TOP 5 CRAFT BEER PLACES IN LJUBLJANA
Most cyclists love to have a cold beer after a bike ride. And since we are guiding bike tours through the city of Ljubljana we will give you some more insight on this topic.
We have a long history of beer producing in Ljubljana. There are some written facts in the city archives about a beer production and taxes being collected from it as early as 1592. They were situated in the city walls, most likely where the so called "water tower" was standing (today near Hradeckega bridge, which we pass on our bike tour). Beer also became much cheaper than wine which made it a number one choice of alcoholic drinks for locals. Logically more and more breweries started to pop up all over the town of Ljubljana.
Fast forward to 1864, when three brothers Kozler started a brewery in the area of Spodnja Šiška. They were very successful and their brewery soon became the biggest in Slovenia. Later they took over other small breweries in Ljubljana and also some in other regions of Slovenia. Because of that they changed the name to Union in 1909.
For a long time lager was basically the only type of beer that people have known. Like everything else, craft beer scene came with a bit of delay to this part of the World. But don't worry, it has skyrocketed since then! Today in most of the bars and pubs in city centre you can taste some of our local craft beer brands like: Pelicon, Maister, Tektonik, Loo-Blah-Nah, Human Fish, Bevog, Green Gold, Reservoir Dogs, Vizir, etc.
So here are our top 5 choices for you to explore and taste in the city of Ljubljana. But note: Also riding a bicycle in Slovenia under the influence of alcohol is illegal! :)
Tektonik is the most centrally located brewery in Ljubljana. It is situated in a building where they used to print the most popular Slovenian newspaper "Delo". In the start it was only the brewery itself, but now you are lucky, they also opened a tap room. From 8 taps you can also taste some of the beers from their test batches. Feel peckish? Don't worry, their home made snack are amazing!
Our beer of choice: Dizzy IPA Amerikana.
If you haven't noticed yet, dragons are quite a thing in Ljubljana. As common as a dragon on a tourist's photo from Ljubljana is also his inability to properly say the name of this city correctly. Maybe a few beers help with the pronunciation (or make it worse), but also does the name of this local brewery. It is basically a phonetic transcription of Ljubljana. Located on the edge of Ljubljana in Črnuče, with a cozy tap room and a great pizza place for the neighbor. Rent a bicycle and take a ride to this spot.
Our beer of choice: IPA with spruce tips.
Lajbah is not a brewery (even though it is located where the Ljubljana's first brewery in the 16th century was standing). There is a permanent selection of of 23 different tap beers, which seasonally change. Every once in a while they have a "tap takeover" when 10 taps are assigned to one particular microbrewery. Lovely courtyard for outside sitting in the sun along the river (specially convenient for their events). Plus you have to like the AA word play in their logo. :)
Sir William's pub was probably the first one giving the local population of beer lovers a chance to drink something else but Union or Laško lager. Only a few minutes walk from the main square, across the street from the courthouse and "Slovenia Radio Television", a safe haven for anyone enjoying a quality beer from Slovenia, Belgium, Germany, Czech Republic and elsewhere. Very well educated bartenders will help you choose the right liquid gold for your taste.
Alright, we know this isn't really a craft brewery. But it plays such an important role in the Ljubljana's beer history that it can't go unnoticed. In the last years they are also following the trends and adding more beer types on their production line. Pub is located in the old brewery, next to the existing one, so they offer tours of the brewery and their own museum that is worth seeing. You can visit hungry as well, their pub food is great. We pass this brewery on our longer bike tour of Ljubljana.
Our beer of choice: Premium unfiltered dark.
Text: Tevž Černigoj
All photos belong to the breweries and pubs.