The history of beer in the Banska Bystrica region dates back to the 1500s when the town was booming due to the plethora of copper they were pulling out of the local mines. It is believed that colonizing Germans first brought beer to the area. By the 17th century, over 80 breweries were established. When the guild system broke down, what’s now known as Banskobysticky Brewery was built. It was one of the quickest breweries to expand and started shipping beer as far as Budapest and Vienna. Although the equipment was old fashioned and all of the brewing was done by hand, they were able to produce 5,000 hectolitres of beer a year.
In 1942, the brewery was taken over by Jan Benus, who updated the brewing equipment and, within two years, brought the brewing capacity up to 20,000 hectolitres.
In 1968, Banskobystricky Brewery began construction on a new brewery. Three years later, the Urpin Brewery was complete. It was capable of producing 350,000 hectolitres of beer per year. The problem was, the demand wasn’t that high as foreign beers were rapidly coming into the market. The company struggled but has since gained a solid foothold in the brewing industry. In 2007, the company invested over 2 million euros into modernizing its brewing technology. They are now growing their business and can proudly say that they did it without any foreign capital. They are truly a Slovak brand.
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