Pivovana Lasko d.d.
Head 40 miles east of Ljubljana (Slovenia's capital and largest
city with 300,000 people) or 10 miles south of Celje (Slovenia's
third largest city) and you'll find yourself in a very narrow
picturesque valley. It's here in Lasko, population 2,000, that
one finds the head office and factory complex of Pivovana Lasko,
Slovenia's largest brewer. Soft drinks and bottled water are
also part of the mix. Revenues total more than $160 million.
Located at one end of this small town, the large brewery complex
dominates Lasko. Matter of fact, the railroad line running through
this narrow valley slices right across the brewery grounds.
With the valley so narrow most of the town is built on the hillsides.
The brewery lies mostly on the valley flatland but the four-story
head office is up a bit on a terraced hillside. The building's
exterior has a 1970's look to it but upon entering the interior
is very modern and looks to have been recently renovated. Two
receptionist man the reception desk. Over the years I've visited
quite a few beer companies and the majority of the time I'll
find glass displays showing off their product lines. Nothing
of the sort on display here though. Three oil paintings hang
on lobby walls and they look to be scenes of the town (Lasko)
with the brewery complex visible in each.
Uros Bozicnik, from the company's marketing department, answers
questions and gives me an extensive tour of the place. NOTE:
there's a small "v"-like symbol that's suppose to go
over the letter "o" in his first name as well as over
the "z" and "c" in his last name. This symbol
is quite common in Slovenian names and changes the pronunciation.
Unfortunately my computer (bought in the USA) doesn't have this
symbol and I apologize for not getting it correct.
About 40 people work here and in a connecting building. Around
250 work in the brewery facility. The company's roots in this
town go back to 1825 and have been on this site since 1938. Employee
parking is plentiful and free, the corporate logo is a ram's
head (indigenous to this area) inside a green oval and smoking
isn't allowed in the workplace. Executives and employees eat
together in the company cafeteria; it's 12 miles to the nearest
freeway and 50 miles to the nearest airport (Ljubljana). There's
no formal dress code and if you bicycle to work you won't find
covered or designated parking spots. Any employee perks? Coupons,
good for six free cases of beer, are issued once a month.
Bozicnik walks me through the brewery to reach a room housing
beer memorabilia but, find the door locked and nobody around.
Getting there requires traversing over an enclosed walkway above
the public railroad tracks. Side note: During my stay in Ljubljana
I tried several of the company's beers while dining out and give
both the "two thumbs up".
CEO Bosko Srot occupies a top floor corner office. I note the
computer, three plants (real), framed historical brewery photos
and, a big stained glass window. Scattered around Srot's office
are over 20 colorful beer steins (or beer mugs as we say in the
USA). What's the view out his window? Well, one can't see out
the stained glass but the window next to it affords him a view
of the forested hillside. The table in the nearby boardroom is
oval-shaped and seats 12.
Company website: www.pivo-lasko.si