Gypsy brewing since: September 2019
Brewer: Alex Stoian
Crafted by the people, for the people, the fourth gypsy brewery to open in the city of Cluj-Napoca is the success story of a young corporate worker who found his passion for beer, and let it consume him. All it took was one fateful trip to Berlin many moons ago, when Alex and his girlfriend Hestia had a revelation that quality beers do exist in the world. After trying to find them in local supermarkets and failing to do so, the only acceptable alternative was looking into homebrewing.
As with many homebrewers, the first stop was kit beer, which didn’t turn out quite as Alex expected. So after three months of saving up and devouring every homebrewing resource thrown his way, from books to online classes, he was finally ready for all grain brewing. The results seemed up to scratch, and later that year he decided to enter his beer, an Imperial Stout, in his first homebrewing contest. Having been there for the judging ourselves, we can confirm that the beer was excellent, however, Imperial Stout it was not. So after handing Alex his scoring sheets, we told him that, had he entered it as a Barleywine, he would have gone home wearing laurels, and that the talent for brewing great beers is definitely there.
It was after that contest that Alex decided that he wanted to pursue brewing as a career. With Hestia’s support and encouragement, he said his farewells to the corporate life, and he soon became a brewer for Klausen Burger. And he made his presence felt from the get go, both by winning awards KSE International Beer Competition and Exhibition with his Hefeweizen recipe, as well as giving one of the oldest craft breweries in the country a modern twist, by introducing styles such as DIPAs to their repertoire.
But great passion does not content itself with limitations, so in September of 2019, Alex decided that the time to think about brewing his recipes under his own name had finally come. One fateful day, he headed down to Bere a la Cluj, fosterers of many great brewing minds in the city, and revisited the style that made him think about making beer in the first place. And this time, it truly was an Imperial Stout that emerged from the fermenting vessels, a dark, boozy, flavourful beast that saw the light of day early in December.
As the brewery tag line suggests, Propaganda really is a craft beer made by the people, for the people. The name of the brewery actually comes from a dive bar Alex was a faithful patron of back in his early days, a sort of local hub where everyone knew one another and formed a tightly knit community – much like the craft beer scene itself, if you come to think about it. And as Alex puts it, one of the defining aspects of craft is knowing the person behind the beer you’re drinking, or at least knowing that they’re a friendly fellow at the other end of the bar, whom you can share a pint and a story with.
We know that there are many exciting plans in the works for both Alex and Propaganda, and we’re eager to see where his brewing endeavours will take him in the future.
Brewed at Bere a la Cluj:
- Kronos – Russian Imperial Stout with cocoa nibs, vanilla and Guatemala & Etiopian coffee from Yume Coffee Roasters) – 9.1% ABV
- Chocolate Chip Trip – Imperial Milk Stout with cocoa nibs, coffee & hazelnuts (with Blackout Brewing) – 9.5% ABV
For reviews, check out Untappd.