Like any beer fan faced with the prospect of a foreign holiday, the first thing on the agenda – even before digging out the
portable coaster passport is to thumb through the dusty pages of the internet to discover the best options for local beer. Whilst beer geeks don’t necessarily travel well, the less-obsessive amongst us who like to sample something from local breweries will almost inevitably put aside some time to research opportunities to embrace a bit of sudsy culture.
With an upcoming, and much-needed, holiday to Croatia on the cards, I had a look – as one does – at the beery options in the part we’re heading to. Having been to the country several times before, I’m well aware that Ožujsko and Karlovačko and the like are the order of the day – which is fine; drunk in the sun, they taste pretty good, despite their parent companies (CVC Capital Partners and Heineken, respectively). Apparently, Croatians consume ten bottles of Ožujsko every second, which is, co-incidentally, more or less my intended rate of consumption.
Anyway, great beer always takes precedence – Garrett Oliver [clang!] taught me that. So, imagine my joy when I discovered that there’s actually a microbrewery in the coastal Croatian town we’ll be staying in. Pivnica Valalta, no less, based on the outskirts of Rovinj. A quick check on RateBeer places, to maybe have a look at the beers they do…let’s see…pils and a dunkel…par for the course…only one review of the brewery…fair enough, Croatia’s not a big RateBeer draw…the review says…
Visited September 2010. It’s a nudist camping that has it’s own brewery. I guess rather for financial reasons than for the love of beer. Nevertheless we were received with a very warm welcome and the manager did everything he could to give us a good impression of the brewery. We got to walk around, meet the brewmaster and got to sample both beers. Luckily, most people in the bar and on the terrace were wearing clothes. Anyway, it’s good to swing by if you’re around, but not exactly a beer destination.
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RateBeer user Tim, who ‘swung by’ to write that review, tells me the brewery staff wear clothes, and most people who frequent the restaurant (where the brewery is located) ‘walk around with at least their crotch covered’. Just imagine the potential beer names; ‘All Over Brown IPA’, ‘First Week Red Ale’, ‘Pocket-Free Porter’.
A naturist camp brewery? Is there a more strangely-located one out there?