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Beer
Every first Friday in August since 2007 the world has been celebrating the International Beer Day, which is dedicated to all lovers of beer, brewers, hops producers and owners of pubs. Foto: Reuters
       The popularity of beer among Slovenians is evident from the statistical data of the National Institute of Public Health indicating that of all alcoholic beverages residents of Slovenia consume mostly beer; in 2015 on average 97.6 litres per person. As far as popularity goes, beer was followed by wine and spirits.       

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Slovenians are big lovers of beer, this oldest and most popular alcoholic beverage

International Beer Day
4. August 2017 ob 15:24
Ljubljana - MMC RTV SLO

International Beer Day: Slovenia has a long tradition of beer brewing. Despite its small size, it has a very strong and rich brewing industry, in which small boutique, nomadic and other breweries dominate. Of all alcoholic beverages, beer is among Slovenes the most popular.

International Beer Day
Every first Friday in August since 2007 the world has been celebrating the International Beer Day, which is dedicated to all lovers of beer, brewers, hops producers and owners of pubs.

The beginnings of International Beer Day celebrations go back to the Californian city of Santa Cruz in the United States. From there the celebration spread in a few years’ time throughout the world. Each year more and more countries participate in this celebration. The International Beer Day is today celebrated on 6 continents, in more than 50 countries and 207 cities around the world.

Slovenia also celebrates this day but only last year the celebration was first planned and organized.

Beer is a very popular alcoholic beverage in Slovenia
Beer is a very popular beverage not only in the world, but also in Slovenia, which has a strong and rich brewing industry and a long tradition of beer brewing. According to the first written records, beer brewing in Slovenia dates back to 1160.

The popularity of beer among Slovenians is evident from the statistical data of the National Institute of Public Health indicating that of all alcoholic beverages residents of Slovenia consume mostly beer; in 2015 on average 97.6 litres per person. As far as popularity goes, beer was followed by wine and spirits.

Where is more and where is less beer drank than in Slovenia? According to the data of the Brewers of Europe Association, in the EU the Czechs drink on average 86% more beer and the Italians and the French on average 60% less beer per year than the Slovenians, while Croatians and Finns drink roughly the same.

In ten years’ time the prices of beer increased by almost a half
In Slovenia in 2016 the price for a 1 litre of light beer for home use was EUR 1.98. In ten years’ time the prices of beer in Slovenia have increased by 42.4%.

In 2015 retail trade in Slovenia generated EUR 153 million with beer sales.

The largest beer producer in the EU is Germany
Despite the relatively large number of breweries in the country, Slovenia cannot be classified among the largest beer producers in the EU. In fact it ranks very low in beer production. In EU Member States less beer than in Slovenia is produced only in Estonia, Latvia, Cyprus, Luxembourg and Malta. Of all the beer produced in Slovenia, the most is consumed in our homes; the rest is sold in bars, hotels, restaurants and shops.

Most breweries in Slovenia are microbreweries (boutique, nomadic, pub breweries, etc.)
According to the data of the Brewers of Europe Association, there were 55 active breweries in Slovenia in 2015, of which 32 had as their main registered activity production of beer. More than a third of them were from the Osrednjeslovenska statistical region.

According to their size these are mostly microbreweries with yearly production up to 1,000 hectolitres (boutique, nomadic, pub breweries, etc.). In 2015 there were approximately 50 such breweries. The number of microbreweries increased the most in 2014, when 21 new microbreweries were established.

Some interesting beer facts:
- Beer is the oldest alcoholic beverage; it was already known to the Mesopotamians and the ancient Egyptians.

- Preceded by water and tea, beer is the third most popular beverage.


- According to Kirin Beer University the Czechs have been the biggest consumers of beer in the world for the past 23 years.

- Beer has a positive effect on health if it is consumed moderately (it prevents diabetes, lowers the chance of heart disease, etc.).

- The strongest beer in the world contains 67.5% of alcohol and originates from Scotland.

- In Slovenia there are the Slovenian Institute of Hop Research and Brewing and two museums dedicated to beer, Pivovarski muzej in Ljubljana and Ekomuzej hmeljarstva in pivovarstva Slovenije at Žalec.

- There is a map of the Slovenian breweries.

- Slovenian words for beer (pivo), brewer (pivovar) and brewery (pivovarna) were taken from the Czech language. Pivo first denoted any drink, while the word pivovar is a combination of the words pivo and variti (to brew), so pivovar (a brewer) is the one who brews beer.

Slovenia exports more beer than it imports
Slovenia is mainly export orientated, since more beer is exported to other countries than imported from them.

In 2016 Slovenia exported EUR 35.8 million of beer, namely EUR 25.9 million of beer to the EU Member States (mainly to Italy, Croatia and United Kingdom) and EUR 9.9 million of beer to non-EU countries (mainly to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo and China).

In 2016 Slovenia also imported beer, namely in the amount of EUR 32.1 million, of which EUR 31.6 million from the EU Member States (mainly from Austria, Italy and Croatia) and EUR 0.5 million from non-EU countries (mostly from Serbia).

Slovenia is among the largest producers of hops in the world
The brewing industry is very well connected to hops production because – in addition to water, malt and yeast – hops is one of the main ingredients in brewing. As well as brewing, also the production of hops in Slovenia has a long tradition. Slovenia is one of the world's largest producers of hops, since it harvests about 2–3% of the global harvest of hops and more than 17 different varieties of hops among which the most popular ones are Aurora, Savinjski golding, Celeia and Bobek.

According to provisional data, Slovenia produced 2,478 tons of hops on 1,485 hectares in 2016, which is 20% more than in the previous year. As far as hops is concerned, Slovenia is mainly export oriented, since most of the hops grown in Slovenia are exported around the world and only a small proportion is sold on the Slovenian market to brewers and others.

Enjoy beer responsively!
If you consider yourself a beer lover, you will definitely enjoy a beer on this day or you will give it away as a present to you friends – but above all, enjoy it responsibly.

Jana Živec, Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia

Jana Živec, Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia