Places of interestFriday 04 August 2017

Beer and Bucharest – a History Spanning Two Centuries

There are so many things to say about the beer. It quenches the thirst during simmering hot summer days and is an excuse for long talks with friends. Important decisions are taken over a pint of beer and lifelong friendships start with a good beer. The history of beer in Bucharest starts in 1809, when Johann de Gotha opens the first brewery in the suburbs of the city.

Caru' cu Bere

We cannot imagine life in a fashionable city without terraces and beer houses, and Bucharest can boast a lot of such places, where the cold beer, pilsner or dark, flows freely during the summer, but is also appreciated in the wintertime.  

However, if we want to pinpoint in Bucharest one single place where beer history has been irrevocably written, this place is Caru’ cu Bere. Here, the history of beer and the history of Bucharest intermingle to the point that you cannot separate one from the other.

Along the years, writers and poets, politicians and the elite, but also common people have found a place where they were all equal in the most authentic democracy invented by man: that of the bar countertop where beer pints stand proud.   The name of this beer house comes from sheer serendipity.

Ioan Cabasan, who was persuaded by the owner of a newly-opened brewery for beer and alcoholic drinks on Dealul Viilor (later known as Bragadiru Brewery), purchased a building on Stavropoleos Street and opened a beer house. As he arrived to start furnishing works on his newly acquired business, Cabasan saw a cart loaded with beer barrels standing still next to his property. And this is how he named his beer house: Caru’ cu Bere (the cart with beer).

  Stepping inside, as so many other renowned people did in the past – some of them being writers Octavian Goga, Ion Luca Caragiale and Barbu Delavrancea – the thirsty customer immediately feels at home, in the welcoming atmosphere of the beer house. The tall arches, the wood paneled walls and the wooden tables – elegant without being too pretentious – are pleasing to the eye and inviting to stay a little longer, have one more pint of beer…and another one.  

These days, Caru’ cu Bere proudly continues the tradition started two centuries ago and serves 13 different types of beer, the most appreciated being the beer of the house. This beer was tried and passed the approval of international stars such as the members of Rolling Stones band, Nicholas Cage and Demi Moore.  

Along the decades, Caru’ cu Bere continued to order beer from Bragadiru Brewery. The beer of the house had a special recipe especially for the famous beer house. After Bragadiru Brewery closed down, the recipe and the supplying agreement for Caru’ cu Bere passed on to Tuborg Brewery.

Times are changing and they may not be gentle to people and businesses, but good beer continues to flow at Caru’ cu Bere.

Silvia Gabriela Constantin

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