Craft Beer Walk with Ljubljanajam

When I was a freshman in college, I refused beer whenever it was offered at a party. “I don’t drink beer,” I said. The older students laughed.

“You will,” they said. “You will.”

And they were right; more so than they would have imagined, because I’ve evolved into sort of a beer snob. In Australia my beers of choice were once Toohey’s Extra Dry and Kilkenny; now I’m disappointed if a pub doesn’t at least have Murray’s, a local brewery, on tap.

I know. Snob.

Beer wasn’t on my mind in Slovenia, but then I learned that Ljubljana has a cracking craft beer scene so we signed up for an afternoon craft beer walk with ‘Ljubljana Foodie’s Hub’ Ljubljanajam. The tour cost 35 euro and ran for 2-3 hours; snacks and beer samples were, of course, part of the deal.

Ljubljana Petkovsek

We got excited and staged a successful mini-tour the night before at Petkovsek.

Before the tour we were asked for our beer preferences, which would help them to organize the tour. The group was small – Jared, me, and one other traveller. Our guide Alenka met us at the tourist information building next to the three bridges and we were away to Sir William’s Pub.

We were among the first in Ljubljana to try the Iggy IPA by Tektonik, as it had just been released several days prior. This was followed by the Mali Grad Hefeweizen and the Reservoir Dogs Grim Reaper, alongside a charcuterie plate.

Although I’m a self-proclaimed beer snob, I usually do like *most* craft beers so I was happy with all of these. It is worth noting that these were beer tastings, and we didn’t down three beers each at the first pub – more like half a glass each for each beer, as pictured.

Iggy IPA in Ljubljana

Now that is a label.

Alenka pointed out historical points of interest in Ljubljana, bringing new meaning to a few places we’d passed by several times already. In medieval times, most residents of Ljubljana were illiterate, which was reflected in the street signs. Instead of a sign saying ‘Locksmith Street,’ this one had an etching of a key at its entrance.

Streets were named logically to cut down on confusion: Butcher Street, Shoemaker Street, etc. Google Maps go home; we don’t need you in medieval Ljubljana.

The modern Locksmith Street has been transformed into an art installation. A water fountain sits at one end, and a drain runs all the way to the other. If you look closely at the drain, you’ll see Slovenian sculptor Jakov Brdar’s “Faces” – 700 bronze castings of faces scattered throughout. It is creepy but fascinating.

Ljubljana locksmith street

The top of Locksmith Street – wish I’d taken a closeup of the faces but you’ll have to imagine.

Locksmith Street bottom

…and the bottom of the street.

We continued towards our next destination, and in doing so passed the town hall. It was surrounded by people in fancy clothes and some sort of sentry playing a commanding call to attention on his horn.

“Probably a visiting president from one of the other European countries,” said Alenka.

NBD JUST A PRESIDENT.

“By the way,” she said, “that woman who just walked past is the former mayor.”

The encounter with dignitaries illustrated part of what makes Ljubljana so likeable – its accessibility and lack of pretension.

Ljubljana dragons

Also likeable – dragons hidden in plain sight.

The beer walk also incorporated stops at a specialty liqueur shop and a craft beer shop with an extensive selection of local and imported beers; eventually we stopped at a small riverside cafe for our last beer tasting. Oddly, I recognized it because I’d chosen it at random earlier that day when I needed a coffee fix.

Ljubljanajam

TOZD, coffee shop-slash-craft beer provider on the Ljubljana riverside.

Here we tried the Human Fish pale ale (bonus points for the excellent name) and the Vizir Black Jack. Again, there was food that went perfectly with beer: deli meats, grilled bread, mini pickles, and cheese.

Simple charcuterie

Delish.

The day after the tour I received an email from Iva, the founder of Ljubljanajam, summing up where we’d been and what beers we’d tried, along with an extensive list of insider tips to Ljubljana. (For example: there is a CAT CAFE in town and I missed it. I die.) It was a thoughtful touch that I appreciated – just as I can now appreciate those upperclassmen who informed me that one day, I too would like beer.

You’re right. I do.

Note: This post is entirely my own opinion and not written in affiliation with Ljubljanajam! I found them online, booked the beer walk, and had a good time so I wanted to share my experience. They also offer various food walks and cooking classes for those who, like freshman year Lauren, aren’t quite into beer the way others may be.  

8 Responses to “Craft Beer Walk with Ljubljanajam”

  1. Oh wow, thanks for such a lovely recap! I am very happy you had fun with Alenka. Always welcome back for more tasting of the yummy side of Ljubljana 🙂

  2. I am going to need that list of insider tips, ASAP!

    Also, I love the dragons.

  3. You’re really selling this place to me. BEER & CATS WHAT MORE DO YOU NEED

  4. I seriously think I want to move here.

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