Five Croatian Beers from Five Different Areas of the Country

Lauren Simmonds

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croatian beers

October the 18th, 2023 – Croatia is a nation of beer lovers, and when the tourists come flocking every summer, the amber nectar flows even more. Here are five Croatian beers from five different regions.


Facebook/Osjecko pivo

Named after the eastern Croatian city of its ”birth”, Osijek, Osječko was the very first Croatian beer to ever be produced. It made its debut in the aforementioned city way back in 1664. Using traditional production methods and recipes, Osječko remains extremely popular across Croatia today. Tax documents from 1697 cite brewing activities in Varos and Tvrdjavica, with three individual brewers being mentioned. Osječko has expanded its range as time has gone on, with light (lager), dark and radler beverages now being offered by locals and foreign visitors alike.



Tars is a beer you unfortunately don’t come across all that often in bars and restaurants. Originating from Rijeka on the Northern Adriatic coast, it is often referred to as “the first real beer from Rijeka”. It draws its somewhat unusual name from Tarsatica, which is the older part of the City of Rijeka which sits up on a hill over the Rječina River which flows through it. A special ”Tars Rijeka 2020” beer was produced as a limited edition by Kaltenberg Adria to mark Rijeka being chosen as the European Capital of Culture in 2020.


Facebook/Vukovarsko pivo

Named after Croatia’s hero city – Vukovar, Vukovarsko is a popular beer for both lovers of the taste and those with a patriotic soul. The very name “Vukovarsko” will speak volumes about the origins of the name and the pride it carries in liquid form to all who are aware of that part of Croatia’s tragic yet astoundingly brave history.


Karlovačko comes from… you guessed it – Karlovac. Karlovačko is the second most popular of all of the growing number of Croatian beers, and it has been owned by Heineken since 2016. This beer’s history dates all the way back to 1854, where the original brewery to create it was founded by Baron Nikola Vranyczany, a local landowner. That first brewery was located in the wider Karlovac area, more specifically in Dubovac. It shut down in the 1880s and re-opened in 1896. Karlovačko is enjoyed be swathes of locals and foreigners alike, with different varieties now being offered. From lager, dark beer, ledeno (iced), and radler, all the way to zero alcohol beer – you’re guaranteed to find one that suits you perfectly while lazing around under the hot Dalmatian sun.


Facebook/Velebitsko pivo

Named after Croatia’s imposing Velebit mountain range, Velebitsko is brewed near Gospić in Lika by the Ličanka Brewery (pivovara). With both dark and light versions of Velebitsko on offer, the former being stronger than the latter, this beer is popular across the country. It is one of several Croatian beers to have been awarded abroad and is praised wherever it can be found and enjoyed.

Wondering about other Croatian alcoholic beverages? In the mood for something a bit stronger? Look no further.


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