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Open since: December 2017
Brewers: Laurențiu Mândrilă & Ioana Coca
Output in 2018: 100 hectolitres
Output in 2019: 100 hectolitres
Some breweries show up on the market seemingly over night, without so much as a hint of notice. Others generate a snowballing amount of hype in the months preceding their launch, and when they do hit the shelves, it makes the wait all that much worthwhile. In our entire time keeping track of the Romanian craft beer scene, we have rarely come across a brewery as eagerly awaited as Oriel Beer.
Their story goes back to the summer of 2010, when Laurențiu and Ioana decided they needed a change of scenery, as well as a palate cleanse after the generic lagers available on the local market, and made their acquaintance with Trappist beers. Their encounter was not only eye opening, but it also sparked an interest for brewing beer, which they both pursued passionately. In the years to follow, Laurențiu moved on from the beginners’ kits, and did so in a way that brought him several awards in homebrewing competitions, both in Romania as well as abroad, in countries such as Slovenia, Croatia and the neighboring Bulgaria and Hungary. With such an impressive award portfolio, particularly for his Quadrupel, it was only a matter of time before word got out in 2015 that a brewery was also in the making, and the hype started building among the beer lovers and connoisseurs.
Under the patronage of Oriel, the archangel of light, wisdom and illumination, their launch in December 2017 came as the embodiment of several years’ worth of hard work. And while the long awaited Quad has seen its release postponed a couple of times, their range has dutifully grown with both their own interpretation of Belgian style ales as well as collaborations, ever since they opened.
In 2018, they also found a love for barrels and aging beers, a passion which seems to have carried through in 2019. This has resulted in quite a long waiting list for their releases, with beers maturing in wine, tequila and even ţuică barrels, but it’s a sacrifice our taste buds are willing to make.
To keep in tune with their homebrewing awards, in early 2019, they were also announced as the 5th Best New Brewer In The World for 2018 and Best Brewer in Romania for 2018, according to the RateBeer website. Not only that, but the first batch of the Oriel Quadrupel (Jack Daniels BA) was also voted Best Beer in Romania in 2018. In 2019, their Belize Rum BA Quadrupel took home another prestigious award: the gold medal at the International Craft Beer Award in Germany. And in November 2019, it was their Mezcal BA Quadrupel that took home a gold award at the European Beer Challenge in London. They wrapped up 2019 by claiming RateBeer’s award for Best Brewer in Romania for 2019, their latest addition to an ever growing trophy case.
Given their small yearly output, as well as the fact that their production is a long and thoroughly meticulous process, Oriel Beer is the kind of brewery that you need to take your time with. Their beers are usually available by 330ml bottles as well as draft, and are best enjoyed with an adequate food pairing, as well as all the tasting notes paraphernalia you can get your hands on. We also recommend visiting their brewery which, while a bit difficult to find, they helped build from scratch, and is a picture-perfect example of what a brewing setup should look like. It also provides an excellent setting for not only sampling their beers, but also finding out more about the brewing process straight from the mouths a very passionate and dedicated couple.
- Oriel Blond – 6.5% ABV
- Oriel Dubbel – 8% ABV
- Oriel Quadrupel – barrel aged series:
– Jack Daniels BA – 11.5% ABV
– Belize Rum BA – 10% ABV
– Mezcal BA – 11% ABV
– Laphroaig BA – 11% ABV
– Auchentoshan BA – 10% ABV
– Zetea Vinars BA – 11% ABV
– Ecuador Rum BA – 11.5% ABV
- Oriel Saison – 7.2% ABV
Seasonal and limited edition beers:
- Oriel Dubbel – with Maris Otter malt – 8% ABV
- Oriel Blond Wild – with Brettanomyces yeast – 6.5% ABV
- Oriel Quadrupel – Blackberry Vanilla edition (with blackberry juice from Abund Berry) – 10% ABV
- Oriel Quadrupel – Raspberry Vanilla edition – 9.5% ABV
- Oriel Winter series:
– 2018 edition – Belgian Dark Strong Ale aged on cherry wood chips, cocoa beans, husks and grains of paradise – 11.8% ABV
– 2019 edition – Belgian Dark Strong Ale aged on apple & hickory wood chips, cocoa beans and Ceylon cinnamon – 9.5% ABV
– 2020 edition – Belgian Strong Dark Ale with cocoa, Ceylon cinnamon, coriander seeds, orange extract and vanilla essence – 9.5% ABV
- Oriel Tripel – with Ceylon Silver Tips tea from Sri Lanka – 9% ABV
- Oriel Dubbel – Liliac Merlot barrel aged – 8% ABV
- Oriel Tripel – Liliac Chardonnay Barrel Aged – 9.5% ABV
- Oh My My… – Stout – 7.5% ABV
– Peanut Butter edition
– Cotton Candy edition
- Worldly Pleasures – Dark Saison – 6.6% ABV
- In A Far Away Galaxy – Sour Porter – 6.6% ABV
- Quadrupel IPA – collaboration with Sunstone Alehouse – 11% ABV
- Tuiple’Up – Tripel matured in țuică barrels (with HopSaSam) – 9.5% ABV
- See The Light? – Belgian Imperial Stout (with Wicked Barrel) – 10% ABV
- Summer Break Saison (with Brouwerij De School) – 7.1% ABV
- Hop-a-Billy – Hoppy Saison (with ‘t Hofbrouwerijke) – 6% ABV
- Get Your Hands Off – Brett IPA (collaboration with Blackout Brewing) – 8% ABV
- Templed in Twilight – Barrel Aged Gose (with Bereta) – 7% ABV
– Blood orange, vanilla and lactose edition
- White Quadrupel – Belgian Strong Golden Ale (with Sunstone Alehouse) – 9% ABV