Beer in Serbia
The beer was first mentioned in the 15th century during the reign of despot Stefan Lazarević, as a new drink transferred from neighboring Kingdom of Hungary. It was cooked in households, taverns, and even in the residence of the despot. Its popularity rose several centuries later and industrial-scale production began in the mid-18th century.
Production, packaging and consumption
Serbian breweries produce 498 million liters annually. Serbia exports mainly to neighboring countries, such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro or Hungary, and to countries where there is significant Serbian diaspora, such as the Germany, Austria, United States and Canada.
Beer for home consumption is mostly sold in 0.5-liter bottles of deposit type (reused) and 0.33-liter glass bottles, as well as cans. Most breweries began packing their product in plastic Q-pack bottles of 1.5, 2 or even 2.5 litres. In bars and restaurants, beer is either served in 0.33L or 0.5L bottles or as "draught" (točeno).
Breweries and brands
There are three main breweries in Serbia which combined, control 95% of market share (as of 2016). These are: Apatin Brewery, Heineken Srbija and Carlsberg Srbija. The remaining of market share is controlled by domestic breweries Valjevo Brewery, BIP Brewery, Jagodina Brewery and Niš Brewery and 20 other minor breweries.
- Apatin Brewery (Jelen, Apatinsko, Jelen Cool, Jelen Fresh)
- Čelarevo Brewery (Lav, Merak)
- Novi Sad Brewery (Pils plus, MB, Master)
- Zaječar Brewery (Zaječarsko, Zaječarsko crno)
- BIP Brewery (BIP, Bg)
- Valjevska Pivara (Valjevsko)
- Jagodina Brewery (Jagodinsko)
- Niš Brewery (Niško)
- Apatin Brewery (Beck's, Stella Artois, Staropramen, Nikšićko)
- Čelarevo Brewery (Tuborg, Holsten)
- Novi Sad Brewery (Heineken, Amstel)
Belgrade Beer Fest
Started in 2003, Belgrade Beer Fest is held annually over 3–4 days at the foot of Belgrade's Kalemegdan fortress as a showcase event for various beer producers. In addition to domestic and foreign brews at affordable prices, the festival features live music performances each evening. It has quickly grown in size and popularity. On 31 December 2005 British daily The Independent named it as one of the worldwide events to visit in 2006.
- Karslberg ulaže 15 mil. € u Srbiju, B92, August 20, 2007
- Belgrade Beer Fest, www.belgradebeerfest.com
- Where in the world will you be? Archived 2006-01-28 at the Wayback Machine The Independent, 31 Dec 2005.
- "Dani Piva". Danipiva.rs. 2012-09-23. Retrieved 2013-03-07.
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- Efes Weifert: Manji gubici za 22% at b92.net (in Serbian)