The International Beer Day has been celebrated annually on the first Friday of August since 2007. According to the data for 2017, 57 professional enterprises operated in the brewing industry of Slovenia. Over the years, their number has been steadily growing. Thus, for example, in 2010, only 13 enterprises specialized in brewing.
As compared to the entire EU, this is a drop in the bucket, because there are about 8,500 breweries operating in the territory of European countries from local small manufacturers to large factories. The EU offers 80 varieties of beer, which are sold in the European market under 50 thousand trademarks.
In 2017, beer import to Slovenia exceeded its export for the first time in 10 years. Last year, Slovenia imported beer for an amount of 29.5 million euros, and exported beer for the sum of 28.5 million euros. The main export markets are Croatia and Italy (28% each), Bosnia and Herzegovina (21%). The key import markets are Austria (39%), Croatia (17%), and Italy (10%).
The greatest volume of commodity turnover, as a rule, falls on the summer period. For example, in June–August 2017, Slovenia sold 41% of the total annual volume of beer export (mainly in August) and imported 35% of the annual volume.
Slovenia occupies the third place in the EU for hop cultivation (after Germany and the Czech Republic). Last year, 2,160 tons of hop were grown on almost 1,600 hectares of land. The cost of hop export in 2017 was 22 million euros. Surprisingly, half of the export was related to Germany. It is interesting that the Slovene hop is exported even to such distant countries as the Seychelles, China, Vietnam, Japan, Brazil, Argentina, and India. In 2017, the value of hop import amounted to a “modest” figure of 1.3 million euros.
It should be noted that the culture of beer consumption keeps improving in the country. Not least thanks to small (craft) breweries and original beer varieties, which have gained immense popularity among locals and tourists. To date, the share of craft breweries in the Slovenian market is only 1%. It is planned to achieve 4–5% of market share following the example of Italian colleagues. It took Italian brewers 20 years to reach this results.