This article may contain affiliate/compensated links. For full information, please see our disclaimer here.
If you’re looking for a Croatia craft beer guide for your travels, you’ve come to the right place! Or as the locals call beer, pivo. Alternately, pivovara in Croatian means brewery. Croatia isn’t well known as a craft beer destination. Due to its proximity to Italy, Croatian wine production is more prevalent.
Yet there are many different wineries in Croatia so it’s only natural that beer isn’t as popular in Croatia. Although we like to sample both, this article is dedicated to only craft beer locations within the country of Croatia. Throughout our trip of 8 days in Croatia, we had some fantastic craft beer which I was delighted by! Let’s review all the places you should go to snag some delicious brews while in Croatia.
Craft Beer in Zagreb, Croatia
In Zagreb, there is a craft beer street (Opatovina) with many different craft beer bars. Only a few were open when we checked this out, so know there are more options but these were the ones we were personally able to try.
The Craft Room (Opatovina Street)
This was our favorite stop on Opatovina Street. From the quirky and bright decor to the vast selection of craft beers to try. They offered tap (draft) beer but also had an extensive can collection in their cooler.
While asking if I could drink some of the canned cooler selections while at the pub, I got some weird looks. But hey, US beer and liquor laws are strict and super weird in some states! I’d rather be safe than sorry.
We ended up becoming acquainted with The Garden Brewery at this brewpub and decided it would definitely be worth the effort to stop at the brewery later that evening after dinner.
Kvazar (Opatovina Street)
The selections of beer here were a little more limited. However, there were several pretty good tap (on draft) options to sample. Offering outdoor seating and indoor air conditioning makes this a great stop for a cool beverage when it’s getting warm during your Croatia travels. Opening early in the day serving as a cafe as well and open late makes Kvazar a great stop while in Zagreb.
Breweries in Zagreb
Beyond brew pubs in Zagreb, there are several pivovaras (or breweries) as well.
Keep in mind though, that many have business hours only during the week (Monday through Friday) and not on the weekends. So, plan ahead! There were several breweries we would have liked to visit but were unable to due to this. Let’s review the craft beer breweries in Zagreb!
Pivovara Medvedgrad is Croatia’s largest craft brewery. Seriously, they started brewing beer before it was cool and trendy! They’ve been around since 1994 specializing in lagers.
There are four pubs throughout Zagreb where you can enjoy beer and a bite to eat. We visited the Mali Medo location on Tkalčićeva Street. This is a vibrant area in Zagreb where many go to stroll as it is lined with cafes, shops, and boutiques. We sat outside on the patio which was prime for people watching!
Zagreb Brewery or Zagrebacka Pivovara has weird hours that are really only business hours Monday through Friday. When planning a visit, be sure to keep that in mind!
I honestly (in hindsight) was really bummed we weren’t able to visit this brewery in person. One of the best beers we had later on while in Dubrovnik was from this pivovara. And I don’t know about you, but I love some beautiful can art! Check out Pulfer Brewery on Instagram and you’ll see what I’m talking about!
This brewery or Pivovara Nova Runda is located a little bit outside of Zagreb, but we were going to try to stop here on our way out of town. The hours online however said it wasn’t going to be open. What a bummer! But, we were able to try the beer later on in our travels just not from the source itself.
The Garden Brewery
The Garden Brewery is a little outside of walkable distance in the city center of Zagreb where our accommodation was. But, after trying one of their beers at the Craft Room we knew we had to trek there to the source.
What sealed the deal was the vast range of beers they offered. Many imperial pastry stouts, porters, and sours (which are two of my favorite types of beers!) and for my husband really good IPAs (India Pale Ale’s).
The space was amazing with a sprawling outdoor beer garden and enough seating space indoors as well. This location honestly really reminded us of many of the breweries we love back home in the US.
Craft Beer in Zadar, Croatia
Deja Brew Pub
One of our favorite stops for beer during our time in Croatia was Deja Brew Pub in Zadar. There were plenty of options for local Croatian craft beer both on draft and in bottles. The beertender working at the time was so nice we really enjoyed chatting with her. She offered some great suggestions for beers to try while we were there.
One of my favorites was a hoppy red ale! It was from a local brewery in Zadar, Brlog which I’ll review further details about below.
Brlog Zadružna Pivovara
Brlog is actually a brewery co-op. With a shop, tasting room, and beer garden it’s a place to hang out and have some great brews.
It’s located in Zadar but outside of the Old Town area peninsula. Many of the beers offered by this brewery were also available at the Deja Brew Pub in Old Town Zadar. But, there’s just something about having a beer at the source to truly enjoy the full experience.
Craft Beer in Split, Croatia
Leopold’s Delicatessen Bar
Located in Old Town Split, this is a cozy spot to have a few brews. With al fresco seating among a cobblestone street and a great selection of Croatian craft beers, this is a great spot in Split!
Be prepared, this Croatia beer bar only accepts cash! So, if you need to stop by an ATM on the way there please do so!
The Daltonist Craft Bar
This restaurant does offer beer, however, it’s more of a craft cocktail destination. A cozy place located very near Diocletian’s Palace and the heart of Old Town Split. With a delicious cocktail menu and some small bites, it’s a great place to grab a beer or drink and some food.
L.A.B. Split Craft Brewery
Located about 5 km (~3 miles) from the Old Town area of Split, is the LAB Split Brewery. It is the first brewery in Split, Croatia so that deserves a stop at least. Since it’s a little out of the way, it’s a perfect stop on your way out of Split or upon arriving depending on where you’re staying.
Craft Beer in Hvar, Croatia
Hvar is most known for having many wineries and its sandy beaches. (We even went on a wine tour while we visited Hvar for a day!) Hvar has a few great spots to grab a beer before or after a wine tour or late into the night as the island of Hvar is known to be a party spot! Check out these craft beer spots on Hvar Island.
Vunetovo Craft Brewery is located conveniently just a short walk from Old Town Hvar. With a lovely outdoor terrace as well as local snacks to enjoy this is a perfect spot for a pint or two of Croatian craft beer.
BackLane Craft Bar
Although Backlane specializes in craft cocktails they also offer several local Croatia beer options as well. Located not far from the ferry port in Hvar Town, makes this a great place to stop whether you’re just visiting for the day or spending multiple days on the island of Hvar.
Craft Beer in Dubrovnik, Croatia
Dubrovnik Beer Company (DBC)
Dubrovnik Beer Company is located outside of Old Town Dubrovnik. Depending on where you’re staying, grabbing a quick Uber here is a great idea. DBC is a traditional industrial style taproom offering indoor and outdoor seating, brewery tours, and while we visited food was available as well. This was the first taste we had of Dubrovnik beer!
For the amount of space they had, I was surprised they only had 5 beers on tap. I had just assumed they would have more. It was still a really fun spot to hang out at for a bit. The offerings were a bit basic such as American Pale Ale, IPAS, lagers, and a milk stout. I did learn that they do sometimes offer wheat ale, brown ale, and sours.
Glam Bar (Glam Cafe)
Glam Bar is located in Old Town Dubrovnik and is a beer bar specializing in Croatia Beer, specifically craft beer. One evening in Dubrovnik after dinner we ventured here. The selection was extensive and it honestly was hard to pick 2-3 beers to have.
One, we tried was by Pulfer Brewery and was the only true smoothie sour style beer I’ve had outside of the US. It made me even more bummed we weren’t able to actually visit this taproom as I would have loved to try more variations and possibly bring some home with me!
In case you didn’t know, I’m a master of packing beer in checked luggage! I’ve done it so many times I truly have it down to a science. Knock on wood, I haven’t lost a beer yet! (I’ve even packed liquor bottles, and wine bottles which are glass.) My method is definitely foolproof!
Beer Factory Dubrovnik
Beer Factory Dubrovnik is another beer bar that offers Croatian beer, live music, and food. It’s a chill beer garden style atmosphere located within Old Town Dubrovnik. Old Town Dubrovnik has so many great places to eat and grab drinks, but I will admit it’s easy to get lost within the streets once you are wandering up and down the many sets of stairs.
Croatia Craft Beer Festivals
If you truly want to immerse yourself in Croatian Beer, while you visit one of the following Croatia Craft Beer Festivals may be worth a visit! (Dates and times for the most recent events are available on their own contact pages.)
- Opatovina Beer Fest: Zagreb
- Zagreb Beer Fest
- Medulin Craft Beer Festival: Medulin (Istria) Croatia
- Zadar Craft Beer Festival
Croatia Beer FAQs:
What is the most popular beer in Croatia?
The most popular beer in Croatia is Ožujsko beer and the second most popular is Karlovačko. Ožujsko is a lager beer at 5% ABV that is sometimes also marketed as Žuja. Karlovačko is the product of Karlovačka Pivovara which is owned by Heineken. Karlovačko is a Czech style pilsner popular in Croatia, Bosnia, and Herzegovina.
Where to buy Croatian beer?
While in Croatia, you can buy beer at the grocery store or supermarket. Many breweries or craft beer bars will also allow you to purchase beer to consume both onsite or for take away. There are Croatian beers that you can buy in the US at large liquor and beer retailers.
Is Croatian beer good?
Yes! There is a lot of variety in Croatian beer much like other countries. There will be basic lagers but also a variety of craft beers available as well. (If you follow my recommendations of where to drink craft beer in Croatia!) I was surprised by the variety and how much I loved the craft beer in Croatia.
How much is a beer in Croatia?
It depends on what kind of beer and also where you’re buying it. (In some cities it is more expensive for example.) If you’re buying an Ožujsko or Karlovačko which are available in most places it will set you back 3-5 euros. For craft beer, you can expect it to be 5-8 euros for a can or draft pour.
How do you say cheers in Croatian?
To say “Cheers” in Croatian you will exclaim “Živjeli!” (pronounced “Zhivyelee”). This translates to Cheers or alternatively, “Long Live!” or “Let’s Live!” Sometimes one will add the phrase “Na Zdravlje!” to the end which means “To your health!” Another popular Croatian drinking toast includes “Vesele Vode” which means “Happy Waters”.
How old do you have to be to drink beer in Croatia?
Croatia doesn’t impose a specific age requirement to consume alcohol. But you have to be 18 years old to purchase alcohol in Croatia. Drinking laws in Croatia are pretty lax. But, driving while drinking is a serious offense and the laws are very strict. The legal blood alcohol content is 0.05%. In 2003, Croatia briefly implemented a zero-tolerance policy.
Croatia Beer: Final Thoughts
Truly one of my favorite parts of traveling is exploring the local food and craft breweries. Even countries that aren’t well known for having a lot of craft beer have definitely surprised me!
Italy was a country I wasn’t expecting much from the craft beer scene but I was pleasantly surprised. Likewise in Croatia, I had one of the best smoothie sours that are really popular in the US, but not as common in other countries. That was such a fun surprise!
We traveled all over Croatia over the course of an 8 day travel itinerary. We hit up Plitvice Lakes and Krka National Park which I didn’t mention above, but we didn’t really have any notable craft beer in those locations.
The key takeaway, travel to new places, and try new beers! If you fancy a pint while in London, check out my post highlighting a craft beer lover’s dream of the Bermondsey Beer Mile. I hope this guide helps you to plan some great spots to stop in Croatia for craft beer. If you use Untapp’d, follow me there at Mrs_Cox. Cheers to travel beer and Croatian craft beers!