Branislav Cvik and Ľubomír Vančo

EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Class of 2022, Slovak Republic
Branislav Cvik, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Ľubomír Vančo, Deputy of the Board of Directors of Banskobystrický pivovar

Brewing success: how two entrepreneurs rescued and restored Slovakia’s beer industry.

Branislav Cvik and Ľubomír Vančo are restoring the Slovak Republic’s centuries-old tradition of brewing beer. With no industry experience but steadfast dedication, they rescued one of the last Slovak breweries from bankruptcy.  

After buying Banskobystrický pivovar, Branislav and Ľubomír created beer brewed without the use of preservatives, fermentation accelerators or other additives. The company uses hops grown on its own farms to produce its signature Urpiner beer. Processing crucial raw materials locally gives the beer a distinctive taste, setting it apart in a fiercely competitive market. It also simplifies logistics, significantly reducing the company’s carbon footprint. 

Branislav and Ľubomír’s determination has brought the brewery back to life. Early on the two slept at the brewery to ensure consistency and realize its success. They have since overseen the production of 1 million hectoliters of beer.  For them, the hard  work was worthwhile: “We are the last Slovak beer survivor— the last independent brewery successfully resisting strong foreign competition.” 

The pair hopes to continue to produce a variety of local beers, invest further in technology and support employment in Central Slovakia. They also hope to export their beer throughout Europe, expanding their community of beer enthusiasts. Their stable of Urpiner beers has often received the highest level of recognition from the Brewer’s Seal and European Beer Star awards.    

Their success story acts as inspiration for other entrepreneurs in the region. The company actively supports many sporting, cultural and charitable events, further contributing to the development of the country. 

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