STA, 31 July 2019 - Slovenian beer exports grew by almost 20% in 2018 year-on-year, while hop exports increased by 17%, showed the Statistics Office data released on Wednesday, ahead of International Beer Day, which is observed on the first Friday in August.
The country's beer exports exceeded imports last year - exports topped EUR 34 million, while imports reached EUR 28.5 million.
Slovenia exported most of its beer to Croatia (30%), Italy (21%) and Bosnia-Herzegovina (19%), while most of Slovenian beer imports, which decreased slightly last year (by 3%), came from Austria (40%), Croatia (19%) and the Czech Republic (10%).
The number of Slovenian beer makers is on the rise - there were 61 registered in Slovenia last year, which is quite an increase compared to 2010 when there were only 13 of them.
Beer lovers paid some 2.8 euro on average for half a litre of pale ale in pubs or some 90 cents in stores in 2018.
Slovenian hop growers produced more than 3,000 tonnes of hop, which is a record amount since 1998 and a 43% increase on 2017.
Slovenia ranks third in hop production among EU countries, following Germany and the Czech Republic. The country's hop exports outweighed imports by far, amounting to EUR 26 million. On the other hand, hop imports totalled EUR 2.1 million.
Almost half of Slovenian exported hop went to Germany last year, with China (16%) and the UK (10%) being target markets as well.
STA, 21 July 2019 - Six years after it was launched as one of the first craft breweries in Slovenia, Pivovarna Pelicon has grown into a fully-fledged company with six employees that is looking to crack the million euro revenue mark.
Posting net sales of EUR 584,000 for 2018, up over a quarter on the year before, the company expects annual revenue to rise by about 30% to roughly EUR 900,000 this year, co-founder Anita Lozar told the STA. Virtually the entire profit is reinvested.
The company sells its range of craft beers in Slovenia and Italy. This summer it has decided to enter the Croatian and Danish markets.
Starting off with a single product, a pale ale, Pelicon currently offers nine types of beer and has the capacity to produce up to 250,000 litres of the hoppy beverage a year. It has also branched out from beer to produce a craft gin and a "hoppy tonic" with real quinine.
"Over these six years we've grown, seen where our shortcomings are and slowly started to tackle them. We've slowly improved our product portfolio and started bottling beer. We currently sell half the beer bottled and half on tap in pubs, which we had not been doing before," Lozar said,
About a year ago the brewery also started to work with retailers. According to Lozar, this means having to increase output, which again required production adjustments. "But these are sweet problems," she said.
STA, 9 July 2019 - Pivovarna Laško Union, a Slovenian brewery owned by the Dutch company Heineken, ended 2018 with a net profit of EUR 20.3 million, up roughly a third form 2017, on net sales revenues of EUR 153.1 million, a rise of 6.5%.
Net sales revenues rose mostly on account of heftier sales in foreign markets, which accounted for 26% of all sales revenue, up 4 percentage points, the Ljubljana-based company said in Tuesday's press release.
Its operating profit (EBIT) rose by 29% to EUR 27.6 million, whereas normalised EBIT - the operating profit adjusted to remove one-off events - reached EUR 28.6 million.
Director general Zooullis Mina, who has been at the helm of the Slovenian brewer since the spring 2018, labelled the last business year successful.
He noted that 45 investments had been made in the brewery's two production facilities - Pivovarna Union and Pivovarna Laško - and in the logistics segment.
Sustainable development being an integral part of the group's business strategy, Pivovarna Laško Union used 5% less drinking water and 10% less energy to produce a litre of beer in 2018 compared to 2016. What is more, Laško uses only Slovenian-grown hops.
At the end of 2018, Pivovarna Laško Union had a workforce of 596, roughly on a par with 2017.
The group was established in 2016 with the merger of Pivovarna Laško and Pivovarna Union after the two were acquired by Heineken a year earlier.
I’m a big fan of the Slovenian craft beer scene, especially now it’s moved on from hoppy IPAs to explore a fuller range of what’s possible. My personal favourites are sours – the perennial “next big thing” – and Bevog’s work in this area in particular, but I’m willing to give anything a try in the name of research.
However, with well over 100 brewers in the country a little guidance might be needed, and one rather surprising place to find it is Rampant Lion Reviews. Surprising because it’s a YouTube channel run by a Scottish guy in Skåne, Sweden, with a focus on beer, whisky and saké, and 1,640 videos posted as of typing, seemingly a new one every day.
Related: All out posts on craft beer are here
Among these are currently 21 reviews of Slovenian beers, from the standard Laško to more indie producers like Pelicon, Lobik, Reservoir Dogs, and Tektonik, as seen in the following playlist. Skål, slàinte and na zdravje!
Curious about how Pelicon's The Third Pill got it's name?
STA, 17 January 2019 - Slovenia will promote its growing brewery industry at the International Green Week (IGW) in Berlin, one of the biggest agricultural and food exhibitions in the world. Kicking off on Thursday, the 84th IGW will feature more than 1,700 exhibitors and will be accompanied by an agriculture ministerial attended by Slovenia's Aleksandra Pivec.
Aleksandra Pivec. Wikimedia: STA, CC-by-4.0
Slovenia's stall will feature micro breweries Vizir, Tektonik, Hopsbrew, Adam Ravbar, Maister, Ressel, Green Gold, Reservoir Gogs, Barut Brewing, Frizi Beer, Castra and Človeška Ribica, as well as the country's biggest brewery, the Heineken-owned Pivovarna Laško Union.
The stall will also feature hop-growing companies and associations from Slovenia, as well as three start-up companies: plant pot maker Urban Planty, aromatic salt maker Barba Sol and chili pepper grower Gorki Chili.
Photo: JL Flanner
Read our story on Gorki Chili here
Pivec will attend the opening on Thursday and will stay in Berlin until Sunday. On Friday, she will hold bilateral meetings, among others with Jose Graziano da Silva, the head of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
On Saturday, she will attend the agriculture ministerial hosted by German Food and Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner. The high-level meeting will focus on digitalisation in agriculture. The ministerial will also discuss young farmers, small farms and family farms, which are priorities of the FAO.
Pivec will wrap up her trip by meeting Slovenians living in Berlin on Sunday.
Watch three men try too many Slovenian craft beers here
December 15, 2018
Too busy or too late to go on a full search for Christmas gifts and worried that online won’t arrive in time? We suggest ten shops that will save you from your kids' or spouses' tears on the gift unwrapping day, all in walking or short cycling distance from each other in downtown Ljubljana. The shops are chosen according to the variety, quality or originality of merchandise they offer and come in pairs, with two for each festive gift category: toys, candy, books, drinks and fashion.
Ristanc is a small but well stocked shop for the youngest. Mostly made of wood and other natural materials, the toys are appealing to the eyes, hands and ear, and challenge a young mind’s creativity in all of the areas one can imagine. If you get your pre-school kid in there, you might have problems getting them out, while grandparents will be delighted to find things they haven’t seen in years. If you’re not sure what to get to a child of a certain age, the multilingual owner of the shop will be more than willing to assist in terms of developmental advice, as well as to point out the toys which will have the biggest effect without breaking the bank. For the location of Ristanc, and all the other stores, see the map at the bottom.
Ristanc, Gallusovo nabrežje 11, 1000 Ljubljana
TojeTo is a store for children and adults who have outgrown what Ristanc has to offer. Here you can find from the classic to the newest board games, puzzles, and circus equipment, all following the same quality Ristanc has established for the earlier age, which includes the advice of the store's owner, if needed.
TojeTo, Gallusovo nabrežje 29, 1000 Ljubljana
Not that sweets are difficult to find in Ljubljana, but in case you got fed up with Balkan classics and German alternatives from Mueller, you might want to take a look at the HlebOsol, a Russian candy store at the entrance of the KOŽ city library, also called 1000 slaščic. Besides the traditional Russian and Ukrainian sweets, Hlebosol offers a variety of refrigerated goods and spirits.
1000 slaščic, Slovenska cesta 47, 1000 Ljubljana
In case your heart beats more for the Western side of the global divide, or if your kid’s been nagging for some candy they’ve seen in their favourite American TV show, there is an American sweet’s shop further down Slovenska Street, called Sweet Tooth.
Sweet Tooth, Slovenska cesta 12, 1000 Ljubljana
Konzorcij is also on Slovenska cesta, and is the largest bookstore in town, a branch of Mladinska knjiga, with a variety of picture books, comics, novels and professional literature in foreign languages, mostly English.
Konzorcij, Slovenska cesta 29, 1000 Ljubljana
Just around the corner from Konzorcij you can find a budget alternative with some treasure amid trash. This is Felix bookstore on Čopova street, with many bestsellers on discount and mostly English language books upstairs. if nothing interesting is found on the bookshelves, then the store also has a small range of toys, souvenirs and novelties.
Felix, Čopova ulica 7, 1000 Ljubljana
Štorija is a well-stocked wine store on Trubarjeva street, with a good selection of the Slovenian biodynamic, natural and orange wines. For a short explanation of what this means, click here.
Štorija, Trubarjeva cesta 17, 1000 Ljubljana
In case your loved ones prefer beer to wine, one of the best beer stores in town can be found a little further down Trubarjeva cesta, heading away from the centre, Že v redu, Primož?. Primož offers cans and bottles from the growing list of ever-more adventurous Slovenian brewers, to be found on the right side of the store, while on the left are imports. The kind of beer store where a big brand means Chimay, Oedipus or Bevog rather than Heineken.
Že v redu, Primož, Trubarjeva cesta 44, 1000 Ljubljana
Goldsmith Atelier Kodre (Zlatarski Atelje Kodre), which boasts with about 90 years of tradition of craftsmanship, refuses to succumb to the modern trand for generic machine-made production of jewellery, and insists on manual creation of unique artefacts, which allows for what some might consider flaws in gems to be transformed into unique fairy-tale landscapes. A silver base allows for prices of these beauties to remain within the range of an average generic big brand perfume. And don’t forget, unlike a scent these items are forever.
Zlatarski Atelje Kodre, Tavčarjeva ulica 4, 1000 Ljubljana
Just around the corner from the Goldsmith Atelier Kodre on Tavčarjeva, there is Matea Benedetti’s atelier on Cigaletova, a must stop for every fashionista on their visit to Ljubljana. In the atelier you can get 40% off and more on samples of Benedetti’s latest sustainable high fashion ready to wear collection that includes clothes and accessories made from exotic and classic materials such as pineapple leather and organic silk. Don't forget to contact Matea Benedetti (here or here) before your arrival, to make sure someone is there to welcome you.
Matea Benedetti, Cigaletova ulica 5, 1000 Ljubljana
STA, 29 October - The Pivovarna Laško Union brewery, which was established in 2016 with the merger of Laško and Union after the two were acquired by Heineken a year earlier, last year generated EUR 151m in net sales revenue, 1% more than in 2016. Net profit rose by 34% to EUR 15m.
STA, 9 September 2018 - Europe's first beer fountain, which opened in Žalec in east-central Slovenia two years ago, has proved such a success that it will be franchised abroad.
If you want to see creativity, passion and can-do spirit in Ljubljana then one place to head this weekend is the craft beer festival being held today (Friday, April 20) and tomorrow, 14:00–02:00, in the exhibition centre on Dunajska, where people are getting things done.