This post may contain affiliate links, which help us generate revenue so that we can keep producing awesome content for you. We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for using our links and giving us the opportunity to share a sliver of this great big world with you.
When my sister and I visited Ljubljana, Slovenia last month, we instantly fell in love. When we found out that Ljubljana’s craft beer scene has been booming in recent years, we fell even more in love. If you are a beer lover like us, you’ll want to spend an evening discovering Slovenia’s best craft beers with A Beer Lover’s Experience of Ljubljana.
1. Lokal: Human Fish Brewery
Upon meeting our guide, Anze, we headed over to our first stop, Lokal. Here, we sampled an India Pale Ale (IPA) by Human Fish Brewery. Anze joked that Slovenia’s national animal is the human fish.
The IPA was not hoppy at all based on what I’m used to in the U.S., but when I mentioned to Anze that the Human Fish IPA tasted like a very mild IPA, he disagreed. He said this was about as hoppy as IPAs get in Slovenia. I have learned on previous beer tours around the world that hops can only grow in a very specific climate, so it’s possible that Slovenia (or Europe in general) does not have the sort of climate necessary to grow strong hops. Although I love beer of all kinds (except sours), I rarely gravitate toward IPAs because I am rarely in the mood for such a hoppy drink, so I was quite pleased to find that the strong IPAs I tend to stay away from in the U.S. simply do not even exist in Slovenia.
One thing I loved about getting beers in Slovenia is that they always seemed to be accompanied by complimentary snacks. At Lokal, we received an entire board of olives, cheeses, meats, and pretzel sticks to enjoy with our Human Fish IPA.
2. Captain’s Cabin: Maister Brewery
Having enjoyed our first beer outdoors in the sunshine, we switched it up and went to a basement bar next. Captain’s Cabin is decorated in a nautical theme and was quite empty when we arrived around 6:00pm. Here, we sampled another IPA called the General Maister IPA. This one was brewed by Maister Brewery in Komnik, Slovenia. Maister Brewery is “gypsy brewery,” which means the owner rents – rather than owns – all the materials it uses to brew its beers.
While similarly tasty to the Human Fish IPA, it was again a very mild IPA by American standards. After sampling two IPAs in a row, I looked forward to trying some different types of beers next.
3. Makalonca: Mali Grad (Little Castle)
The next location on our Beer Lover’s Experience of Ljubljana was a complete change of pace, as we moved from the dark basement at Captain’s Cabin back outside to a beautiful outdoor patio on the Ljubljianica River. At Makalonca, we sampled a pale ale brewed by the Mali Grad (“Little Castle”) Brewery. Mali Grad is the smallest brewery out of all the breweries we sampled on the craft beer tour and only makes 6,000 liters of beer each year. That may sound like a large number, but to stretch that over the course of an entire year makes it a pretty rare find. Unlike the IPAs, the pale ale tasted like the pale ales I am used to in the U.S.
Out of all the bars we visited on the craft beer tour, Makalonka may have been my favorite. Even if you choose to forego the Beer Lover’s Experience of Ljubljana, I would highly recommend visiting Makalonka for a drink when the weather is nice. I could’ve sat out on the patio all afternoon enjoying this view, but we had to move on to our next stop.
4. Hotel Tresor: Hercules Witbier
My favorite types of beers are witbiers and Belgians, and I had the opportunity to sample a witbier at the fourth stop on our craft beer tour: Hotel Tresor. Anze led us to the bar area of the hostel on the first floor, where we sampled a witbier from Hercules Brewery. We were again given boards of snacks to munch on while enjoying our beers. The staff were very friendly, and it just seemed like a fun and relaxed place to stay in Ljubljana.
Not surprisingly, the Hercules Witbier was my favorite beer on the tour. Witbiers are perfect for hot summer days like the one we had in Ljubljana when we went on the craft beer tour.
5. Union Brewery
Our fifth and final stop brought us to the most well known brewery in Ljubljana, Union Brewery. Right after we arrived, we were greeted by a tour guide and given a tour of the original brewery located upstairs. I found it interesting that Union grows its own hops and even exports it to other regions, but it only uses malt imported from other regions as it is not economical for Union to produce its own malts.
After getting a tour and brief history of the brewery, we headed back downstairs to the outdoor patio and were given three tasters and some snacks. We sampled a regular lager, an unfiltered lager, and an unfiltered dark beer. I find it hard to drink dark beers in very hot weather, so it worked out perfectly that the weather had cooled down by the time we received our samplers at Union Brewery.
After we finished our samplers, our group stayed at Union and enjoyed another beer, the comfortable weather, and each others’ company.
For a beer lover, I can’t think of anything more fun than spending the evening discovering Slovenia’s best craft beers with A Beer Lover’s Experience of Ljubljana. Our guide, Anze, was not only very knowledgeable about beers, but he was also very funny and related well to the group.
Looking for more fun things to do in Slovenia? Then you might want to check out these posts:
- The Perfect 3 Day Itinerary for Ljubljana
- Glamping in Slovenia With Big Berry
- Slovenian Food: 5 Best Restaurants in Slovenia
- Explore the Tastes of Ljubljana With Taste Ljubljana’s Culinary Tour
- Cycling and Food Tour in the Heart of Slovenia
A Beer Lover’s Experience of Ljubljana
Phone: +386 (0)1 306 12 15
Mondays & Fridays at 6:00PM
Like it? Love it? Pin it!
A big thank you to Ljubljana Tourism for making our tour possible. As always, all opinions are 100% our own.
If you love beer you should go to South Africa either Cape Town or Stellenbosch, or both! They have so many craft beers and it is becoming all and more popular. However, this tour you did sounds so great! I’d love to do this with my sisters (I have 3). Jealous you got to do it with yours. hehe. If I am ever in Slovenia, I will book this for sure!
I would love to do a craft beer tour in Ljubljana! I’m not the biggest beer expert, I just know if I like it or not! You’re totally right about the view from that bar, it’s so pretty. I will remember your post for when I go!
Although I’m not really a beer lover, reading this article also makes me want to try all the beer experiences here. I didn’t know much about Ljubljana, but I’m googling travelling to Slovenia now thanks to your article. A visit to Union Brewery will definitely top my list!
Mmmm, warm weather and cold beverages, with a view! These look like great brewery tours and education on the local (beer) agriculture. All of the snack plates look delicious, too.
Slovenia has become a foodie destination on my radar since I watched Chef’s Table. That country is just stunning! I would love to try the IPAs and go on a food tour as well. Great recommendations!
Ljubljana is one of my travel bucket list items. This craft beer tour is very interesting. Even though I love wine more than beer, it’s still a great way to immerse in the local culture!
Looks like a fun tour! I’m not much of a beer-drinker myself, but my husband would love the brews and I would love eating my way through those snacks! LOL. Ljubljana is one of my favorite cities–I love how much funky personality it squeezes into a small space.
Beer Tour in Ljubljana is really worth going. I don’t take beer, but my husband loves craft beer so he would enjoy really. Union Brewery tour is most tempting as it stores beer in authentic wooden barrels on carts. Thanks for sharing!
The beer tour in Ljubljana sounds very interesting. I never thought Slovenia as a country to explore beer scenes but this post completely changed my mind. The Hercules Witbier is a place I will definitely enjoy as I love witbier. Bookmarking this fpr future reference, thanks a ton :).
Even though I’m not a huge beer drinker, I bet this would be fun – I love food tours, so why not? I’m surprised at some of the large portions, though, I’m afraid I might be a little loopy by the end of the tour!
My beer/lager/hop knowledge jumped exponentially after reading this post, since I am just a red wine person (California). Looks like you had a lot of fine on your breweries tour! I like how they had bites to go with all that alcohol.
Mmmmm beer!! Who would have known there were so many craft breweries there?? We have been traveling all over the US and have been to many, and looking to dona favorite list soon!
Beer trail looks so much fun!!! beer to the brim served with tasty food at a picturesque location, now who would not want that!!! Lucky you ??
I was looking at visiting Slovenia – Ljubljana and Lake Bled – last year but decided on Belgium instead. I feel like I missed out!
I just love the fact that not only do the beers sound amazing but the snacks that go with it – bring it on! Did not know that Slovenia was a beer lover’s paradise!
I wish I knew about this beer tour a month earlier! I had a three-day stay in Ljubljana and was looking for some funky activities. Hopefully, I will take this tour the next time I’m there!
Beer 🙂 count me in!