Turkish beer comes in wide varieties, from traditional brands to more modern trends. Even if the nation has a more conservative approach towards alcohol, due to the fact that the primary religion is Islam, beer is still the most consumed alcoholic drink in the country. But what are the best Turkish beers, and what stories do they hide? Keep reading to find out!
1. Efes Pilsen: Top beer in Turkey
Efes Pilsen reached the market in 1969 under the umbrella of Anadolu Group, which is the 9th largest brewery in the world and the 5th in Europe. Anadolu Group has been one of the primary beer breweries in Turkey since the 1980s and holds this spot today, too. The Efes Pilsen beer is the most popular range from the Anadolu Group, and many Turks consider it to be the national beer.
This beer has an alcohol content of 5.1%, and you can also find Efes Light, Efes Dark Brown, Efes Extra, and Efes Malt. Since it is such a famous brand in Turkey, you can find it even in draft versions in many pubs and bars. On top of its inviting taste, Efes beer also comes at an affordable price, making it even more popular among locals. Starting your Turkish experience with an Efes Pilsen will set the right tone for the rest of your adventure!
2. Bomonti: A Taste of History
Bomonti is one of the most historically charged beers in the country. It is the name of the Bomonti brewery, which was the first one to be launched during the Ottoman Empire. The First World War, followed by the Turkish War of Independence, damaged the success of this brand until the 1980s. Then, Efes Pilsen relaunched the brand under the production of Anadolu Efes and brought the original, historical recipe to the tables again.
You can enjoy this 4.8% alcoholic beer with a strong barley malt and a foam that will make you want to have another glass if you find yourself in Turkey, and you will understand why it is so high on the local beer hierarchy.
3. Tuborg: A Classic Beer Mixing Tradition with International Flavors
Those who consider Efes beer to be too strong or gassy can enjoy the next best brand, which is Tuborg, with 4.6% alcohol content. Tuborg Gold is the most popular version of this brand, but you can also find a Pilsen range that is very much appreciated as well.
The Tuborg Brewery is one of the largest in the country, with a generous malt production capacity of 36,000 tons and about 580 million liters. Tuborg is a brand that brings other famous drinks into the country, such as the Irish stout of Guinness, and they collaborate with the Carlsberg Group. While you will find this brand in the entire region of Eastern Europe as well, its presence in Turkey is significant.
4. Gara Guzu Brewery: A Contemporary Taste from the Aegean Area
Gara Guzu Brewery is one of the newest on the market, launched in 2014. The variety of beers you can find from this brewery is impressive, but the most famous one is the 4.0% alcohol amber ale. This brewery comes from the Aegean region and has contributed significantly to the local craft beer market.
This brewery also produces American IPA, different beetroot beers, and limited edition beers that are just as notable in Turkey. All their beers bring innovation and charm to the market, and they are an artisanal attraction. Gara Guzu promises an exciting development in the future, with even more varieties of beer to offer.
5. Knidos Brewery: The Natural Taste of Beer
Another famous beer you want to try if you are in Turkey is Knidos. The Knidos Brewery was first opened half a century ago under the name Bosphorus Brewing Company. This type of beer is known for its natural production process and exquisite flavor.
Knidos offers a wide range of beers, from the classic lager Tank 1 Golden Blend to Knidos Pilsner with an ABV of 5.0% and Tutti Frutti Beer with an ABV of 5.2%. You can also find lighter versions, such as Route 333 Pale Ale or Knidos Light Wheat Beer. You can’t go wrong with any of these beers, as they are highly rated among locals.
6. Karadeniz Pilsner: Taste the Black Sea Beer
The Karadeniz Pilsner is a unique beer originating from the Black Sea region. If you want a taste of this part of the world, this beer captures it perfectly with its discrete flavors and light body. Its crisp taste makes it one of the best options for hot summer days when you want to relax and enjoy the breeze.
With ABV concentrations between 4.0% and 6.0%, you can find this tasty beer at most pubs and restaurants in Turkey, but especially in the Black Sea area. If you are a tourist in Turkey and want an authentic taste of local beer, you have to give this one a try!
7. Taps Red Ale: Malt, Caramel and Fruity Mix
If you want a more robust beer with a defined taste, Taps Red Ale is the right beer for you. Its red color is going to make you want to give it a try at least once, and you might be surprised by its rich flavor of malt and caramel but also its sweet notes of fruits. The alcohol content is 4.0%, and you will find it to be an enjoyable and attractive drink to share with good company.
Taps is the first Turkish brewery to function like a pub restaurant, with more than 15 beers in its selection. Among their offer, you will also find an enjoyable bitter-chocolate beer that the locals very much love.
Turkey is a country that has a lot to offer, from great history to fascinating culture and tradition. The beer you will find here compliments the entire experience, along with some delicious Turkish cuisine that you can’t skip if you find yourself in this part of the world!
I am a passionate beer connoisseur with a deep appreciation for the art and science of brewing. With years of experience tasting and evaluating various beers, I love to share my opinions and insights with others and I am always eager to engage in lively discussions about my favorite beverage.