A Guide to Drinking Beer in Slovakia

Sign "Good Pivo 10 metres"There are many good reasons to go to the Slovak Republic, but my favourite is the beer. It’s delicious and very reasonably priced. Pintprice.com has it costing an average of 0.91 Euros. That makes it the fourth cheapest place to drink beer in Europe (Ukraine is #1). If you’re looking for a place to have your bachelor or stag party, a weekend in Bratislava will give you everything you need to make a man rethink a commitment. But before you go, I recommend boning up on a little Slovak. Here’s what you’ll need to know.

group of people out drinking beer in Slovakiai

Note: click on the word to be taken to Google Translate where you can hear the words.

Pivo – Beer
Svetlý ležiak – A pale lager, usually a pilsner if it’s a Slovak beer.
Tmavý pivo – Dark beer
Čapované pivo – Draught beer
Fľaškové pivo – Bottled beer
Nealko pivo – Non-alcoholic beer

Deciphering the Menu

Slovak beer menu

Slovak beer menus will often have a giant list of the beers they offer and the sizes that they come in. Here’s an example of what you’ll see:

Čapované Pivo 0.33 l 0.50 l
Urpiner Classic 10% 0.80 € 1.20 €
Martiner 10% 0.70 € 1.10 €
Martiner 12% 0.80 € 1.20 €
Zlaty Bazant Nealko nealko 0.60 € 1.00 €

The first column displays the beer name. This particular part of the menu is showing “Čapované Pivo” or the “Draft Beers”. The second column shows the strength of the beer or the density of beer wort measured on the Plato scale. In Slovakia this is usually shown as a percentage but you’ll sometimes see it in degrees. For more about this, check out my attempt at explaining it. The third and fourth column show the prices (3rd column is for 0.33 litres of beer, 4th column for a half litre of beer).

Ordering

A glass of Zlaty Bazant.

If you want to order a beer you can say,
Jedno pivo, prosím
which means, “One beer, please”

Since in Slovakia beers usually come in two sizes, 0.33 litre and 0.5 litre, you can specify the size by just saying small (third of a litre) or large (half litre).
Malé – Small
Veľký – Large

Jeden veľký pivo, prosím – One large beer, please.

If you want to order more than one beer you have to change “pivo” to “pivá”
Dve pivá, prosím
“Two beers, please”

jeden – one
dve – two
tri – three
štyri – four
päť – five
šesť – six
sedem – seven
osem – eight
deväť – nine
desať – ten

Once you’ve got your beer, there’s only one last thing you need to say:
na zdravie! – cheers!

For more information on ordering a beer in Slovakia, check out this video made by BratislavaGuide.com


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