Getting to know Bratislava better through beer

Bratislava is home to 16 breweries as well as the production of marmalade from beer.

Participants of the beer eventParticipants of the beer event (Source: Courtesy of Enjoy Bratislava)

Henrieta Valková first noticed many comments on Facebook by expats about their bad experience in Slovakia. Affected by the vulnerability and anger in these stories, she decided to prove that Slovakia was an interesting country with plenty of good-hearted citizens and a nice place to live. She started to organise cultural events and tours for newcomers in Bratislava.

“I decided to inspire them to change their perspective,” said Valková. Through these activities she has made many new friends from various nations and continues to improve her English.

Since Bratislava has a long history in beer production, she chose beer as the theme for one of her first events organised by her Enjoy Bratislava organisation. Besides a tour of Kláštorný Pivovar (Monastic Brewery) the participants tasted its beers, learned more information about Slovakia’s beer scene by Slovak certified beer judge Imrich Nógell, and tasted beermalade, i.e. marmalade produced from beer.

Brewing under the Catholic order’s consecration

Bratislava is home to 16 breweries, with a total of 109 breweries in all Slovakia. One of them is Kláštorný Pivovar in the Old Town.

Monasteries started brewing beer as early as the 5th century. They brewed beer for sale, pilgrims and travellers, even relying on beer for nutrition during fasting. But this was not the case of the Monastic Brewery located in Bratislava.

“We had wanted to have our own brewery from the very beginning, but we had no location,” said Martina Hlinová, owner and manager of two well known restaurants in Bratislava – the Slovak Pub and the Flagship Restaurant.

After the bankruptcy of the brewery that originally made beer for them, they decided to build their own brewery in the Baroque cellars below the Flagship Restaurant.

But since the premises are the property of the Order of Merciful Brothers and they are only rented to the restaurant, they had to travel to Vienna to ask the order’s prior for permission. He took two weeks to think about it.

“The prior approved our plan under the condition that all the premises, technologies and the staff have to be consecrated,” recalled Hlinová.

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