The "historical" trappist breweries

The abbey of Banja Luka - Marija Zvijezda

Very few informations are available about this brewery. It was probably founded in 1875. It is also known that monks were brewing beer in 1881 (547 hl), and that their production increased over the years, and reached up to 50,000 hl in 1898, just to fall down to 6000 hl in 1907. Monks started brewing beer for their own needs, then for the near village, then on a larger scale a few years later.

It is likely that the beer was a low fermented beer, because of the german and czech equipments used in the brewery. In 1889, the monks decided to extend and modernize the brewery and the new equipements were installed by czech engineers. All the works were finished by the end of 1897 and the brewing process was teached to the monks by Elegius Blavart, from Brno (Moravia, CZ). The production capacity was increased, but selling the beer was another problem. Monks had to face competitors who did not want to lose their monopoly of beer sales in the area.

Later on, monks tried to cultivate their own hops, but were unsuccessfull at obtaining the needed quality and then decided to import hops from Slovenia. During WWII, the croat government took over the brewery, then, a few years later, the communists. The brewery of Banja Luka, although not a trappist brewery anymore, still remains one of the biggest brewery of the Republika Srpska (Serbian Republic of Bosnia).

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