In previous decades, Slovenia was full of microbreweries with around 200 in operation. The microbreweries were gradually bought up and closed down by the two national beer giants, Union and Lasko, in an effort to eliminate the competition. Today, the town of Kamnik is a haven for microbreweries.
For decades, entering a bar in Slovenia and ordering a beer was only a question of choosing red (the color of the Union can) or green (the Lasko). Then starting in the late 90s, a few pizza pubs started making beer alongside local independent microbrewers. Today, there are between 60 and 80 microbreweries in Slovenia, many of which can be found in the city of Kamnik.
The reason there are so many microbreweries concentrated in Kamnik comes down to one thing: its water. Kamnik is celebrated for having pure, good quality water. Water is crucial in beer-making because of its calcium.
Calcium determines the “hardness” of water and helps to define the flavor and clarity in a finished beer. In Kamnik—where oddly enough the water quality changes just a short drive out of town—water quality plays a big role in the number of microbreweries popping up.
Know Before You Go
You can taste the local beers at Gostilna Korobac or Pub Pub Skalo, both in Kamnik. For more information or for beer-related tours, you can contact Tourism Kamnik.