The Garden Brewery: Croatian Craft Beer and Design in Bars All Over Europe

Total Croatia News

It is 18 months since the opening of The Garden Brewery in Zagreb. It has been quite a ride with rapid expansion beyond Croatia, as this press release on December 23, 2017, shows. 

The Garden Brewery, one of our youngest craft breweries, though only launched in June 2016 has already been recognised as a key player in the burgeoning Croatian craft beer revolution. Taking it outside of the homeland borders, The Garden is rounding up the year with export all over Europe, making it one of the key focuses to spread Croatian craft beer story internationally, exporting cans with Croatian motives and craft beer Europe-wide.

The past six months have seen a huge expansion for The Garden Brewery in export of its craft beer to UK, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Norway, aside the regional neighbours Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The now internationally recognized brand has seen a fertile ground in UK and it is present in more than 200 locations all over the country. Bars, restaurants or beer shops all sell The Garden beer daily, proving Croatian craft beer story is well worth spreading all over the globe.

Last couple of years craft beer has evidently seen a huge rise in Croatia with craft breweries becoming a country’s special trademark. The global craft beer market is also growing rapidly but is very crowded, says David Plant, The Garden Brewery director who focuses on export as well as product range and design. “Nearly every nation on earth has seen a craft beer revolution. Sales in more established markets like the UK, which has the most breweries per capita in the world with more than 2000 now, represent 18% of total spend on beer and rising. In Croatia estimated market share is approx 2% but rising and tourists will help this rise fast as a large percentage don’t want industrial bland lager anymore.”

Success relies on product quality, innovation and brand as well as design. “Croatia has no craft brewing heritage; and many people reviewing our beer, from London to Oslo, Rome to Zurich, say this is the first Croatian craft they’ve had. But our distributors, partners and bars, restaurants, bottle shops and venues are happy and re-ordering so export is going great. Our aim is to be one of the top European craft breweries and with the innovative product range and plans to expand to Russia, Spain, Austria, Sweden and even Australia things are on target”, says Plant adding that The Garden Brewery visits events and beer launches in all the target markets and these relationships are the key.

Driven by innovation, product quality and craft principles, The Garden team have produced 40 different beers in a year and a half using only the best local and global ingredients. The Garden Brewery became the first regional craft brewery to can; this is a global craft trend with massive advantages: cans keeps out all air and light which damage beer’s flavour and aroma as well as being better for the environment, being 100% infinitely recyclable and easier to transport. The Garden Brewery’s can design was inspired by abstract takes on beautiful Croatian landscapes. From craft Pilsner, a classic Adriatic sunset by the sea near The Garden in Tisno where international music festivals are, to Pale Ale, that portrays a wonderful feeling of isolation from the crowds, in places like Stiniva on Vis. India Pale Ale, the forests of Slavonia and Istria and Stout the imposing beauty of national parks at night, each tells a unique story of taste and portrays beauties of Croatia. “In many countries craft beer lovers and bar and restaurant owners know cans are best; in London our Samphire Sour collaboration beer (with top UK brewery Magic Rock) and Citrus IPA cans sit now in some of the cities top new restaurants; we sold 5000 cans in a single day in Switzerland and in Norway we’re in several Christmas beer advent calendars in shops; a big thing there.

Following the idea of exellence and with a mission of making Croatian craft beer internationally respected, the business model is based on having a tailor made approach to every new market because every nation is different. “In Norway all beers sold in retail must be 4.7% or less but they like strong tastes; beers high in flavour not alcohol, so we developed 2 new recipes, a new Red Rye and a Milk Stout. In Germany they don’t like bitterness but gentle Pale Ales. In Paris the craft beer scene is new but exploding; its wine lovers are looking for interesting flavours and matching with food. We had 4 events there this weekend that opened more than 20 new sales outlets for us; they loved our Imperial Stout, Sour, and Milkshake IPA; beers that make these gastronomes re-evaluate what their perception of beer is. It’s great to sit with sommeliers loving what we’re doing.”

Situated in the east part of Zagreb, on Žitnjak, The Garden Brewery is the old factory now a production facility and a venue with its own taproom where you can drink right from the source and enjoy live music, DJs, kids entertainment, great food, a guided brewery tour or rent the place for your event if you want to breathe The Garden spirit into it. With a few clicks you can enjoy The Garden beer delivered to your door for free all over Croatia and there are options of delivery throughout Europe.


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