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If you fancy yourself a beer enthusiast, and are intrigued by its production process or by the history of the craft of brewing, then read on. Ljubljana has been a home of beer for many a year, and Slovenia’s capital city offers a plethora of opportunities for flavourful and instructive gatherings on the topic of noble hops-based beverages - both the more traditional beverages produced in factories and well-known to the masses, and the more unusual, boutique, and experimental brews. Ljubljana is enamoured with beer and welcomes beer enthusiasts to explore the local, regional, and global brewing scenes on its streets, squares, and river banks.

beer matevz kostanjsek

© Matevž Kostanjšek

Discover the beginnings

Brewing in Ljubljana dates back to the 16th century, when several Ljubljana innkeepers brewed and sold their own beer. The first large brewery, Pivovarna Union, began its operations in 1864 as a small family business founded by Ivan and Peter Kosler under the name Pivovarna Kosler. Nowadays, beer is no longer brewed in the factory, which instead now serves as a museum where you can discover 150 years of the picturesque history of beer production and brewing. You can complete the tour with a tasting at the old inn, and at Pivnica Union, which features one of the longest bars in Ljubljana, with twenty taps, each offering a different beer. There is also an open kitchen preparing Slovenian culinary classics with a new twist, and typical beer snacks.

Meet the local brewers

Right now, Ljubljana’s first boutique brewery, the Tektonik craft brewery, is celebrating its 10th anniversary. In addition to the brewery, that you can visit upon prior reservation, you will also find the Tektonix tap house, with the freshest possible Tektonix beer flowing from eight taps. They also often offer smaller trial batches that you will be hard pressed to find anywhere else.
Slightly younger, but no less active, is the Loo-Blah-Nah brewery . On a tour of the brewery, you can take a peek behind the scenes, and marvel at the brewing of boutique beer while tasting the eight types of beer on tap in their Taproom, including a different unique beer from the Taproom Special series every week.

Tasting with the pros

The breweries and pubs that serve Slovenian boutique beer – as well as organising many themed events such as tap takeover evenings, guided tastings, beer and food pairing, discussions about beer, and similar interesting content related to craft brewing and cuisine – certainly play an important role in the Ljubljana beer scene.
First among them in the capital are two beer-loving institutions – the pioneering Sir William's Pub, with its cult-like following and 25-year tradition of serving the highest quality domestic and international craft beers; and the more modern, slightly more metropolitan Pivnica Lajbah, which has been introducing Ljubljana beer aficionados to the latest Slovenian and global microbrewery trends for the past six years. William's and Lajbah are laying the foundation for Slovenian beer brewing science by offering a selection carefully curated to hone the tastes of Ljubljana beer lovers and boost the recognisability of craft beer in our country.
You can also, of course, sample and enjoy the hops brews, both draft and bottled, of many Slovenian brewers in Ljubljana’s myriad bars and pubs, with some of the more prominent among them being Godec Pub, Kavarna Kino Šiška, Lepa Žoga, Gas Station, Rafinerija Cukrarna, Prulček, the entire Petkovškovo nabrežje embankment, Pritličje, TOZD, and many more.
Ljubljana also has a few of its own specialised beer shops such as Pivoljub and Craft Room, which offer an ever-expanding selection of boutique beers in larger supermarket chains.

Mingle with the best

The fact that Ljubljana truly loves beer is emphasised by the Beer & Burger Fest, which gathers together the finest Slovenian boutique brewers and the most innovative burger masters twice a year on the Pogačarjev trg square, which is part of the Ljubljana Central Market. This celebration of a popular partnership lasts the entire weekend, giving visitors the opportunity to pick the brains of brewers and other craft beer experts at the festival, while also tasting classic, or more extraordinary, beer and burger combinations.
The next edition of the festival is expected to take place on 25 and 26 May, and will be the culmination of the pioneering Kraft Beer Week project, which will be held from 16 to 26 May. Kraft Beer Week presents the most important players in the Slovenian craft revolution across Slovenia and raises the visibility of microbreweries in our country with a quality selection of beers and excellent content.

Experience the Ljubljana beer scene

You can explore the beer side of Ljubljana on your own, or take the Ljubljana Beer Experience guided tour, on which you can learn about the history and current state of Ljubljana's beer story, both in theory and in practice. The guided tour includes trying seven types of beer from five different local producers in two bars and one pub, as well as a tour of the Tektonik kraft brewer, with the entire tour concluding at the Tektonix taphouse.