Turkey // Food and drink //

Turkish beer

Local brewery Efes Pilsen has a stranglehold on the Turkish beer (bira) market, sponsoring everything from a blues festival to one of the country’s leading basketball teams. Luckily they produce a generally well-regarded pilsner-type brew, which comes in either 33cl or 50cl bottles or cans. From a supermarket or bakkal (small grocery store) expect to pay around TL4 a bottle, slightly more for a can. Efes Dark is a sweeter, stronger stout-style beer, while Efes-Xtra is eight percent proof, though neither is widely available in bars or restaurants. Tuborg, of Danish origins, is the other major home-grown beer. It is less widely available than Efes, though some people swear by it. Their red label beer is stronger than the standard green. Carlsberg is also brewed locally, while Gusta is a decent, dark, home-produced wheat beer.

Prices in bars and restaurants vary widely, with the cheaper places selling a 50cl beer for TL5, trendier places for TL12 and up. If the bar has draught (fici) beer, it’s usually a little cheaper. If it’s available, you’ll pay at least a third more for the dubious privilege of drinking Corona, Fosters, Heineken or Becks.

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