Wednesday, 8 September 2021

Much Loved Croatian Zmajska Pivovara Enjoys Million Euro Revenue

September the 8th, 2021 - The Croatian Zmajska pivovara (brewery) has been around for a while and is often considered to have been the catalyst for the blossoming and very popular Croatian craft beer scene. It has experienced an increase in revenue and has developed a few new looks.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Sergej Novosel Vuckovic writes, the anniversary of it having been seven years since the launch of the first ''dragons'' (zmajevi) was marked last weekend by the Croatian Zmajska pivovara. The celebration took place in ''the dragon's nest'' in Jankomir, and on that occasion, the company's products were visually refreshed, after the new logo was unveiled back in July.

At the ceremony, called Zmajevo novo ruho (The dragon's new round), the new labels from the Croatian Zmajska pivovara brewery that practically kicked off the local revolution of craft brewing, and which is still in progress, were presented.

The visual aspect of Pale Ale, Porter, Pozoje and other favourites are now in line with the top quality of the product, said the owners of the brewery, Andrej Capka and Hrvoje Cirjak, emphasising that the new visual is more modern and direct, and yet still recognisable.

“It captures the essence of the Croatian Zmajska pivovara and and the main values ​​of the brand: leadership, independence, uncompromisingness, inspiration, courage, and mastery,” they stated from the company.

This brewery has otherwise very much been stabilised and become known as the flagship of the Croatian craf beer scene, a scene that already has more than 100 small independent players on it, and 45 types of beer have been placed on the market so far from Jankomir.

Since back in 2014, 1.5 million euros have been invested in plant and equipment, today, the Croatian Zmajska pivovara has revenues of around one million euros per year, with a growth rate of 20 percent, they say. They also ended pandemic-dominated 2020 in a positive light, despite the impossibility of using the hospitality and catering industry as a sales channel due to lockdowns, which spilled over to part of 2021, too.

“We have twelve full-time employees all year round. Our beers are available to customers through the network of almost all Croatian retail chains. We also export successfully, so far we make about 10 percent of our sales abroad,'' concluded Capka and Cirjak.

For more, make sure to check out Made in Croatia.

Saturday, 5 December 2020

Bura Brew - Pula Trio Prepare Proverbial Storm with New Products

December the 5th, 2020 - the Porec-based craft brewery Bura Brew has been on the market for five years now, and from the initial three beers they presented to the market, nine eventually came to them - seven types in bottles and barrels and two which come solely in barrels.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marta Duic writes, Bura Brew's beers are unfiltered and unpasteurised, and from the very beginning, this craft beer business has had three owners, Alessandro Zecchinati, Claudio Rossi and Veronika Beckers, and during the season they hire another employee.

Before heading down the road which would lead them to this craft beer adventure, they all worked in different industries, but decided to opt for change, move to gorgeous Istria and start a new business.

''We procure some types of the hops we use from Slovenia, and others come from other parts of the world. Additionally, some types of malt are from here in Croatia, others come from Belgium or Austria, and we produce our beer in our plant in Porec where we also deal with direct sales.

In 2019, we produced 650 hectolitres, and this year the amount should have been even higher had there been no pandemic. Regardless of that, 2020 went well, we can't complain, we're satisfied with how we managed to survive. From 2016 to 2019, our sales increased by 25 percent.

An important source of our income this year was completely absent - festivities, street food festivals and beer festivals where we participate almost every weekend with a stand where we sell a large amount of draught beer, meet many people, share our knowledge and promote our beer,'' explained the Bura Brew trio.

In addition to constant production, they also have two limited edition beers: IBA Istrian Belgian Ale and Trippin Tripel. As they claim, these are two beers made in the style of belgian ale and as such are highly valued among consumers. They're produced in a limited version because the second fermentation takes place in the bottle, which lasts at least four months, so they're made only two or three times a year.

In addition to the shelves of retail chains such as Kaufland, Konzum and Interspar, Bura Brew also collaborates with a number of restaurants, cafes and pubs across the country.

''The last novelty we introduced to the market was our Seaside Session IPA, a hop beer with a citrus aroma but very drinkable which sold out in just a few days so we plan to produce it again. Our main market is Istria, but our products are present throughout Croatia. Local people know us and more and more people appreciate our beers. What they often tell us is the best compliment a brewery can get: in addition to our beers being good, people appreciate that our product is always the same and consistent,'' they stated from Bura Brew.

Their last significant investment was in new fermentation boilers, and the plan was to invest in the expansion of storage space, but due to the pandemic, this plan was put on hold.

"This year we've proved that we've done well in recent years, that is, that we've introduced diversity. Diversity is fundamental: it means finding new sales channels, also abroad. But this year has taught us a lot, too. We constantly export to Austria, Switzerland, Germany and Italy. It was in these countries that sales went well, which helped us a lot with a solid season in Istria.

For 2021, we plan to present our new beers to the market, but first we must study the market trends in this period, it's difficult for everyone, especially cafes and restaurants that are temporarily closed,'' they stated from Bura Brew.

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Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Franciscan Monks Begin Producing Craft Beer in Zagreb!

As Novac/Matea Grbac writes on the 26th of August, 2019, a group of Franciscan monks have decided to dip their feet into the increasingly popular world of craft beer in Zagreb, and their income isn't going to be wasted selflessly...

''Back during my stay as a student in Germany I dreamed of producing monastery beer. It was a long time before I received 95 percent approval from my brothers for this venture,'' remembers the friar of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Zagreb, Tomislav Glavnik, who was behind the idea of ​​one of the first monastery craft beers in Croatia - S.anto.

Although the production of this beer by the Franciscans is not unusual in itself, as example some of the world's best craft beers come from Belgian monasteries, this practice is still extremely foreign to Croatia.

About three months ago, Tomislav Glavnik and his brothers presented their new beer to the public, namely on the St. Anthony of Padua holiday. During its initial presentation, he revealed that they wanted to create another added value to their one hundred-year-old monastery, and decided to start a separate company for the purpose of no less than beer commercialisation.

''We want to be an example to others, to do everything transparently and in accordance with the law. Like any other limited liability company, we regularly pay all state and tax levies,'' he pointed out.

This is not the only business that these Franciscans have. Within their home, they grow grapes from which they produce wine for their own use. In addition, there is a small garden, the fruits of which are served in the public kitchen, while the attic of the same building was transformed into rooms for students from less wealthy backgrounds.

''We have a lot of things here, we hope to build a dormitory consisting of about sixty rooms soon. We want to direct the beer sales income to our public kitchen, but also to students and student scholarships,'' he added.

As he explained to Novac, their goal was never to make a profit. Although the beer is currently being produced and bottled by one craft brewery in the Zagreb area, they plan to start their own plant in a couple of years or so, which will employ several staff members who will be dedicated to the further development of the project, with the close supervision of the monastery, of course.

Although their new job is only in its very infancy and they have produced only 12,600 litres of beer so far, Fr. Glavnik adds with a smirk that their accountant has already told them that they are pretty good entrepreneurs because they are already at zero.

S.anto beer, which is described as good, drinkable, but nothing special, is intended for everyone, and is for the time being only sold in their parish in 0.3 bottles at a price of 14 kuna. In a few days, they will start expanding their market, so that their product can be found in one of Split's bars, as well as in Novalja and in Šibenik.

First of all, they want to set up their own shop where the business of selling beer and glasses with the beer's logo.

''For centuries, friars around the world have been producing wine, beer, cheese, honey and many other products, I see no reason why we can't do the same here in Croatia,'' he concluded.

Make sure to follow our dedicated Made in Croatia page for much more.

Sunday, 9 June 2019

New Croatian Craft Beer and Gin Bar Takes to Nova Gradiška, Slavonia

As Marta Duic/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 9th of June, 2019, Mario and Marijana Bošnjak's entrepreneurial story began nearly twenty years ago. After successful domestic production, this pair of Croatian entrepreneurs started producing gin last year, and they recently opened the Bošnjak Beer&Gin Bar in Nova Gradiška, Slavonia.

"Our entrepreneurial journey began as a hobby, and my husband had had the idea of ​​creating his own product and experimenting in various fields for a long time. He grew up in a family where everyone did everything in the homemade way, from sausages and cakes to bread that his mother had prepared and when he finished college and started working as a forestry engineer, then the idea found him. Back then, we lived with a lady of Czech origin who told him how her grandmother brewed beer, and the bottom of her drawer she found a recipe that was written in an old manuscript, and it had everything that's needed for brewing beer,'' Marijana Bošnjak recalled.

The first beer Mario brewed with his mother in their family home was done in 2000, so we can even go as far as to say that he was a pioneer in the field of Croatian craft beer, which has rapidly gained popularity over the last few years.

Soon after, they started building a place for home-brewing and even launched rural tourism on their estate. "Then, I worked in a tourist agency and the natural idea was to create a home-brewing tasting area combined with rural tourism on the property, with basic beer production. We got support from the Ministry of Agriculture and the 80,000 kuna we got, we used for construction works in the yard. We've created a tasting area in the yard of Marijana's family home, and every year we're upgrading and arranging as much as we can with our finances.

They started with the tasting area in 2008, and it was two years later when they started to receive the first groups of tourists. They also started presenting their products at fairs, both local and in the wider area, including at the Croatian Chamber of Commerce's (HGK) Kupujemo Hrvatsko (Let's buy Croatian) fair, thus bringing their products a wider audience.

Bošnjak explains that there were great challenges ahead of them, because at that time, they were the only ones in that business alongside Velebit Brewery and Pivovar Medvedgrad in the whole of Croatia, and there were no small breweries with whom they could consult. Soon after the tasting was set up and they experienced their very first successes in this field, in 2014, they opened a company because the production had just been part of an OPG until that point.

Then, these Croatian entrepreneurs contracted service production and the whole year round, their beer was filled in bottles and distributed throughout the whole country, but due to the change in excise laws, they quickly returned to smaller production volumes on their own family estate.

"The beer is unfiltrated, not pasteurised, it's a pure live product like fresh milk that needs to be well preserved. Our product is lighter, it doesn't have a lot of hops like other types of beer, which is actually a natural preservative. That's precisely why it's more easily damaged and that's why we don't pack it into bottles, but instead distribute it as a draught beer,'' Bošnjak revealed. Three years ago, they decided to devote themselves to rakija, especially to those made from corn, because in Brod-Posavina County, there's the most of this type of culture more than anywhere else in Croatia.

They've already offered rakija made from beer to their guests in the tasting area, but they didn't like it because they weren't used to it and traditionally they drink more fruit-based rakija such as that made from plums, pears, and so on.

Last year, this pair of Croatian craft beer entrepreneurs launched their MB72 gin, 300 litres in the first year alone, and this year, their latest entrepreneurial act is the opening of the Bošnjak Beer&Gin Bar in Nova Gradiška.

By opening Bošnjak Beer&Gin Bar, they employed waiters as the first employees from outside of their family, this contributing to the local economy.

Make sure to follow our dedicated Made in Croatia page for much more on Croatian products, Croatian entrepreneurs, Croatian companies and Croatian services.

Friday, 4 November 2016

Croatia in the World's Top 5 for Alcohol Consumption

The Portal Daily Viz, with the help of data from the World Health Organization, created a map which is solely based on the data of alcohol consumption throughout the countries of world.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Croatian Craft Beer Series: Pula’s First Craft Beer, Gortan

While Croatia is deep into their craft beer revolution, it’s always nice to learn about the newcomers on the scene, such as Pula’s first experimental craft beer: Gortan.

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Image by Gortan Instgram

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Croatian Craft Beer Series: ABA 5th Element

Today we continue our Croatian craft beer series with ABA 5th Element, brewed in the Slavonian town of Daruvar.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Croatian Craft Beer Series: San Servolo

We return with our Croatian craft beer series this week introducing you to San Servolo, an Istrian beer hailing from the town of Buje.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Croatian Craft Beer Series: Vunetovo

We return this week for our Croatian Craft Beer series during this suddenly unbearable June heatwave. With the air conditioner blasting and the fear of opening the door to the outside world, I’m pretty sure most of us are in need of a cold one. This week we introduce you to Hvar’s own Vunetovo Brewery, brewing since 2008 and in business since 2015.

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