Following on from yesterdays story about beer being used as currency, today’s you-couldn’t-make-it-up tale comes from Slovenia where, we read this morning, a small town called Zalec is planning to build a fountain which spouts beer instead of water. So obviously, our first thought was “what time is the next flight there and can I take a bucket?”, a thought which we sadly had to put to the back of our mind as there is, for some strange reason, opposition to the scheme.
The town is already well known for its hops, sitting as it does in a valley in central Slovenia, known locally as the “valley of green gold” due to the concentration of hop plantations. Hell, even the town’s crest pays tribute to its main activity, simply featuring the outline of a hop plant. This association with brewing led to the plans for what is being described as the first beer fountain in Europe (you mean there are already some elsewhere in the world? Quick, google beer fountains), and has already made headlines in the region. The fountain doesn’t yet have a completion date, but when it is finished you will find a variety of Slovenian beers on offer, paying around six euros for three 30cl helpings served in a commemorative mug (just over a half pint; stupid metric system).
But, as is the way with local politics, the 170,000 euros (£133,000) it is costing taxpayers is not going down well in all quarters. Despite this being just half of the total cost of construction, with the rest coming from private donations (if they are crowdfunding, we are in there…) some opposition councillors aren’t happy about the amount being spent, saying it could be put to better use in the community (we fail to see how). They attempted to scupper the plans at an extraordinary council meeting last week, but were ultimately outvoted by two-thirds of their colleagues, thus restoring our faith in the Democratic system!