Photo by Radomír Režný
Photo by Radomír Režný

Union: Slovenia's favorite brewery

by Karen Bradbury
Stripes Europe

The Union Brewery, one of the largest breweries in Slovenia, was established as the small family enterprise of brothers Ivan and Peter Kosler in Ljubljana back in 1864. The Union brand came into being in 1909, when a joint stock company founded by the brothers united with two other breweries. Over the following decades, it acquired several of the country’s other smaller breweries. In 1946, when Slovenia was a part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the brewery was nationalized. In 2015, Union became part of Heineken’s global empire, and in 2016, the Union brand was merged with Laško, another one of the country’s biggest breweries.

Brewery tour and pub

Those who conquer the 306 stairs making up part of the Union Experience guided tour are rewarded with historical tidbits, a peek at the brewing and bottling processes of yesteryear, advertising campaigns from decades past, tastings along the way and a souvenir to take home. The museum tour is followed by trip through the modern brewing facility.

Tours cost 14 euros for adults, 7 euros for those ages 6-18, and are free for those ages five and under. The facility is located at Celovshka cesta 22, Ljubljana 1000.

Pivnica Union, a pub run by the brewery, offers a wide choice of beers made right in house and by Laško. Draught beer is poured from some twenty beer taps, and it’s the only pub in the country where Pivovarna Union's Bok, Triglav, and Amber beers are available on draught. Pivnica Selection, a beer brewed exclusively for the pub’s guests, changes on a monthly basis. The pub serves meals, including Slovenian classics, roasts and a goulash.

In addition to Union’s light, red, alcohol-free and unfiltered beers, be on the lookout for the Union Pivnica Selection Pale Ale. Nicely wrapped in red paper, it offers citrusy-tropical aromas and a bitter finish.

 

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