Online Shopping in Bulgaria: part 1: Craft Beer

Apr 28, 2020 No Comments by
Flying Monkeys
Flying Monkeys: Live Transmission Milkshake IPA πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦

Beer and Wine: both are my favourite things to orders online. And I think many other people are starting to realise that online ordering is the way to go here in Bulgaria. Join Clive and I in our video chat below on the opportunity for online business in Bulgaria.

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Beer O’ Clock

The lockdown often means beer at 6pm for me and enjoy the refreshing hoppy tastes whilst I gather a few friends on virtual drinking video call.

Enjoying real craft beer is now possible; it is widely available in Bulgaria and, increasingly, in Bansko to buy online. I thought it was time to share with you what I enjoy my last beer order in lockdown. website currently has 335 beers from 16 countries. A simple site that makes for a straightforward ordering process.

Full Disclosure: I know 100beers owner, Rosti. I know Mihalela the brewer of Fabric’s beer. I have no financial connection with either company and full price was paid for my orders.

Top 8 Best Beers to buy online

These beers are so good that they will make it in another online beer order soon.

 Cloudwater / Rock Leopard Step Up (Manchester, UK πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ )

1.  Cloudwater / Rock Leopard Step Up Manchester, πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§. see picture above. An amazingly well crafted porter in a 440 ml can. Made me reconsider this style of beer. A total revelation on how porter for me should taste as the can say I tasted soft caramel, plum and brown toast toast.

Cloudwater are highly respected and now that more of their beer is in stock I’ll be ordering more from them soon. 8.5/10

craft beer
Cloudwater πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ and Hop Hooligan Romania πŸ‡·πŸ‡΄ show their creative writing skills

2.  Hop Hooligans Crowd Control πŸ‡·πŸ‡΄ . Hop Hooligans is a Romanian craft brewery that impressed me the most for their quality price ratio. I hope Bulgarian breweries can take inspiration from this level of brewing quality.

Hop Hooligan’s Crowd Control, which is rather appropriately named these days, is an IPA in a 500ml can. A regular IPA but one that I found most addictive or was it is the excellent price quality ratio. 8.5/10

Hop Hooligan Crowd Control
Hop Hooligan Crowd Control Romania πŸ‡·πŸ‡΄

3.  Shady Sushi IPA from Hop Hooligans (Romania).  Sorachi Ace and Citra hops in a cool 330ml can. Loved this one a lot for luxury IPA at its best. Hazy yellow gold beer, small white head. Palate is light, semi dry and has a minerally crispness.

Thin malts, reasonably sweet. I love Sorachi hops and this one suits me. Bitterish and piney lemon cream Sorachi rounded off by a little Citra orange and orange peel. Light and fairly dry crisp finish. 8.5/10

Shady Sushi
Hop Hooligan πŸ‡·πŸ‡΄ : Shady Sushi

4.  Brewski: Didn’t We Just Become Best Friends? πŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ͺ in a novel shaped and designed 330ml can. I bought this because of the name Brew-ski, get it?

But I loved the hazy yellow colour with bitter taste with citrus, floral hops, pineapple, a bit of resin, pine and grass. Bitter finish with citrus, floral hops, pineapple, a bit of resin and grass. Very nice session IPA at just 4.2% BUT if only it was not so expensive (7.49 lv). One to just to enjoy and spend your way out of a coronavirus induced recession. 7.5/10

Brewski: Didn’t We Just Become Best Friends? πŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ͺ

5. Flying Monkeys: Live Transmission Milkshake IPA (Canada).

Flying Monkeys’ Founder, Peter Chiodo, learned home brewing as a little boy in Gramp’s Etobicoke basement. Mining his skill as a broke university student in Alabama and even broker grad student in Mississippi, our Peter honed his talents and learned to respect beer brewed with hands (not machines).

And his passion for local, fresh craft beer grew. Real bits of orange — a must try beer. We all embraced the new taste in this Milkshake IPA. 7.5/10

Flying Monkeys
Flying Monkeys πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦

6.  La Pirata: Les Trois Mousquetaires Barcelona Tropical from Spain in a 330 ml bottle.

This was an explosive double hopped IPA. Mosaic and Simcoe hops. A lot of tropical fruit in this one; think mango, banana, passion fruit, papaya and some sliced bread. Mouth feel is light-bodied, slightly watery, almost no carb. Taste is crisp and bitter. 9/10

La Pirata: Les Trois Mousquetaires
La Pirata: Les Trois Mousquetaires Barcelona Tropical 330ml bottle πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Έ

7. Beer Bastards Basi Kefa (7/10)

And last to try in my order, but certainly not least, is the first of two Bulgarian beer, Beer Bastards Basi Kefa (7/10) around 4.5 leva in a 330ml bottle.

Fantastic price quality ratio and you’re going to get juicy grapefruit, orange and mandarin and the intense flavour hit you’re after whether in quarantine or not. This beer should form the backbone of your beer order. Love it and moves up to 8.5/10 when value for money is accounted for.

Vaci Kefa
Vaci Kefa: Beer Bastards πŸ‡§πŸ‡¬ = more than a great name

Metal Head’s Super Massive πŸ‡§πŸ‡¬ (5.5/10) is another popular Bulgarian beer that I slipped in my order. It’s excellent price (4.5 leva approx.) quality ratio is notable. But just misses my top 8 (in my order). It’s popular in craft beer bars and I’m more than happy to enjoy this, anytime I find it.

Hop Hooligans Salty Sourpuss Cucumber Gose πŸ‡·πŸ‡΄ (4/10) — this one was very weird: the aroma is sweet, malty and pickled cucumber. A dry and slightly acidic finish.

Mikkeller Deception Session IPA πŸ‡©πŸ‡° was not my favourite Mikeller I’ve tried but still a solid 6/10.

8. Fabric Pale Ale πŸ‡§πŸ‡¬ (Draft in plastic 1 litre bottles)

Draft Craft Beer from Fabric
Fabric Pale Ale Bulgaria πŸ‡§πŸ‡¬ (Plovdiv)

From Plovdiv, Bulgaria this draft pale ale, is Fabric Pale Ale. It’s 6lv / 1 litre plastic bottle —  9/10 from Fabric’s online craft shop web site: The same day service for the Plovdiv area, for orders before 14:00, is a nice touch.

Their Fabric Pale Ale, Fabric Dark and Fabric Premium Craft are made in Plovdiv and come directly from the tap with technology that keeps it fresh when unopened for 2 months. I have never tested this length of time to keep, before drinking, but will let you know when I do.

The natural quality of this cloudy fresh hop forward pale ale shows the others how the future of beer should be in Bulgaria. There is virtually no taste penalty from having this in a plastic bottle than in their own bar. Note you can get a similar beer from them in “Kotka y Mishca / Cat and Mouse” craft beer bar nearby in Kapana. Note I am talking about Fabric Pale Ale as a genuine made in Bulgaria beer, rather than a beer that’s brewed in another country and marketed as Bulgarian beer.

I hope Fabric can grow to a size to sell beer in cans and can produce a world class IPA in due course. Their bottled Fabric Premium Craft did not appeal to my tastes due to overwhelmed by the many Bulgarian herbs that its brewed with. But it may just be your thing, so give one a go.

The good news is that their online ordering is from the craft shop next door to the great Fabric bar which, if you’re in Plovdiv you should visit to enjoy the best beer garden in central Plovdiv. Not only can you order their  craft beer, brewed by Mihaela, but also you can order Bulgarian craft meats, cheeses, vegetables, sauces and the incredibly excellent, Bulgarian made, Casa Kakau craft chocolate.

In part 2, of a series of 4, I will be looking at ordering wine online in Bulgaria. Spoiler alert: Covid-19 has made it a whole lot better for us internet wine lovers.

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Coming to Bansko? Be sure to book your private transfer here or in the Bansko App (it’s free). It’s super quick and easy to book.

All drivers undertake special hygiene training to ensure you’re kept safe. Transfers start from 1st June 2020 and operate all year round.

Useful beer resources

Vasi Kefa craft beer
Beer Bastards: Vasi Kefa craft beer from Bulgaria πŸ‡§πŸ‡¬ (craft beer from around the world online)  (draft craft beer brewed in Plovdiv — order online delivery)

Article additions made on 25.04.20 – deliver, but the English language part of their site is not up yet. – delivering in Sofia only during the State of Emergency. – a new site for International community (Sofia based) with a beer section.

For new readers, this is a blog: almost everything here is from personal experience. I therefore do not consider an article like this to be the most comprehensive all inclusive guide to beer available in Bulgaria. This post focuses on what I have ordered so far and am happy to recommend. A blog, in other words.

Since 2008 Bansko Blog has been a trusted resource that has a full disclosure policy. You’ll see the disclosure in the second paragraph in the article and includes products/services I have tried.

In the case of this beer article, there is no commercial connection with any of the beers or companies mentioned.

Thank you for reading and watching, Lance


About the author

I enjoy tech, apps, entrepreneurship, podcasting and collaboration with others. I love travelling as well as skiing, hiking, MTB, paragliding, cooking and good food.
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