Horizont Golden Ale

In Hungary, beer is dominated by three major firms: Dreher Sörgyárak, Borsodi Sörgyár, and Heineken Hungária Sörgyárak. They accounted for 83% of the market in 2016. We’re talking about brands that are capable of promoting the whole range of their products by advertising widely in the mass media, sponsoring music festivals or football teams.

Next to this heavy artillery, microbreweries have gradually emerged since the early 2000s. The last five years have really seen them come out of anonymity. So now, in Budapest as in the provinces, we can order something other than lagers (világos in Hungarian) and bocks (barna), the two most popular and common styles — keep in mind that traditionally, Hungary is a wine country.

Among the newcomers, we find the brewery Horizont Sörök, born and established in Budapest since 2014, which recently won the Dublin Craft Beer Cup. The structure works partially as a phantom microbrewery — the brewing of certain beers is outsourced, like this Golden Ale, brewed at Zip’s Brewhouse in Miskolc, in the northeast of the country.

Everything in this beer is in the announced style, with the possible exception of the mouth feel. Because as one quickly discovers, Columbus has marked its personality. What we have here is an easy-going ale, but clearly bitter thanks to this American hop. Fresh, crisp, apparently quiet, but subtly soaking in aromas of citrus fruits, which brings a bitterness kick to the table.