka brewery started its work in 1997., and in its selection, it offers light, dark, trotter and unfiltered light variants of Velebitsko beer.

      • Velebitsko beer is often described as having a rich and full-bodied flavor. It has a robust malt presence that provides depth and complexity to the taste.
      • Velebitsko beer typically has an amber or dark color, which is visually appealing and indicative of its malt-forward character. A prominent malt sweetness characterizes it.
      • The beer can have caramel and toffee notes, adding a pleasant and slightly sweet taste to the overall profile.

      Velebitsko beer is sometimes described as having an earthy and robust character, showcasing the brewery's connection to the Velebit region and its natural surroundings.


      Grička Vještica Dark Lager

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      Grička Vještica is the most popular dark lager in Croatia

      Grička Vještica is a strong dark lager, from brewery Medvedgrad, with a delicate ruby ​​red color. Its taste is light, aromatic, and rich and has fine sweetness and pleasant aroma. Quality is achieved through long aging. It got its name from the legend of the Greek witch, who enchanted the inhabitants of old Zagreb with her beauty.

      • Grička Vještica Dark Lager is often described as having a rich and roasty flavor profile.
      • This beer typically has a dark mahogany or brown colour, which is visually appealing and indicative of its darker malt base.
      • Grička Vještica Dark Lager is known for its caramel and chocolate undertones. These flavours add a pleasant sweetness and depth to the beer. It often has a smooth and velvety mouthfeel, which enhances the overall drinking experience. Grička Vještica Dark Lager typically has a moderate level of hop bitterness.


      Baltazar Hoppy Lager

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      Hoppy Lager Baltazar.

      Croatian Baltazar Hoppy Lager is a craft beer that showcases a blend of traditional lager characteristics with an emphasis on hop flavours and aromas.

      • Baltazar Hoppy Lager is known for its prominent hop presence. It features a higher hop bitterness and showcases a range of hop flavours and aromas.
      • This beer often exhibits citrusy and floral hop notes. You may experience hints of grapefruit, orange, lemon, or floral nuances, adding brightness and complexity to the flavour profile.
      • While being hop-forward, Baltazar Hoppy Lager still maintains a crisp and clean character.
      • Baltazar Hoppy Lager typically has a golden colour.
      • This beer tends to have a moderate to high level of hop bitterness, which can vary depending on the specific batch or recipe.

      PALE ALE

      The Garden Brewery (New England Pale Ale)

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      Obala - New England Pale Ale

      The Garden Brewery is an award-winning micro-brewery based in Zagreb, Croatia. A modern Croatian brewery that has been at the forefront of beer innovation since it was founded in 2016.
      They offer 14 core beers (available all year around) and new experimental specials every month in collaboration with the world’s best craft breweries.

      Obala - New England Pale Ale, is a standout beer from The Garden Brewery’s core lineup. It captures the essence of the Croatian coast in every glass, blending tradition with modern brewing techniques.

      Look: Obala is a New England Pale Ale, so its hazy, soft, golden yellow appearance perfectly represents the beer style.

      Taste: Tropical and citrus notes like pineapple, lime, blueberry and mandarin. Juicy and drinkable with just 4.7% ABV.

      Feel: Easy-drinking and smooth all the way, while maintaining plenty of hoppy flavour.

      Perfect For: This beer is great for sunny days, sunsets, or when you want a good taste of Croatia's craft beer scene. 

      Obala is more than just a beer; it's your ticket to experiencing the heart of Croatia's vibrant beer culture.

      Zmajsko pivovara (American Pale Ale, India Pale Ale)

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      Pozoj IPA

      Back in September 20014, Andrej Capka founded his microbrewery Zmajska Pivovara and, shortly afterwards, it was named the ninth-best new brewery in the world by Ratebeer. Their permanent crafts include American Pale Ale, Porter, India Pale Ale, and American Wheat Ale and German Pils.

      Pale Ale is a recognizable representative of the American pale ale style, with balanced sweet and hop notes, pleasant bitterness, full body and exotic aromas of mango and grapefruit.

      Although it bears the name Pale, we know for sure that the unique taste of this beer does not fade easily.

      Pozoj is a classic representative of the West Coast IPA style, characterized by a medium body, great hoppiness, citrus and tropical notes.

      A lot of hops give it a strong bitterness and a refreshing aroma of grapefruit, with quite a bit of pineapple and orange.

      A lot of hops and a higher percentage of alcohol preserved the beer on long voyages from England to India. That's how India Pale Ale was born. Strong like the mythical creature Pozoj is only for those who know how to handle it, and the inexperienced one must beware.

      Barba (Pale Ale)

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      Barba (Pale Ale) beer

      In the old town Split, the Lab brewery, with an emphasis on quality, developed its first beer called Barba. 

      • Using only basic ingredients such as hops, barley, yeast and water, Barba adheres to the Bavarian Reinheitsgebot law on the purity of beer from 1516.
      • Barba is an ale beer with a light and drinkable body.
      • Mild carbonation enhances the feeling of drinkability, and the silky bitterness leaves a pleasant feeling in the mouth long after the last sip.
      • With an alcohol percentage of 5.4%, a striking bitterness and an aroma of citrus, tropical fruit and pine, Barba Pale Ale will leave you refreshed.

      Fakin (India Pale Ale)

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      Fakin IPA

      Brewery Medvedgrad is the largest Croatian craft brewery that has been brewing delicious and natural lagers in the traditional way since 1994. It is famous for many of its beers.

      Fakin was certainly the most anticipated seasonal beer by beer lovers. It is a specific IPA beer where bitterness and aroma predominate and is very different from the standard lagers, we are all used to.

      Fakin has 70 bitterness units, a rich taste, a beautiful golden color, irresistible aroma, and tamed bitterness. Brave and mischievous beer deserves its name.

      Varionica (Pale Ale)

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      Varionica Pale Ale

      Varionica is a multi-awarded craft brewery that was founded in 2014. They gathered around the mission of creating top-quality and creative craft beers and cooperation with colleagues from the gastronomic world.

      • Their Pale ale is a beer with a rich taste, fruity aroma and amber colour was made with a specially selected combination of malts and American varieties of hops.
      • Additional dry hopping emphasizes the freshness of hops and the aroma of citrus and pine.
      • Pale Ale won double gold at the prestigious European Beer Challenge in 2020, in which over 1,000 beers from 39 countries participated.
      • The gold status was confirmed the next year at the Asia Beer Challenge 2021 when it was awarded a gold medal.


      Pan Pilsner

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      Pan Pilsner

      Pan Pilsner is a type of light lager with a characteristic taste of Czech Saaz hops. Saaz hops are considered noble hops, and because of their characteristics they also call it "green gold".  Pan Pilsner beer is often described as having a crisp and clean flavor profile.

      It is known for its refreshing quality, making it a popular choice for those seeking a light and easy-drinking beer. Its appearance is visually appealing and indicative of a classic Pilsner style. It is characterized by a subtle biscuity maltiness.

      Pan Pilsner usually has a balanced level of hop bitterness. The hops add a gentle bitterness that complements the malt sweetness without overpowering it. It often has a smooth and refreshing finish, leaving a clean aftertaste.


      Dva Klasa Wheat beer

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      Dva Klasa Wheat beer
      • Dva Klasa Wheatbeer is often described as refreshing and light-bodied.
      • This beer typically has a hazy or cloudy appearance due to the presence of wheat proteins. The cloudiness adds to its visual appeal.
      • Dva Klasa Wheatbeer is known for its distinctive aroma profile. It often exhibits fruity and spicy notes, with banana and clove being the prominent aromas derived from the yeast used during fermentation.
      • Wheat beers like Dva Klasa often feature flavours that lean towards sweetness and fruitiness. Alongside the banana and clove notes, you may detect hints of bubblegum, citrus, or other tropical fruit flavours.
      • Wheat beers are often praised for their smooth and creamy mouthfeel.


      Russian Imperial Stout

      Russian Imperial Stout- Dark Beer

      Devetka craft beer brewery was founded in 2018. Devetka Craft originates from the heart of the Zagorje region and is also the first commercial brewery in that region. Their stout Imperial RIS is consequently voted among the 10 best Croatian craft beers.

      A beer characterized by high alcohol, a huge body, and strong malt flavors.

      This beer is serious, firm, intensely dark, with a broad flavour balance, with a lot of alcohol, syrupy, and bittersweet with excellent ageing potential.

      American varieties have more bitterness, roasted character and hop flavour, while English varieties reflect a more complex special malt character and lighter final notes.

      In the 18th century, stouts and porters were exported from England to several northern European countries. The high alcohol level (from 11 onwards) evolved out of necessity, as it prevented the beer from freezing in transit.

      RIS carries less foam and should be served at around 15 degrees Celsius. 

      Crna Kraljica Dark Beer

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      Crna kraljica, black beer
      • Crna Kraljica Black Beer is often described as rich and roasted.
      • It typically features dark malts that impart flavours of roasted coffee, dark chocolate, and sometimes even hints of caramel or toffee.
      • As the name suggests, Black Queen has a dark appearance, often deep brown, or ebony in colour.
      • Crna Kraljica generally exhibits a balanced level of hop bitterness. It often leaves a pleasant aftertaste.
      • Crna Kraljica Black Beer can have enticing aromas of roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, and other dark, earthy notes.

      A Toast to Craftsmanship

      Croatia is undoubtedly a hidden gem for beer enthusiasts, offering a range of delightful and unique beers to explore. From well-established lagers like Karlovačko and Ožujsko to artisanal craft brews like Barba and Stout, the country's beer scene boasts a diverse and exciting array of flavours and styles.

        Sipping a cold beer on a boat encapsulates the essence of the Croatian lifestyle and Mediterranean diet, laid-back, relaxed, and connected to nature. It's an opportunity to unwind, soak in the stunning coastal scenery, and create lasting memories with loved ones.

        What are the best beers in Croatia?

        • Karlovačko
        • Ožujsko
        • Velebitsko
        • Grička vještica
        • Zmajsko brewery APA and IPA
        • Barba
        • Fakin IPA
        • Dva Klasa
        • Pan Pilsner
        • Varionica brewery APA
        • Russian Imeprial Stout
        • Crna Kraljica

        How much is the beer in Croatia?

        A beer in an average bar may cost you 2.5 - 4 euros, depending on the type of beer.

        Where can you buy beer in Croatia?

        You can buy it in supermarkets such as: Tommy, Spar, Konzum, Studenac, etc. You also have small shops that are specifically intended for selling beer. For example, there is a Little Beer Shop in city Split in Dalmatia where you can find a wider range of beer options.

        What are the bestselling beers in Croatia?

        • Karlovačko
        • Ožujsko
        • Pan

        How to order a beer in Croatia?

        That is the most important bit of information. The Croatian word for beer is pivo (pronounced pee-voh). Try asking for “Dva piva, molim Vas!” (dva pee-vah moh-leem vas) – two beers, please!

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