Mention Laško to any Slovene, and most of them will instantly think of beer. The brewing story of Slovenia which is now filled with numerous independent breweries all began in Laško, a town with the leading brewery in Slovenia. Laško beer is an integral part of both regional and national culture.
The town of Laško is where you can taste the different flavors from the world-renowned brewery, and discover more about the process and history of beer making. Beer wellness has also become a hot trend because of the benefits it offers.
The Beer Experience in Slovenia
For all you know, your favorite new beer also contains hops that come from Slovenia. If you ever find yourself wandering the streets of Slovenia, trying the local beer made by the different small and large brewers is an experience you should never miss.
The country of Slovenia has long been known for its rich and varied culinary specialties. The Slovenian soil provides a wealth of tastes that you can easily recognize not just on your plate but also in your glass.
Aside from its world-class wines, the country also takes great pride in its excellent varieties of beer. The incredible drink with its frothy foam that their ancestors first adored a long time ago feels even better during hot summer days.
Slovenes also love to use beer when making toast. Aside from the two biggest Slovenian breweries in Ljubljana and Laško, Slovenia is also filled with many other smaller breweries. Laško town even holds an annual festival devoted to Laško beer.
A visit to the capital city will also give you a chance to go on guided tastings of its craft beer. Better yet, you can undergo and enjoy beer wellness treatments that are simply nothing like the ones you had before.
The Early Beginnings of Slovenian Beer
The story of Slovenian beer starts in green hop gardens. Just so you know, Slovenia is one of the world’s biggest producers of green gold. The Lower Savinja Valley is the center of hop growing in Slovenia where you can learn more about the tradition of beer making and hop growing at Žalec’s Eco-Museum of Hop Growing and the Brewing Industry.
Beer plays a significant role in Slovenia. The very first written records regarding beer brewing in the location of modern-day Slovenia date as far back as the 12th century. The rise of craft and microbreweries started in the 19th century.
Back then, a brewery called Mengeš produced three bottles of the oldest preserved beer not just in Slovenia but also in the entire continent of Europe. These are all kept and produced at the Mengeš Town Museum.
When World War II ended, the breweries in Talis, Union, and Laško dominated the brewing industry. For the past several years, there is also a renewed rise in the area’s microbreweries which are more than 100 right now.
Unique Laško Beer Experiences
Laško is among the key centers of the brewing industry in Slovenia. This is also where you can find the oldest and one of Slovenia’s two leading breweries that are still in operation to this day. Its beginnings date as far back as 1825.
The moment you arrive in Laško, you can look forward to encountering its rich brewing tradition every step of the way. Every year in July, the streets of Laško come alive with the sound of music filling the air. You can get your fill of beer and other local specialties.
There are also different workshops and events during the Beer and Flowers Festival. You can even try your luck in escaping from the brewing-themed escape room in the very house where the first jug of beer in the area was brewed. And if you want to experience the unique beer wellness treatment that uses beer and its beneficial ingredients Thermana Laško is the best place to be.
Laško Brewery and the History of Beer Brewing
Laško Brewery is Slovenia’s largest brewery located in the town of Laško and named after it. Franz Geyer, a mead producer, and gingerbread baker founded the brewery in 1825. After the end of the Second World War in 1945, Laško became the fight largest in Yugoslavia, and when 1991 came, it became the biggest out of the 28 breweries in the area.
Unfortunately, it lost most of the Yugoslav during the same year after Slovenia declared independence and during the Ten-Day War that ensued. But the sales shoot back up throughout the 1990s. Union and Laško were formally merged in 2016 under Owner Heineken into Pivovarna Laško Union d.d,
The lecturer and physician Franz Geyer established a craft brewery in 1825 in what used to be a Valvasor Hospital where the area’s first brewer possibly brewed stone beer or Steinbier or otherwise called Carinthia for 13 years. But it remains unknown if Geyer also didn’t know how to produce a Bavarian beer which is technologically more demanding.
Heinrich August Uhlich bought the brewery in 1838 and gave a real reputation to Laško beer. As the owner of Rimske Toplice’s bathhouse, he probably served beer to his foreign guests. Also, because of his Trieste origin, he might have driven there as well, a commercial center filled with connoisseurs of good drink and food. Uhlich also proved himself as an enterprising wholesaler, with his beer drunk in Calcutta and Alexandria.
Anton Larisch, the next owner, built a new brewery at the foot of Šmihel and St. Kristofa in 1867 and was the biggest in Spodnji Štajersko during that time. Larisch was popular for having personal control of the beer quality and improved it as well. He also increased the brewery’s capacity.
A brewer from Žal and a nationalist who was strongly Slovene-oriented, Simon Kukec, bought the brewery in 1889. Since he was a good businessman, financier, and organizer, and with a particular fondness for innovations, Kukec is regarded as the most important name in the history of Laško beer and brewery.
Laško beer is a unique drink that not only satisfies your taste buds but offers a unique beer wellness experience as well.
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