Town’s beer fountain plan goes ahead

Mayor Janko Kos speaking to the mediaImage copyright
Savinjska TV

Image caption

Mayor Janko Kos says the fountain will attract beer-loving tourists

A small Slovenian town is pressing ahead with plans to build a fountain which spouts beer instead of water, despite opposition from some councillors.

The project in Zalec, which is known for its hop plantations, is being described as the first beer fountain in Europe, and has made headlines in neighbouring Croatia and further afield in Serbia. The fountain doesn’t yet have a completion date, but future visitors will find a variety of Slovenian beers on offer, and pay six euros for three 30cl (10.5 fl oz) helpings served in a commemorative mug, Slovenia’s Dnevnik news website reports.

It’s set to cost the council about 170,000 euros (£133,000) – half of the total bill for construction, the website says. The town’s mayor, Janko Kos, says the remainder will come from private donations. “It’s true the fountain won’t be cheap. But it’s a development project, a tourism product,” he told the website.

But the course of the beer fountain has not run smoothly – some opposition councillors aren’t happy about the amount being spent, saying it could be put to better use in the community. They attempted to scupper the plans at an extraordinary council meeting last week, but were ultimately outvoted by two-thirds of their colleagues.

Zalec sits in a valley of hop plantations in central Slovenia, known locally as the “valley of green gold”. Even the town’s green and yellow crest pays tribute to its main activity, simply featuring the outline of a hop plant.

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