Everybody knows about Vukovarsko beer and that it recently came under the umbrella of Zagrebačka Pivovara. What most beer fans do not know is that a new brewery was recently opened in Vukovar, continuing the tradition of independent small breweries in the town. The brewery is registered as Craft Pivovara Vukovar j.d.o.o., and its craft beer is marketed under the brand Walkow.
The owners have explained what the brewery name means. “Walkow is an old Croatian name for the Vukovar fort that was first built during the union with Hungary when Vukovar was the guardian of the Croatian identity and the town which was among the first to obtain the status of a free royal town (even before Zagreb). At that time, Vukovar was known for its fortress, which was firmly built on the high Danube coast, and the town was named after it. In the more recent history, in 1968, a new fort was built in Vukovar, which is nowadays the symbol of indestructibility – the Vukovar water tower – which, despite numerous times being hit during the Homeland War (more than 600), remained standing, persistent and stubborn, as a reflection of the will of the people defending the town. “
The project is led by the Komšić couple. Mrs Komšić told us about their beer journey. “The idea started after many years of preparing beer ‘in the basement’ with my husband. So, we already had our own beer, which would be drank very quickly, so why not offer it to others as well. Since we have just started with the production and mostly due to logistical problems, we are focused on the town of Vukovar and its surroundings, although we are planning to start producing other types of beer in the future and extend our offer to other counties and cities. As there are no yet other craft breweries in the area, we decided to start with the blond ale, which was initially conceived as a way of moving consumers from commercial towards craft beer. Beer is unfiltered, unpasteurized, without additives and artificial colours, and the main ingredients are three types of barley malt, hops and yeast. Beer is of a characteristic blonde style, also called the golden ale.
Iva discussed the future of the Croatian beer industry and its relation to the competition. “The Croatian craft scene is growing; people recognise the quality, which is vital for us as a small producer. We all help each other, so I believe that market growth is not a problem but an incentive. Beer events are most commonly held as part of beer festivals, where we exchange opinions, techniques and the like. I think this is very good for our beer scene because you can combine promotional activities with having a good time; it is almost like a team building.
We are currently offering our beer in five Vukovar cafes. The initial reactions are great, and now it is up to us to roll up our sleeves and start brewing, pouring, bottling, labelling, distributing.”
More news about Croatian beer scene can be found in the Lifestyle section.