A Humble Start in Begej:
In 1745, beer’s journey started in the small town of Begej. This birth spot makes Zrenjanin’s brewing legacy among the oldest, rivaling Pancevo and Vrsac. Sebastian Krajcezen, a master of brewing, started it all. With this, Veliki Beckerek’s ancient industry area sprouted. The place reached from a massive bridge to what’s now a Sock Factory. They had a lovely yard with a park and veranda. Here, people gathered, music played, and fresh beer flowed. But, did you know, a big fire once erupted there?
In 1878, a change came. Lazar Dundjerski, a landowner, bought the brewery from Roža Ferenc. With his vision, the brewery grew and modernized. Renowned Prague architects lent their skills to design an iconic complex. This structure is now under government care. A special grinding machine, brought by Dundjerski, ran until the brewery’s last day. This shows how advanced and quality-focused the brewery was under his guidance.
The Dundjerski family owned the brewery till 1945. Then, Dr. Dušan Dundjerski, Lazar’s grandson, gave it to the government. He, however, managed its operations till 1948. Initially, they measured beer’s production using coffee as a standard. But under Dundjerski’s touch, Zrenjanin’s brewery rose to fame. Its highest point was in the 1980s, producing an astonishing 405,000 big jugs of beer yearly. This time also saw the birth of the celebrated “Beer Days” festival.
What made their beer stand out? A blend of age-old expertise, nature’s best ingredients, and Begej’s gentle waters. Such was its fame that at a big world summit, Zrenjanin’s “Peace” beer represented the brewing art to global leaders.
The Museum of Beer Today:
Now, where the beer magic happened stands the Beer Museum. This space, once buzzing with brewers, was the heart of production. Brewing, mixing, and cooking – everything happened here. Visitors can still see large pots resting on the ground. A stunning detail to note is the famous Brač stone that graces the walls. Half of the building’s special glass, all the way from Italy, remains. The museum also houses age-old equipment from Germany’s renowned Ziemann Sudwerk company. These include massive copper pots that can hold up to 40,000 liters.
Zrenjanin’s brewing tale is rich and vast. From its birth in Begej to its global fame, the journey is worth exploring. For those intrigued, the Beer Museum offers a peek into this golden history. So, if you’re a beer lover or just someone curious about Zrenjanin’s heritage, this story is a must-know. Cheers to the legacy of brewing!