Ljubljana, 15. 6. 2017 – Summer is the time most people look forward to. Why wouldn’t they? Warm weather, vitamin sea, lemonade and ice cream, sun is out and we need to go out, and preferably with a beer in our hand! Since Slovenians are traditionally big fans of beer, it is not surprising that in recent years a real brewing revolution evolved with ever more microbreweries and their various brews, and a great deal of cultured beer drinkers expanding their knowledge at numerous festivals, such as the upcoming Beer & Burger festival. But how to choose the right beer for the summer with all that rich range? We asked a few Ljubljana beer gurus what foreign and Slovenian beer they recommend to cool off this season.
Damir Galijaš, head of boutique beer shop Že v redu, Primož:
“Currently there is quite a few brewers, types and flavors that I like since we have a lot of good beer on the market. But if I have to choose the best three, the choice is: Amager (Denmark) Todd the Ax Man – India Pale Ale, Põhjala (Estonia) Prenzlauer Berg – Berliner Weisse with raspberry, Hopsbrew (Slovenia) Juicy IPA – New England Pale Ale. I suppose the hits for this summer will be: Slovenian Pelicon Summer Ale and 3rd Pill IPA, Hopsbrew -juicy IPA, Tropical Wheat and 5 o’clock IPA, Reservoir Dogs Grim Reaper – IPA, Conqueror – session IPA and Cum grano Salis – gose with cherries, Tektonik OL#5, Mali grad Šlagerica – lager and some suprises from Lobik brewery. Favorite foreign beers would be Brewdog Elvis Juice, Põhjala Kirg IPA, Uus Maailm Session IPA, Prenzlauer Berg, Garden Brewery (Croatia, Zagreb) Session Ale and Citrus IPA, and new brews from Kabinet (Serbia).”
Enisa Mujezinovič, team Beer & Burger Fest:
“Last year I was impressed with the style session IPA which is lighter, with less alcohol. So this year I will certainly enjoy many such beers like Mali grad’s Kolibri (with a new same named indigenous Slovenian hops) and Bevog’s Zo. From foreign breweries I am also impressed by lighter styles of the Estonian brewery Põhjala.”
Marco Vidmar, head of Sir William’s pub:
“Ugh, the decision is difficult as I am surrounded by gorgeous brews of domestic and foreign breweries all day every day. It would therefore be difficult to talk about my personal preferences because they depend on the season and beer novelties in the Slovenian market, but by all means in the summer I recommend more light, refreshing styles, for example some dry, bitter Pils, Berliner Weisse or Gose.”
Tanja Švegelj, beermobil TANKR:
“I definitely recommend this year’s most popular beer style NEIPA (New England India Pale Ale). It’s utterly fruity – by the looks and taste, a bit less hoppy, very very drinkable and meant for beer lovers who aim for a less hoppier IPA. There’s quite a few of those made in Slovenia already too: first were Green Gold Brewing in collaboration with Lobik brewery, then Tektonik with OL #5, now there’s Hopsbrew’s Juicy – a real bomb! I have a strong liking in these hot summer days for Hopster’s weizen – with 3,9% alcohol and splendid aroma it definitely hits the bullseye. I also love sour beers, for example Berliner Weisse style – I recommend another colabrew from Kabinet with Bulgarian brewery White Stork and their Sofiiski Weisse. Slovenian pioneers would be the crazy styles brewers Reservoir Dogs with their gose – another old German wheat-based brewing style but in this case with added salt and coriander – their Cum Grano Salis is definitely something you should not miss. And there is a limited edition with added cherries, to boot.”
Marko Hren, blogger at Pivo man (Beer bottles collection):
“I generally prefer hoppier beers with a higher degree of bitterness, intense fruity aroma and a fruity aftertaste. Thus, my favorite styles would be light and dark IPA or APA. In the hot summer months, however, I like reaching for a lighter and refreshing brew which includes a gentle sour taste, such as Berliner Weisse and Gose, and for the more courageous I recommend also sour ale. This summer it appears that the hit style will be (or already is) NEIPA. Since we expect an abundance of it, I propose crisp NEIPA from tap. Of Slovenian brewers, I most often reach for breweries like Pelicon, Reservoir Dogs and Hopsbrew – no doubt they are high quality and to my taste. From foreign breweries available here I would highlight Swedish Brewski (and their fruity IPA) and collaboration Buxton-Omnipollo. ”
So that’s what our beer experts say, but for the ones who’re not very fond of that drink, we’ve asked the owner of wine store Štorija David Šinigoj what he recommends in the wine department: “Very popular now are rose wines which will cool down and delight your taste buds, or quality dry sparkling wine. Just do not forget to chill them really well as their flavors really come to the forefront that way.”
And another thing: if you’re not fed up yet with “ultimate Summer beer song” Djomla KS & LuckyStars feat Vertify – Gajba Puna Piva, turn the speaker on with, of course, your well-chosen beer. And do not forget to enjoy it in moderation – especially the volume! 😉
Ministry of Health warns: excessive drinking of alcohol is harmful to your health.