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Friday 30 January 2015

Slovenia: A rewarding destination for beer lovers

I am sitting at one of the many open-air bars and caf├ęs overlooking the Ljubljanica river, sipping on a glass of delicious Human Fish pale ale.

It is one of several boutique brews to be found in the postage stamp-sized Slovenian capital of Ljubljana, which is attracting more and more beer lovers.

Ljubljana offers a diverse selection of domestic and foreign beers in its numerous beer bars, pubs and specialised shops and while it is not yet a rival to Munich, it is a very agreeable spot in which to enjoy a brew or two.

Although wine is the favoured beverage in this tiny country, the Slovenian tradition of brewing and beer bars dates back to the 17th century and the popular Union Brewery celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2014.

Union is one of the two largest breweries in Slovenia with its own brewery museum, which is one of the largest in Europe. The other is Lasko, which is under the same ownership but is brewed in the town of Lasko and is more popular in country areas

Other craft producers include Human Fish, Kratochwill, Pelicon and Bevog.

Started in 2008 by Australian native Matthew Charlesworth, Human Fish is Slovenia’s first and foremost craft brewer. The name comes from a creature that dwells in the subterranean waters of the country's famous karst caves. It is based in the town of Slovenj Gradec, north of Ljubljana.

Visitors can enjoy local beers in any of the numerous pubs in the bustling Ljubljana city centre or join up with the Ljubljananjam group and discover the latest bars and beer nooks in the capital.

There are several micro breweries in and around Ljubljana and the city also has a specialised beer shop in Pivoljub; featuring beers from around the world, including from Belgium, Scotland, the Netherlands, the US and Germany.

The Union brewery established its museum in 1987 and is in the attic of an old malt house. It is open on weekdays between 8am-1pm - and that's an early start even for most beer lovers. 

For more information on visiting Slovenia and Ljubljana go to or see  

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