If you remember, at one point I wrote an article about ”How not to make friends in Slovenia” and in that article I made a refference to a real beer, Vizir. At that time I tasted only once that beer and I was really impressed by it.
After I published it, I thought it would be a nice surprise to Denis(the owner of the company) if I would email it. And it was! Not only that, but he actually invited me, and some friends, over to his brewery for a beer tasting.
Can you believe that?? I was caught by surprise and I got excited like a puppy when he sees a new person.
After we discussed the details it was settled. A few days after I got my ass into a friend’s car and off we went to Crnomelj for the beer tasting. [I have to tell you that till that day I didn’t know that beer can taste so good, but we will get to that later.]
When we got there we started taking pictures and I was really eager to see the process and to hear more about beers and all this stuff.
Denis was really jolly and relaxed. He greeted us and after we took a look at the awards he got he asked us: “So, are you ready to get drunk?”
With that last thought in mind, we followed him through the testing laboratory all the way to the entrance of the cellar.
On the way he told us how his family is in the wine making for a long time and how they also make wine, but he decided to make beer too. Next to the cellar’s entrance there were 2 wooden barrels in which he had cognac. Before we got in the cellar to taste wine, he gave us the barrel’s peg to smell. I’m not into strong liqueurs, but that smell made me want to taste the cognac.
Aaaanyway, we got into the cellar and he gave us a few types of wine to taste. He was very funny in the way he did the tasting. I wasn’t keeping up the pace. I mean, it wasn’t hard, but I wanted to sip the wine, but he was drinking it quite fast.
In between glasses of wine, he told us how he studied food technology and that helped him with the beer making. He also told us that he made that nice smelling cognac out of a good wine that was on his stock for a few years. Although the wine was good, in that year the demand wasn’t so big and he had some left. The following years the customers bought new wine so he ended up with leftovers which he transformed into cognac.
When the wine tasting was over, we got out of the cellar and into the “kitchen”. The beer kitchen, as he calls it, has a small capacity. He can only brew 500liters in one batch.
The kitchen is fully automated, which helps you keeping the same recipe if you want. Also, the fact that is automated helps you keep some adjustments fixed and play with others.
That’s where I found out that hops are actually a tiny fraction of the beer’s ingredients. The main ingredient, after water of course, are the cereals. The hops are used only to give the beer bitterness and smoky flavor.
The passion with which Denis was talking about the beer making process made me so interested about it. The way he was explaining to us made me listen to each word coming out of his mouth.
That’s when I realized why it’s so important to follow your dreams. To follow your passion. To do that thing that you crave for since you’ve been a child. For him everything seems to be effortless. I doubt that it’s effortless, but his passion for it compensates. I am sure.
He also told us about how he used home-made alcohol to cool down his beer kitchen. He is also very smart and inventive when it comes to this.
The beers and ales that we tasted were amazing!
We tasted 7 different kinds and each and every one was delicious. We had strong one, smoked one, with honey and even made out of beans and potatoes! Yes, out of beans and potatoes! I was as shocked as you when I heard that. He explained us that the beer is made out of carbohydrates, and potatoes and beans are just that!
We drank as much as we wanted and I was in heaven.
Oh! I almost forgot about that cognac. Oh, my, god! It was delicious. I told you that I am not into strong liqueurs, but that cognac made me love it. Even now my mouth is watering.
The taste of the wooden barrel, the sweetness of the former wine and the whole palette of tastes made it soothe your throat. It was delicious!
If till now I was saying that beer tastes like shit or something similar, I was just ignorant. I was just uneducated regarding the topic. Now, I could say that I know the differences between real and tasty beer and piss.
Ok, Vizir might be a bit more expensive than the rest of the piss on the market, but it’s worth every cent!