Beer in Serbia

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Bottles of popular Serbian brands

Beer (Serbian language: пиво / pivo) is a popular beverage in Serbia.

History[edit]

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[edit]

Serbian breweries produce 498 million litres annually.[1] Serbia exports mainly to neighbouring 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-litre bottles of deposit type (reused) and 0.33-litre 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 0.33 or 0.5L bottles, or as "draught" (točeno).

Serbia ranks 38th by beer consumption per capita, with 60 litres a year.[2]

Breweries and brands[edit]

Zaječarsko

There are 8 breweries in Serbia, two of which are owned by Heineken International, one by Molson Coors and one by Carlsberg Group. Three largest are Apatin Brewery (largest in the Balkans; installed capacity of 4.5 million hl annually), Čelarevo Brewery (1.7 million hl), and Novi Sad Brewery (1.5 million hl).

Most popular domestic brand is Jelen, followed by Lav.[3] Some foreign brands are distributed, while some are produced locally under license (mostly by its respective brand owners).

Pale lager has been the traditional beer choice for Serbians, and dark lager, while being popular, is produced in smaller quantities. Some breweries produce kvass.

Domestic brands[edit]

Foreign brands[edit]

Beer festivals[edit]

Belgrade Beer Fest[edit]

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.[8] On 31 December 2005 British daily The Independent named it as one of the worldwide events to visit in 2006.[9]

Dani piva[edit]

Dani Piva (Beer Days) is a beer festival in Zrenjanin, started in 1985, organised by the Zrenjanin brewery (Zrenjaninska industrija piva).[10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]