The fiery sun hid behind cookie cutter clouds, casting an orange glow just below. Its rays lightly kissed the boats that were floating along the pure blue waters. Then, though a gradual process, it seemed as though the sun plopped below the clouds to blind me one more time before setting over the Adriatic Sea as I entered Croatia.
A beautiful coastline, the many islands, and the city of Dubrovnik are some of the reasons Croatia is highly populated in the warmer months. This and the many raving remarks about the country made me want to visit but since I could not visit until late in the season (end of October), I was at first hesitant. However, on a whim, I was on a bus to Pula! It was already fairly cold but olive oil, seafood, wine, truffles, lavender, as well as other things, were enough reasons to still visit! 😀
Pula has a daily market with produce, olive oil, wine, and many crafty items. It was full of great Mother’s Day gifts and I would have bought way too much if I was heading home soon after 🙂 In Croatia, they take their olive oil very seriously; Though they love to dip their bread in it, to taste the quality, they sip it! 😀 While there, I also go to try truffle sausage which was absolutely incredible!
Rome gets so many visitors to the Coliseum but the arena in Pula is pretty damn impressive as well. It has a beautiful sea as a backdrop and you can see the whole thing by just walking around the outside. Of course, if you decide to go inside I can imagine standing in the center and looking up around would be pretty sweet 😛
Not too far from Pula is the absolutely stunning Rovinj which can be mastered in a day trip. However, if you don’t mind spending the money, you may just want to stay in this magical place!
In a land with so many tasty delicacies, I was, once again, not particularly looking for beer but somehow it seems to find me 🙂 The owner of the hostel (Pula Art) where I was staying suggested Beer Club so we checked it out one evening.
Beer Club is located out of the center but definitely worth a visit if you want a good selection of beer. The only Croatian craft beer on draft was the Zmajska Pivovara (Dragon Brewery) Pale Ale. It was a beautiful amber color with a decent white head. It had an evident hop character but I felt was higher in malt character making it balanced and less bitter. There was a slight mango flavor coming through from the hops. I really liked this beer and wish I could have had more than a couple sips- it is something I will definitely try again!
Looking to try another local beer, the bartender recommended Grička Vještica bock style beer by Pivnica Medvedgrad. He said it was the darkest/strongest Croatian beer they had. It seemed similar to an amber-style beer. It had light bitterness and was a little sweet. I felt it was served a little too cold though making its flavor get lost.
Though it is very unlike me to not order something local, I needed some hops in my life!! My mother had just got done telling me about drinking an Imperial IPA back in the states- how nice of her, right?!? Well I will forgive her but I was in need of something harshly hopped now…I needed something hardcore and the Hardcore IPA by BrewDog hit the spot! 🙂
The Beer Club had a good selection of beers from all over Europe and some from countries outside of Europe! The list from Belgium was the most extensive, of course 🙂 The list was not strictly craft beer but I would recommend this place. Hopefully as the craft beer scene grows throughout Croatia and Europe, their craft beer selection will grow. Nova Runda (Another round) is another Croatian craft brewery that just started this year. I did not get to try any of their beers but I hope to try them next time!
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