Anyone you meet is likely to say one word when thinking of beer consumed in Turkey: Efes. The name is derived from the town of Ephesus and produced in Izmir. The company owns 84 percent of the market, making it the most well-known brewery in Turkey.
Although there aren’t as many brands of beer in Turkey in comparison to Germany or Belgium, and the local creations are scarce and infrequent, many European brands have been licensed to be brewed in Turkey. One of the most popular and well-known brands is Turk Tuborg by Carlsberg Group. Efes also makes Fosters as well as Becks.
Corona, Guinness, Heineken, and Budweiser are also sold through “takes” (alcohol and tobacco shops), supermarkets, bars, and pubs.
In that regard, here is a brief overview of the historical background of Turkish beer. Turkey in general and Turkish brand names of Turkish beer:
The History of Turkish Beer
The background of beers in Turkey is as old as Ottoman times. The empire, however, conflicted with alcohol consumption; the industry of beer didn’t grow as fast as the one in Europe. Drinking alcohol was not permitted in the kingdom since it was considered against Islam; however, the members of the imperial wing of the empire were still enjoying regular consumption. Brewing beer was also permitted in a few cities; however, people drinking it on the Ottoman table (public) typically did it legally.
Minorities within the Ottoman Empire were permitted to create alcohol. Thus the first beers made in Turkey are believed to have been produced and served in the east Erzurum city. Erzurum in the Erzurum region by Armenians in the unique “beer gardens” (bira bahceleri).
The first beer production in mass scale that is modern began around the turn of century 19 in Istanbul by the Bomonti brewery owned by the Bomonti brothers. Swiss Bomonti Brothers.
The brewery was the first to create the first beer of Turkey’s nationality dubbed Tekel Birasi.
Bomonti remained the biggest Turkish brewery for a long time until Efes was established in 1966 and began to take charge of market operations in the early 80s. At the same time Efes began to enter markets, Turk Tuborg received permission to establish their brewery.
The long-running Bomonti brand was discontinued in the late 2000s but was revived by Efes, who makes it following the original recipe.
Where Do the Turkish Drink Their Beer?
After raki, the country’s national beverage with anise flavors followed by wine, beers are a popular drink in Turkey.
Though there have been steps to curb drinking alcohol and limit production over the past few years, the beer scene continues to prosper in Turkey, particularly in Istanbul.
Most citizens in Turkey go to bars in the city center for a few beers, typically in the evenings after work but usually on weekends.
Older Turks generally drink their beer in bars and restaurants. In cities such as Istanbul and Istanbul, where it’s more frequent to find traditional beer gardens or pubs (especially within Akaretler and Kadikoy), Both the young and old alike prefer these establishments to go for a weekend or a Friday outing.
Many Turks and foreign tourists are sipping an ice-cold drink under the bright sun sitting on a lounger near the ocean or in a swimming pool in towns with seaside resorts.
In cities with green spaces like green spaces and parks, you’ll most likely find young people in the grass drinking a few drinks with their pals and listening to music streaming from a Bluetooth speaker. In Istanbul, Macka Park, Kalamis, and Moda are well-known spots.
It is better to verify if you can sit on the grass or drinking on the grass is permitted. Be aware of what people are doing in the vicinity and be on the lookout for any warning signs, but you’ll be in good shape most of the time.
Local Beer Styles
Pilsners and beers of the Lager type are the most well-known in Turkey.
The most well-known styles created by Efes include:
Efes Pilsen 5% ABV (alcohol by volume) is its most popular and a close cousin to a German Pilsner, a form of pale lager containing sugar and rice.
Dark, made by Efes Pilsen Double-roasted Malt Lager with notes of caramel
Efes Dark Brown – double-roasted malt lager, with a flavor of chocolate and coffee
Efes Xtra – a hoppier lager, high ABV
Efes Draft – semi-pasteurized
Efes Pilsener also produces strong-beers under the Marmara subbrand, including Marmara Gold and Marmara Kirmizi – red very high ABV is the most well-known one. It is also a gluten-free beer. Efes brand also offers an alcohol-free, gluten-free beer.
Gusta’s Wheat Beer brand sells lime- or sweetened beers with agave under the Mariachi name.
Bomonti, produced by Efes, is also available in unfiltered versions with a stronger grain flavor.
Turk Tuborg’s most well-known designs include Tuborg Gold and Tuborg Kirmizi Red, as well as high ABV.
Turkish Craft Beer
Efes holds a monopoly on the market and does not have competitors in Turkey. However, Efes has recently encouraged craft beer breweries and brewpubs to get a prominent place in the form of events, including Brewstival, the first Turkish beer festival funded by.
Turkey’s Turkish craft beer scene has indeed been expanding faster in recent years, particularly in Istanbul; However likely, it’s likely still in its beginnings.
Here are a few names that have become to be favorites over the past few years:
Bred with Mugla, Gara Guzu got its name from the area’s language (kara muzu=black sheep), created in 2011. It has a wide range of beers, ranging from amber and blonde ales to Irish-inspired Stouts. It’s the biggest and most sought-after craft brewery in Turkey.
The torch was established in 2016 and sold at Populist situated in the former Bomonti Brewery, one of Istanbul’s most well-known craft beer breweries. They offer a wide selection of beers, ranging from Austrian-style Lagers to Kolsch-style beer.
The Bosphorus Brewing Company is another well-known brand within the Istanbul craft beer scene. It’s like it’s an English pub and is best illustrated in their wide selection of real ales.
Pablo Beer, one of the first breweries in Turkey boutique, began operations on the 17th of January 2017 Bodrum. The range of beers includes American IPA and pilsners to white beer satsuma. The brewery offers an array of beers with local notes.
Shoffner Brewery in Antalya is perfect for Bavarian-influenced beer. The same goes for Taps Istanbul, which is the first Turkish brewpub.
The Most Popular Turkish Beer Brands
- The Efes (dominates on the market)
- Gara Guzu