Introduction: A couple of months ago, I visited Ljubljana, Slovenia. As is usual, this being my first time in Slovenia, I went on beer safari. Unfortunately, Slovenia does not have a very large number of breweries and two industrial beers dominate the market, Union and Laško. Fortunately, the scene is changing and the owner of Sir William’s Pub introduced to beers from a wonderful new Slovenian/Austrian craft brewery, Bevog, that has just started brewing this year. (The brewer is Slovenian, the brewery just on the border in Bad Radkersburg, Austria).
I managed to track down bottles of three of their beers in a bottle shop in the center of Ljubljana called Pivoteka Za Popen’t (link), run by the brewer’s sister. I was pleasantly surprised when a call was made directly with brewer, where he generously answered my questions about his hopping schedules and brewing methods.
Tasting Notes: Brauhaus Bevog
TAK (Pale Ale)
A beautiful dark amber. Pours with a nice foamy head.
Has a very powerful aroma of dark blood oranges, with some pineapple and a hint of green nettles.
Quite a big juicy hop forward taste, with notes of sherbert and a bitter grapefruit finish. This pale ale has a big taste for a 5.5% beer, but the mouthfeel is a little light for me. It could benefit slightly from finishing at a higher gravity, but overall a delicious pale ale and a promising start.
KRAMAH (India Pale Ale)
Unexpectedly, the IPA is lighter in colour than the pale ale amber.
Delicious big, sweet roasted pineapple aroma, with interesting hints of lemon zest and some marzipan. A much bigger, bolder beer. Hop flavour not as complex as the aroma. Bitter seville oranges towards the end, with a nice (but not over-pronounced) bitter finish.
OND (Smoked Porter)
This is a dense, black porter. It has a rich aroma of treacle with hints of peaty smoke.
The initial milk chocolate flavours turn to bitter dark chocolate, with minor notes of salty smoke. Very complex flavour evolution. Perhaps a little too bitter at the end. Overall, a delicious beer though and packed with delicious toasted malt flavours without the smoke taking over.
Conclusion: Three unique beers from a new brewery that already put Union and Laško to shame (yes, I did try both). A great addition to Europe’s blossoming craft beer scene and well worth tracking down if you are in Slovenia or Austria. The aroma on the Kramah IPA in particular was a pleasant surprise. (Update: Since my visit, the line-up continues to expand, with BAJA Oatmeal Stout and WHYC wet-hopped ale now also available)