In these times of economic uncertainty in Croatia, there is one business which is expanding rapidly and introducing a whole new experience to locals and tourists alike. Craft beer.
Seemingly every week there is a new announcement of a craft brewery, and there are some very tasty offers on the market, as well as some unusual mini-breweries. After years of living on Hvar, or example, I was more than a little surprised to discover that there was a Polish lady making beer in Hvar Town. And very nice stuff it is - do check out the lovely Ana at Vunetovo if you make it to Hvar Town.
Producing great craft beer is one thing, but getting it to the tourist market is another, which is why I was more than delighted to catch up with my favourite Aussie Croat ladies in Split recently, owners of the fabulous Brasserie on 7 on the Riva. They always have something interesting to try in terms of food and wine, but they have also expanded their beer selection over the last couple of years, and I can think of few better places to explore a range of Croatian craft beers from all over the country, starting with a newish Split brew called Barba, which I think I am right in saying is the first craft brewery in the Dalmatian capital.
Rather good it was too, and the Barba range is expanding. Nice to try 'the Englishman', the perfect accompaniment to watch a working mum multi-task.
And a wander into the new-look B7 interior brings you to the complete craft beer range on offer, taking the top shelf above an equally impressive wine range below, which the knowledgeable waiters are happy to walk you through.
But the place to be is outside of course, even when the trademark Dalmatian sun is not out on show.
Croatian craft beer meets the Adriatic - bliss.