The Zagreb Times Sinke

You may have heard of many Croatian places, but Daruvar is probably not a name you encountered very often. It is a continental town in northern regions of the country, about 150 kilometers away from Zagreb and Osijek. And yes- one thing that makes this settlement so interesting is Daruvar Brewery. It is celebrating 180 years of existence and some rather noted products are coming on the shop shelves thanks to their efforts.

Usually known in the country by its name Daruvarska Pivovara, the brewery is unique in its business approach. Its facilities produce up to 40 000 hectoliters of Staro Cesko lager, a quantity which describes a true ‘industrial’ product. Yet Daruvar Brewery goes one step beyond and tenders a ‘craft’ line of products. Called Peti Element (‘The Fifth Element’) this beer is actually a product of passion and playful experimentation. It is the company’s self-reminder that what they do is not a grim chart analysis and ingredient mixing, but a line of work in which wit is greatly appreciated and innovation a constant requirement.

“We stand firm to our traditions of using natural spring water and Croatian ingredients in beer preparation,” said Sinisa Lukac, the CEO of Daruvar Brewery. “All our products, no matter their pricing range, are cooked without any artificial means and ferments up to twenty days.”

Peti Element products include names such as Aba, Lela, Bart, Ilpa, Gerweiss, Stout 4.2, Woodoo 0.33, Bonner and protein-rich Whey Beer.  The newest products in the line include Green Power beer which features industrial cannabis and champagne-looking raspberry drink called Weissvery. All of these come from ‘workshop’ of Kreso Maric, the ‘beer expert’ in constant search for new tastes.

“I am always thinking about new products, new ideas. When I go to sleep, my mind just keeps on working on that topic. They should pay me overtime,” Maric jokes, adding the explanation behind the Fifth Element brand. “Most people know that beer is made from four ingredients: water, malt, yeast and hop. We presented these as four natural elements: water, earth, water and air. Once together, they are connected with the final asset, the love and knowledge of the brewer. This is what Fifth Element is all about.”

The brand sells very well on Croatian market. In first half of 2018, it noted an increase of purchases for 30%, and the trend is bound to continue. If you are a fan of beer, there’s no other choice but to try these fancy craft liquids. Daruvar Brewery products are available across Croatia, after all.

Photo: Krasnodar Persun / CROPIX