As a beer lover, I could not resist grabbing the opportunity to head down to the newly-opened San ServoloBeer House in Buje, to discover for myself the beer selection of their own production. It’s nice when you get the opportunity to taste a beer in its original, authentic setting – veritably, its home – where you can learn a bit more about it.
Travelling to the beer house was fortunately accompanied by fine weather, which only served to make the Istrian landscape even more impressive and my search for San Servolo faster and more pleasant. The ride to Buje went by in a jiffy, and once I took the turn for Momjan, I was soon passing the village Kruj and on its right, the newly opened – San Servolo Beer House.
If you’re there, before entering the beer house you will have to climb the spacious terrace with a fantastic view of the town of Buje.
Beer and local specialties
The very first impression of the place brings a smile to my face, with an atmosphere and attention to detail that fulfills all my expectations. To start off my San Servolo beer adventure, I order the red beer with a bitter taste and a flavor of roasted coffee and caramel! My companion treats himself to the light beer with a flavor of floral honey.
Considering that beer goes just as well with food as wine does, we complete the experience with a meal. The house specialty that will go well with our choices of beer is recommended by the waitress: a gourmet hamburger steak filled with cheese and pancetta, with sauerkraut and a beer pita bread. The recommendation is dead on, the beer and the food complement each other perfectly!
We learn that the San Servolo beer can stay bottled up for up to ten months without losing any of the quality of taste. We are also told that it goes through two fermentations – one in the basement and one in the bottle.
A recent history of a brewery with a centuries-old mode of production
The Buje brewery is a very recent enterprise – it was only opened in 2013. Its name comes from the patron saint of the town – San Servolo. The beer is prepared according to an original recipe, and what is even more interesting is that it is brewed according to the German Purity Law of 1516. It gets a naturally fresh taste from the water from the spring of St. Ivan, located in the valley of river Mirna.
So far, there are three types o San Servolo beer – red, light and dark. The light and dark are unfiltered and unpasteurized, and both go through an additional process of fermentation that gives the light beer a flavor of floral honey, and red one a pleasant zest and foaminess. The red beer, my personal favorite, is predominated by the mild flavor of roasted coffee and caramel, and a refreshing bitterness. Perhaps it is exactly that bitterness, the kind that ales tend to have, and that I personally love, that gives the red beer a slight advantage over the light.
Unfortunately, I did not have a chance to try the dark beer this time, but I definitely will the first time I get the opportunity. The sooner, the better.