Daruvar Brewery Continues 180-Year Production Despite Coronavirus Pandemic

Lauren Simmonds

As Novac/Filip Pavic writes on the 10th of April, 2020, the oldest Croatian brewery, the Daruvar brewery (Daruvarska pivovara) has turned to modernisation during the coronavirus crisis. The Daruvar Brewery, which has been celebrating 180 years since its inception, is now selling its beer online and delivering to home addresses.

”People can order it by e-mail and pay by card to reduce any contact between our sellers with customers,” explained Siniša Lukač, the director of the Croatian brewery that has been producing beer for almost two centuries in the same location, Count Janković’s estate in the very heart of Daruvar.

Production and sales, he added, didn’t stop even during the Homeland War, and coronavirus isn’t going to make it grind to a halt, either.

Delivery is free of charge and the minimum order is a package of twelve bottles. All this can be ordered by residents of Zagreb, Daruvar, Pakrac, Lipik and the surrounding areas, Nova Gradiska, Novska and the surroundings, as well as Virovitica, Bjelovar and Zabok.

”Since the cafes and restaurants are closed and the shops are crowded, we decided to meet people halfway so they don’t have to run the risk of going to the shop and waiting in lines. In this way, we’re contribute to the reduction of social contact and respecting the recommendations of the Civil Protection Headquarters to the greatest extent possible,” emphasised Lukač.

One interesting fact is that the Daruvar brewery is still the only brewery outside of the Czech Republic that produces beer according to traditional Czech technology, and last year, their Fifth Element beer recorded a 30 percent increase in sales, with an additional 25 percent increase in sales for another beer – Staročeško.

Back in 2014, the Daruvar brewery also turned to craft production, a move which saw it introduce Fifth Element among others.

Considering the fact that the Daruvar brewery produces about 250,000 hectolitres of beer a year, during these trying ”coronavirus times”, they say that they are recording a decline, as are all breweries.

”It’s clear that beer is not the first choice for people when buying supplies, people have other priorities now. Our production has fallen by 30 percent, and we don’t yet know what will happen next. Demand for beer is currently diminished, but that’s why our beers are on the shelves of all major shopping centres. It’s important that we use this moment for collective awareness. Let’s buy Croatian, maybe it’s fifty lipa more expensive, but it’s not of dubious quality,” Lukač stated.

Despite all, he noted, the jobs of all sixty Daruvar brewery employees are safe – there will be no layoffs. They have, as he pointed out, people who have worked with them for years, entire generations of families.

”I’d like to note that this brewery has been operating over three centuries, it has seen through two world wars and the Homeland War, and now a global pandemic. It has operated through five countries – the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, Yugoslavia, and independent Croatia, it has never stopped producing and doing business. We’ll do our best to make sure that no matter what, our beer reaches our customers,” he concluded.

Make sure to follow our dedicated section for all you need to know about coronavirus in Croatia.


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