With a tradition dating back three centuries, Apatin Brewery is the oldest working brewery in the region. Since being established as the Imperial Brewery, it has gone on to become one of the leaders of the Serbian market. Assessing the beer market in Serbia and the region for this issue of CorD is Apatin Brewery’s managing director, Vladimir Novaković
Apatin Brewery is the oldest active brewery in this region. Its journey from the “Imperial Brewery“ to becoming the third-largest beer producer in the world, as a member of Molson Coors Group, lasted over two and a half centuries and required a lot of work, knowledge and brewing experience.
Today, being a part of the Group they are still a genuine treasure trove of the most famous beer brands from all the world’s meridians and markets. At the same time, they continue to cultivate, in the best possible way, their three-century-long tradition of brewing in Serbia. Following a negative trend, the brewing industry in Serbia has recorded a mild recovery over the past two years.
Compared to 2008, the trend of beer consumption per capita is falling, but the market is certainly richer. Consumers are increasingly demanding, and on shelves they now certainly have a large selection of different beer brands, both foreign and domestic, to suit every taste.
To what extent does the appearance of mini-breweries impact on competition on the beer market and do you expect significant market shifts?
The appearance of craft breweries has been expanding in recent years. They are an important segment of the beer market. On the other hand, it is essential that we all struggle together for the growth of the beer industry as a whole. Competition is good in every sense of the word.
Today, as a member of the Molson Coors Group, we are still a genuine treasure trove of the most famous beer brands from all the world’s meridians and markets, while we simultaneously continue to cultivate our three-century-long tradition of brewing in Serbia
The more of us there are – the more we progress, learning together and providing more diversified products to our consumers. Craft beers symbolise a certain lifestyle, which is extremely important to some consumers because they find themselves in that.
How would you assess cooperation between Apatin Brewery and the local self-government, especially when it comes to the European and world standards that you apply in your CSR activities and in other innovative sectors?
We cooperate intensively with the local self-government, with the aim of advancing the community in which we operate. Alongside donations of computers to sporting associations and secondary schools in Apatin and Sombor, we are also organising – under the scope of our “When I drink I don’t drive” campaign – the educating of young drivers and the raising of awareness with regard to responsible driving.
In cooperation with municipalities and with the support of the Traffic Police Directorate of the Serbian Interior Ministry, we organise safe driving training courses for school-leavers from Sombor, Apatin, Odžak and Kula, which has already become a tradition. These are just some examples of the ways we contribute to the community in which we operate.
Through the relationship that we nurture with our partners to raise awareness among citizens about the importance of preserving the environment, a series of successful solutions have seen the light of the day. Through sustainable development projects and activities within the scope of Sekopak, of which we are the founders, we are working on the full implementation of primary waste selection and clearing the river of packaging waste.
This year, thanks again to our activities, Vrnjačka Banja became the first town in Serbia to gain a complete system for the primary selection of packaging waste, while the River Raška received the first netted dam, which has already prevented some five tonnes of packaging waste ending up in the river.