If you are a tourist in Slovenia, you will want to know about all the Slovene curiosities and specialties. On your way to Celje, Lasko, or Velenje from Ljubljana, you should absolutely stop by the beer fountain.
In September 2016, in the town of Žalec in Eastern Slovenia, a public beer fountain opened. It is the first and only one in the world. The fountain is named Green Gold, and it is a great meeting place for beers lovers, tourists, and curious people.
The beer fountain is a fun attraction for adults. It is very entertaining and is an excellent embodiment of Slovenia’s beer-drinking culture. If you are interested in this fountain and would like to go, here is all the information you need to know.
What Is the Beer Fountain?
The beer fountain is truly a unique attraction in the world. It won the Sejalec 2017 award, offered by the Slovenian Tourist Board because of its innovation.
The fountain was built by the company Remont. The fountain is in the shape of a hop flower in two semicircular designs.
You can get 10 cl from the six different beers at the beer fountain for the price of 8,00€. You will get a glass equipped with an electronic chip that activates the faucets when you put your glass under them. The technology came from the company Etra.
The mug you will get to drink the beer was designed by Oskar Kogoj, an industrial designer, and is produced by Hrastnik 1860. You can purchase a glass as a souvenir at the following places:
- Green Gold Shop at the country market, Savinjska cesta 11, Žalec – only when the beer fountain is opened,
- TIC Žalec, Šlandrov trg 25, Žalec
- Eco-Museum of Hop-Growing and Brewing Industry in Slovenia, Cesta žalskega tabora 2, Žalec
Among the beer offered, you will find the Kukec, Savinjsko pivo from the Težak Brewery. It is a beer named after the owner of breweries in Žalec and Laško, Simon Kukec. It is on the first tap.
On the second tap, you will find an ambassador beer. On the third fountain is a traditional beer made using old brewing methods. The beer from the Savinja and Šalek Regions are on the fourth tap. The fifth tap pours trend beers, and finally, in the sixth and final tap are dark beers.
The fountain is located in Žalec, near Celje, in the Lower Savinja region. The aim of installing it over there was to put the city on tourists’ maps, especially considering it is the hop-growing center of Slovenia. In the same town, you will also find the Eco-Museum of Hop-Growing and Brewing.
The beer fountain is located in the town park, in the town center, next to the church and the marketplace.
Here are the opening hours for the beer tasting at the Green Gold beer fountain:
- July, August: Monday: from noon to 8 p.m., Tuesday-Thursday: from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday – Saturday: from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday: from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- August: Monday – Thursday and Sunday: from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday – Saturday: from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- September: Monday: from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m, Tuesday- Thursday, Sunday – from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday – Saturday – from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- October: Monday: from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m, Tuesday- Thursday, Sunday – from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday – Saturday – from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The beer fountain is opened from April to October. During this time, there are many events organized next to it. When hop is ready to be harvested, it is held in the Green Gold festival in late summer. During this festival, you can taste delicious Slovene culinary specialties.
The Beer Drinking and Brewing Culture in Lower Savinje
Beer is one of Slovenians favorite drinks and the most popular drink globally. The drinking culture is significant in Slovenia. If you like wine, beer, and gin, you must not miss out on trying the Slovene specialties.
In Slovenia, drinking is very important. Many Slovenians make their own alcohol, but they also love to meet in bars or cafes to enjoy a good beer on a terrace. If you are a tourist in Slovenia, you will need to try this sweet life drinking a coffee, or a pint of beer at any time of the day.
This love for beer does not come out of anywhere. Indeed, Slovenia is an excellent country for hop growing and brewing, which is very important considering hop is one of beer’s main ingredients.
Let’s take a look at the history of beer and hop-growing in Slovenia. First of all, before you go and drink liters of the excellent Slovene beers, it is essential to know what the composition of beer is.
- First, beer is made with hops. These plants are used for their flavor and bitterness. They also are a natural preservative. They grow a lot in the Lower Savinja region, which is why there is such an important beer culture over there.
- After hops, beer is made with malt. This cereal grain is commonly used but can be replaced by wheat, rye, and buckwheat.
- The yeast used for beer brewing is also a crucial ingredient. It transforms the sugar created by the malt into alcohol and carbon dioxide. It also changes the flavor of the beer to give it its taste.
- Finally, water is the most significant ingredient in beer. Beer is mainly composed of water, but only a perfect combination of the four components can make a great beer.
Žalec is located in the Lower Savinja region, where the hop growing culture began during the reign of Empress Maria Theresa. The first hop plantation was in the Novo Celje Mansion. Even Žalec had its own brewery, but it closed after World War I.
Other Beer Curiosities in Slovenia
Union Brewery Ljubljana
Union craft beer is one of the most popular beers in Slovenia. A pint of this beer costs around 2,50 € and 3,00 €. There are different kinds: Union lager, Union unfiltered beer, Union unfiltered dark beer, Union non-alcoholic, Smile, Union Radler, and Union Dragon Selection.
The Union Brewery is located in the capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana, next to the Union Bar. It is possible to visit the brewery for a truly unique beer experience. The journey is called: the Union experience.
The Experience includes a visit to the Brewery Museum that exists since 1986 and a tour of the brewery’s production line to learn how Union beer is made.
- Opening hours: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 13:00, 14:30, 16:30, and 17:30.
- 14,00 € for adults
- 7,00 € for children aged between 6 and 18
- Meeting point: Union Bar
Eco-Museum of Hop-Growing and Brewing
The Eco-Museum of Hop-Growing and Brewing is located in the same area as the beer fountain, in the Lower Ssavinja Valley. If you stop by for a pint, you should absolutely go for a tour of the museum. The museum opened in 2009 and is located on a former hop-drying facility.
In this museum, you will learn about everything that is needed for growing and processing hops (products and tools). You will also get to know the traditions and specialties surrounding hop-growing and brewing.
Eco-Museum of Hop-Growing and Brewing Industry Slovenia
T: +386 3 571 80 21
Tourist Information Centre Žalec
T: +386 3 710 04 34
Beer Tour of Ljubljana
In Ljubljana, since Slovenia is a country with many beer fans, you can take a beer tour of the city. You will get to know everything about Slovenian beers, their production, their taste, as well as the beer drinking and brewing tradition.
During the tour, you will see the 3,900-year-old beer barrels found in the Ljubljana Marshes. You will take the Union experience we talked about, and you will taste eight different traditional Slovenian beers made by five different breweries.
- Minimum number of participants: 1
- Maximum number of participants: 30
- Duration: 3 hours
- Location: Ljubljana City Center
- Organizer: Turizem Ljubljana
Krekov trg 10, 1000 Ljubljana
Contact Person: Neža Lipanje
Phone: +386 (0)1 306 45 73
Let’s Have a Beer!
Beer is an essential tradition in Slovenia, and it is Slovenian’s favorite drink. You can enjoy a good beer everywhere in the country as you enjoy the dolce vita. One of the most unique places to drink a delicious beer is the Green Gold beer fountain in Žalec, since 2016.
If you are a tourist in Slovenia and you enjoy culinary and drinking specialties, you should definitely stop by the only beer fountain in the world. With all this beer, the only thing we can say is cheers! Or Na zdravje as you would say in Slovenian.