Thursday 13 September 2012

Another beer in in another country

Three police officers wander into the bar, nonchalant, not in need of any information, just with the aim of sitting down and ordering a drink. Glass of water for one, coffee for another and a schooner of beer for the other. A cat strolls past, ambient and distracted in its poise, while an elderly couple make their way along the atelier-like balcony above the pub; the Levi’s blue light from a torch is their only guide. Ah here comes my beer, a half-litre of darkness with a massive espresso coloured head, the sort of head you want to dive into with the abandonment of a dolphin and emerge with a Franz Josef beer moustache. It’s all liquorice, toast with plum jam, mocha and a grainy bit of bitterness in the finish with hints of chocolate truffle. It’s a very accomplished beer this glass of Tomislav, which according to Rate Beer is a Baltic Porter, though the nearest body of water to the bar in Zagreb where I am having a drink is the Adriatic, so an Adriatic Porter it is then. Earlier in the evening yet another brewery, the brewpub Zlatni Medo, a German beer hall lookalike, all dark wood with square cut furniture, the brewing equipment encased in its own space as you enter from the front. The first brewery I have ever been into where a massive bearskin sits atop one of the stainless steel brewing vessels (though the brewery’s name translated is golden bear). The Pilsner is unfiltered and has an unmistakeable Saaz spicy lemony character, though somewhat muted. It’s a clean beer, with a medium body, a halfway house between Czech and German and rather good. With roast potatoes, beans and the pub’s own home made sausage (juicy, bridging salt and meaty sweetness, with a chunky yet pliable texture), it’s a robust and thoroughly enjoyable introduction to the muscular gastronomic attractions of Zagreb. 


  1. Very evocative. We've been planning a grand tour of 'Austria-Hungary' with our old Baedeker for years; looks like we'll have to add Zagreb to the itinerary.

  2. Yes, it’s a great city, very walkable and pleasing, last day today and much of my work is done so a bit of bar hopping in order tonight — currently trying the Savajevsko beer, quite full bodied and sugary — you should also read Joseph Roth and visit the A-H army barracks in Ceske Budjovice where Hasek was stationed and then put Schweik there.