"Food & Eating"--19
- There is proof that in Slovakia, serfs, the nobility, and even monasteries have brewed beer since the early Middle Ages. Later, production of beer was concentrated in towns, and the right to brew beer was one of the basic rights of citizens. The best beers were therefore brewed in towns, where breweries were built starting in the second half of the 19th century. For a long time, beer was not as popular in Slovakia as it was in the Czech or German lands. Change came gradually, only during the 20th century, when beers of high quality and affordable price were first brewed in Slovakia. Good contacts and a common market with the Czech lands surely also contributed to the popularity of beer.
Wine made from grapes was traditional and widespread in Slovakia. There were already two wine-making regions in the Middle Ages, and it is from here that wines of the best quality come. These two regions are the area of the Small Carpathians outside Bratislava, in western Slovakia, and the Tokaj region in eastern Slovakia. Grape-growing was traditionally the main occupation in these regions; the wine made here was mainly for sale. In these regions, wine (particularly wine of a lower quality and made from a mixture of varieties) was an everyday drink for many people, just as in other wine-making regions of Europe. In other regions of Slovakia where wine had to be bought, it was always used as a festive drink and was served mostly at feasts. In households, wine was also made from fruit, such as currants, raspberries, and hips, and was mostly drunk with water, to quench thirst.