Beer for Slovakia was and is still not only a drink but a kind of a national idea, a culinary expression of Slovak traits of character. The traditions of brewing in Slovakia are the oldest ones in Europe. Even in the 10-th century every peasant who respects himself had its own brewery on his farm.
A lot has changed from those times. Nowadays the majority of eminent Slovak breweries are bought by transnational corporations. For example one of the best sorts of Slovak beer are a Golden Pheasant (Zlaty Bazant) and Kelt – they belong to the concern Heineken nowadays. These sorts of beer are produced on a factory in the town Nitra.
Nevertheless a national pride hasn’t allowed Slovakia to sell out all its beer industry. A whole set of breweries still remains in Slovak ownership. The oldest brewery in the town Banskaya Shtiavnica is one of them. Beer has been brewed here during the last five and even more centuries.
It’s admitted to single out three main sorts of beer which are considered to be an etalon in Slovakia. This is a beer Topvar, Saris and Martiner. Topvar is brewed in the factory in Topolchany not far from Trenchin and still remains in Slovak ownership. Its quality is so high that it has become famous by far outside Slovakia. This sort of beer is worth the title of an official beer of Olympiad in Sydney in the year 2000.
The sort Saris is produced in a factory Velki Saris. The brand doesn’t belong to Slovak people – its new owners are the company SAB from UAR. Nevertheless a classical taste of saris has been kept. Nowadays it’s one of the most popular sorts of dark beer in Slovakia.
Martiner which is owned by Heineken produces Bazant along with Zlaty in Nitra. It’s really a success that a formulation of Martiner hasn’t undergone any serious changes while changing the place of its brewery from a native town Martin to Nitra. Till nowadays Martiner is one of the best Slovak lagers.
The best way to get acquainted with the majority of sorts of Slovak beer is to get to the country in June. As a rule a ten-day Unifest – a holiday of brewery which is an analogy to a famous German Oktoberfest starts in Bratislava in the capital of Slovakia beginning from the 9-th of this very month.