It’s no longer a secret that Slovenians produce top quality beers. There are more and more boutique brewers of kraft beers, which stand out from the average of beer making giants. Until last year the competitions of Slovenian beers took place on the brewers’ platforms online and since 2017 the best beers started to win their awards also at the international gastronomy fair Gastexpo. Among various categories, the arbiters assess the beer appearance, taste, sensory and general impression. You can taste some of the best Slovenian kraft beers also at our Beer Tasting in Ljubljana.
According to the last annual competition organised by the Slovenian Home Brewers Association it is Domen Srebot, the main brewer of the Loo-Bla-Nah brewery, who currently reigns on the local homebrew scene of Slovenia, Croatia and elsewhere. Since our home and professional brewers are very intertwined and connected, they both can apply to the competitions.
For a while, Pelicon 3rd Pill was the best beer in our country. It’s a classic American style of IPA, a light beer with rich hop flavours and a long bitterness in the aftermath. It is made from hollow water, four types of barley malt and up to five hopes. The beer is a completely cloudy orange-amber colour with a medium and sufficiently persistent white foam on top. The connaisseurs are impressed also by the pleasant and fruitful aroma with slight tropical fruits, citrus, elderflower and even a mild pine odour at the end. According to the experts from the website www.pivo-man.blogspot.com, this is undoubtedly a beer for the IPA style lovers, due to its immense refreshingness characterized by its full flavour and a very pleasant aroma. Already after the first glass, a beer lover is clearly confident with the fact and the reason why this IPA beer has been chosen several times as the best Slovenian beer.
At this year’s international Gastexpo Food and Beverage Fair in Ljubljana celebrated Dark (dark lager) from Castra brewery. The beer has a black coal aspect with a higher beige puffy foam. Its aroma recalls a fresh bread with a slight roast touch. The taste reminds a gently roasted coffee with a sweet chocolate character and almost no bitterness. The second place went to the Baltic porter Baltic State of mind from Omnivar brewery and the bronze medal won a Belgian Quadrupel from Loo-Bla-Nah brewery. Last year winner was the sour beer 0 Order from one of our youngest breweries Barut Batch. Their first official beer is the Flemish red ale, the traditional Belgian style of beer, which matures for a year in red wine barrels.
“The appearance of the beer is clear copper red with a thinly whitish head,” as reported on the website www.pivo-man.blogspot.com. The aroma is slightly gentler with acid tones of red wine in combination with smoother notes of berries with a wooden taste note. Its taste can also recall a sweet cherry liquor and vanilla cigarillos. “A gentle, slightly caramel, initial sweetness soon takes on an acidic character with a bit of wine quality, followed by a woody and nutty taste with some mild herbal supplements, but the gentle acidic character nevertheless remains the main thing for a while,” as the expert points out.
The best rated on the Ratebeer platform is Starvation by Reservoir Dogs, which has been one of the top ten black IPA beers in the world for two years now. You can taste this beer and learn something about it at the beer tasting in Ljubljana. This black imperial IPA with 8% alcohol was described on the Pivopis website as a dark brown to black beer with an attractive and persistent creamy brownish foam. The smell is characterized by citruses, pine trees and grapefruit which also include delicate aromas of coffee and chocolate where even a shade of caramel is detected in the background. The taste is smooth and well balanced with malt, so alcohol is barely perceptible. Bitterness is appropriate for the number of hops, but it is still pleasant as it completes in the perfect beer experience. Even in a rather dry taste, you can find some bitter attributes of coffee and dark chocolate. The carbonization is fairly low and the feeling in the mouth is slightly creamy. The predominantly dry aftertaste and a pleasant bitterness last for quite a long time.
On the Untapped application dominates Lobik brewery from Styria region. It was primarily presented at the Ljubljana Beer Festival in 2016. They started with experimental and alternative beers, such as the chocolate stout and elderflower ale, becoming among the first in the region with New England pale ale beer. Because of their commitment to being different, they also produce particular sour beers as they added the local fruit and Provencal lavender to the bacteria and yeast.