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Location: Giarmata, Timiş county
Gypsy brewing since: May 2016
Brewing on their own since: June 2018
Brewers: Adrian Biebel & Silviu Burtă
Output in 2018: 210 hectolitres (+ another 40 brewed at Ground Zero)
Output in 2019: 360 hectolitres
Bereta represent the embodiment of the new wave of modern brewers: young beer aficionados turned homebrewers, turned gypsy brewers, then finally turned fully fledged brewers, with their own brewery. The story kicked off back in 2014, the result of an off chance meeting between two guys who were really into their beers. Over 100 batches of
home garage brewing and various recipes later, they decided it was time to pull out the big guns, and headed down to Bucharest to try their luck. It was in June 2016 that they were given free reign over the mash tuns and fermenting vessels at Ground Zero and thus became the first gypsy brewers (i.e. brewers without a brewery) in Romania. Since then, they’ve also worked with Hop Hooligans and Wicked Barrel to produce a variety of interesting, and on occasion, ground breaking beers.
The lads describe their beers as ‘social lubricant’, and if there’s one thing that truly defines their styles, it’s the use of hops. Dank, fruity, resinous, bitter hop bombs; throw in a bit of oats and they’ve got themselves a recipe for success. In fact, Juicebag, their first New England IPA, took home the RateBeer award for the Best Beer in Romania in 2016. Set on bigger things, the lads also kicked off the IPA revolution in Romania back in October 2016, when they released Citro, the country’s first New England style Pale Ale. And because staying consistent is quite a feat for most craft breweries, they decided that they might as well grab the 2017 RateBeer award for the Best Beer in Romania. Which they did, after a brief detour through the dark realms of Imperial Stouts and a very lucrative collaboration with Wicked Barrel.
In March 2018, they decided it was time to bring their wandering ways to an end, as well as let Ground Zero catch their breath, after pestering them for two years with their gypsy brewing shenanigans. And as a parting gift, they did one last take (well, technically two) of their highly praised collaboration with Wicked Barrel, launching a limited edition (500 bottles only) of the Black Pot Imperial Stout, as well as a Bourbon chips and vanilla rendition of the same recipe.
Not long after, in June of 2018, they not only got their authorizations and started producing beers in their own brewery, but also decided that everyone should be invited to their launch party. And what better way to do that than by organizing Timişoara’s first craft beer festival, which they did by partnering up with local pub and beer shop Bibliotheka.
Always true to remembering their own humble beginnings, in October of 2018 they launched their Bereta Brewing Community program, which provided homebrewers in Romania with a tremendous opportunity: making their beer in an actual brewery. The 5 lucky winners have all been dutifully announced, and the project has also helped launch two new breweries: Blackout and Hopdrops. Given its success, it was picked up again in September 2019, and the next wave of homebrewers (hopefully turned gypsy brewers in the future) saw their beers launched starting January 2020.
After attending numerous festivals across Europe in the past couple of years, in 2019 they partnered up with Hop Hooligans to organize Haze Fest, the first craft beer festival in Romania that follows the same format as other well established events, from the ticketed venue, all-you-can-drink tasting session, and a line-up with international breweries. The first edition took place in their hometown of Timişoara, and even though the second edition was cancelled due to the pandemic, we’re looking forward to it taking place in Bucharest soon.
In April 2020, Bereta also became the third craft brewery in Romania to start canning their beers, after Hop Hooligans and Beast from The Yeast. The same year, the lads went full circle and, after starting off as gypsy brewers at Ground Zero, they welcomed its former brewer, Răzvan Matache, as he brewed a beer for his Ironic Taproom.
The guys are more than liberal with advice, so it’s worth checking their Facebook page for their series of notes, which contain a lot of useful information for both homebrewers, potential gypsy brewers, as well as recipes and stories behind some of their own beers (notes are only available in Romanian).
Their range is usually available in 330ml and 400ml cans, as well as draft in designated locations. Generally speaking, they make it to the online shelves at Berero Store soon after launch, but if you prefer to buy them direct from the brewery, you can check out their webshop, or pay their taproom a visit, in Timişoara.
Check out how it’s made: Where Is Your God Now?
These guys made so many beers, we had to make a separate page just for that, otherwise you’d be scrolling forever. Have a look here.