Kamnik Is the Capital of Slovenian Craft Brewing
The craft breweries of Kamnik, the Maister Brewery and the Barut Brewing and Blending, appear increasingly more popular.
In Slovenia, according to the latest Pivopis ranking data, there are 87 craft breweries. Only in the last year (from March 2017 to March 2018), 23 microbreweries were opened. During the reporting period, the microbreweries produced 1.25 million litres of original beer, while other small breweries produced 850 thousand litres, that is total of 2.1 million litres. Despite the rapid growth, their market share is only 2.25%. The total volume of beer produced in Slovenia over the past year is 93 million litres, and the total volume of imported beer is 56 million litres.
In the municipality of Kamnik, there are 5 breweries. Their workers note that the water in Kamnik is suitable for all types of beer, since it does not require long processing. A few minerals and salt should be added only. Since Slovenia does not produce barley malt, it is bought in the UK, Germany and Belgium. Hops, used to impart bitterness to beer, is either local or Czech. To impart the right flavour to beer, American or German hops is imported. All breweries buy yeasts abroad, except for the Barut Brewing and Blending, which produces yeasts independently. All brewers prioritize quality and purity, as well as the right combination of ingredients for specific beers.
Near the Little Castle (Slovene: Mali grad), in the immediate vicinity of the historic centre of Kamnik, the Maister Brewery has been producing craft beer since the last autumn. The brewery is named after General Rudolph Maister. His name is also given to the first beer brewed here – General Maister. All varieties of beer in this brewery are unfiltered and unpasteurized. Currently, the brewery produces between 13 and 20 thousand litres of beer per month. It is the leader in terms of production in the municipality. In the first year of work, it reached a 100% growth rate.
Barut Brewing and Blending has been operating in the territory of the former military training ground on the northern outskirts of the city since last year. The main feature of the brewery is that it prepares yeast itself to be used for the preparation of its own, mainly acid beers. Hops with mild bitterness is also used for brewing beer. The brewery’s products are sold in Ljubljana, in other regions of the country and even beyond its borders. Since beer brands of this producer have market potential, it currently works on expanding its exports. The company cooperates with other Slovenian and Croatian breweries, exchanges knowledge and experience, participates in specialized events.
In the settlement of Šmarca pri Kamniku, the Mali Grad brewery operates. Today it is the second largest brewery in terms of production volume in the municipality. Mali Grad brews various types of beer, including the original draft beer, which you can try in the Točilnica Bar, located on the first floor of the brewery. In addition to the ingredients and the specifics of their processing, hygiene is of key importance at all stages of production. Water and yeast play a special role. In winter, Mali Grad brews 10,000 litres of beer per month, and in summer, the production volume is doubled.
For about a year and a half, the Lampelj brewery has been operating in Kamnik. Today, it only brews the top fermentation beer – about 800 litres per month. Lampelj relies on the quality of ingredients and the harmony of tastes. Lampelj sells its products in Central Slovenia. Local brewers are convinced that a good name and quality product is the best advertisement.
Home brewery Pod Menino produces Menin’c beer. Pod Menino is a family farming household that grows hops for its own use and brewing. It brews top fermentation beer with five flavours. To prepare a good beer, in addition to quality raw materials, the appropriate temperatures of individual processes, purity, skill of the brewer and the time necessary for the maturation of beer are needed. Workers of the brewery take water from a well-spring without filtering it. The volume of the brewery’s production makes several thousand litres per year. Pod Menino sells its beer in local restaurants and bars. In parallel, the company is working on new methods of brewing, as emphasized in Pod Menino, especially in winter, when the time itself favours creativity.