Skopsko Beer: A Casual Guide to Macedonia’s Favourite Brew

Skopsko Beer is a beloved beverage hailing from Macedonia and takes the crown as the country’s most popular beer, dominating 64% of the market.

As the first commercial beer in Macedonia, it quickly became a favorite among locals and visitors alike.

With its well-balanced taste and rich history, it’s easy to understand why Skopsko Beer enjoys such enduring popularity.

The beer is available in different varieties, such as the classic Skopsko and Skopsko Smooth, offering beer enthusiasts even more ways to enjoy this delectable Macedonian brew.

When it comes to taste, Skopsko Beer effortlessly complements various food pairings, making it a versatile choice for any occasion.

In this short guide, we’ll talk about the history of Skopsko, the brewing process, the variations, and more to make sure you’re well-equipped to enjoy one of the most infamous “exports” of Macedonia.

Guide to skopsko beer

The History of Skopsko Beer

When you dive into the history of Skopsko Beer, you’ll find that this popular Macedonian beer has a rich heritage dating back to the early 20th century.

The Skopsko Brewery, where Skopsko Beer is produced, was founded in 1922 and began operations in 1924.

So, as you savor your Skopsko, remember that its recipe has remained largely unchanged since its introduction almost a century ago

In 1998, the ownership of the Skopsko Brewery changed hands as it was purchased by the Greek Coca-Cola Bottling Company and Heineken.

This acquisition brought international expertise and investments to the operation, ensuring that your Skopsko continues to meet its high-quality expectations.

Today, Skopsko Beer is recognized for its signature golden-yellow color, firm foam, and unique taste.

The main characteristics of Skopsko that you can appreciate are its stable foam, a specific taste of hops (bitterness), refreshing character, and a subtle hint of esters. So, take a moment to appreciate the long-standing tradition and dedication to quality that goes into every bottle or glass of Skopsko Beer.

Skopsko’s Brewing Process (How it’s Made)

The Skopsko brewing process begins with the careful selection of high-quality malted barley and hops.

These ingredients are mixed with water to create a mash, which is then heated and boiled to extract the sugars and flavors from the grains and hops.

The boiling process is critical to the final taste of the beer, as it helps to balance the sweetness of the malt with the bitterness of the hops.

After the boiling process, the liquid is cooled, and yeast is added to begin the fermentation process.

During fermentation, the yeast consumes the sugars in the liquid and produces alcohol and carbon dioxide

This process can take several days, depending on the desired alcohol content and flavor profile of the final product.

Once fermentation is complete, the beer is aged and conditioned in tanks.

This step allows the flavors to develop and mature, resulting in a smooth and well-rounded taste.

The length of the aging process can vary depending on the type of beer being brewed, but it is typically several weeks to several months.

Finally, the beer is bottled or kegged and sent to distributors and retailers throughout Macedonia and beyond.

Skopsko is known for its crisp, clean taste and is enjoyed by beer lovers throughout the country.

Whether you’re enjoying a cold Skopsko on a hot summer day or savoring it with a hearty meal, the brewing process ensures that every sip is a refreshing and satisfying experience.

The Varieties of Skopsko Beer

The three main variations of Skopsko beer are:

Skopsko, Skopsko Smooth, Skopsko Radler and also Skopsko IPL

Skopsko (Original)

The original Skopsko is the flagship beer of the Skopsko brand and is a traditional lager-style beer.

It is brewed using high-quality malted barley and hops, and is known for its crisp, clean taste and refreshing finish.

Skopsko is a light and easy-drinking beer that is perfect for any occasion.

Skopsko Smooth

Skopsko Smooth is a variation of the classic Skopsko beer that is brewed using a special process that creates a smoother and creamier texture.

It has a slightly sweeter taste than the original Skopsko, and is a popular choice for those who prefer a milder beer.

Skopsko Smooth is also a great option for those who are new to beer or who prefer a lighter, less bitter taste.

Skopsko Radler

Skopsko Radler is a refreshing and fruity beer that is perfect for Skopje’s hot summer days.

It is a blend of Skopsko beer and natural lemon juice, which gives it a tangy and refreshing taste.

Skopsko Radler is lower in alcohol content than the other Skopsko beers, making it a great choice for those who want to enjoy a refreshing beer without getting too tipsy.

Skopsko IPL

This is a new addition to the Skopsko lineup and is an India Pale Lager (IPL) style beer

It is brewed using high-quality hops and malted barley and has a bold and hoppy flavor with a crisp finish.

Skopsko IPL is a great choice for those who enjoy the bitterness and complexity of an IPA, but prefer a lighter, more refreshing beer.

Taste and Pairing Suggestions

Skopsko beer offers a clean and refreshing taste, with light grassy aromas and a hint of pale malt.

The drink is smooth and light-bodied, making it perfect for enjoying on its own or with a variety of foods.

Here are some pairing suggestions to enhance your Skopsko beer experience.

First of all, light lagers like Skopsko are known to pair well with spicy foods.

The crispness and mild flavors of the beer help to contrast and refresh your palate from the heat

So, go ahead and pair your Skopsko with some classic spicy Macedonian dishes like ajvar, pindjur kebapi and/or some good old hot wings.

In addition to spicy meals, Skopsko beer can complement the flavors of other savory dishes as well.

Try pairing it with juicy burgers, grilled meats (of which you’ll find plenty in Macedonian cuisine), or hearty sandwiches.

The beer’s refreshing and light taste will balance out the richness of these foods and cleanse your palate between bites.

For those who prefer lighter fare, Skopsko also pairs wonderfully with fresh salads.

The crisp nature of the beer acts as an excellent counterpart to leafy greens and vibrant vegetables.

To summarize: Skopsko beer’s light-bodied, refreshing taste makes it an adaptable beverage for pairing with a variety of foods. Feel free to enjoy it with spicy dishes, rich meats, or a fresh salad. The key is to experiment and find the combinations that suit your taste buds the best.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the alcohol content in Skopsko?

Skopsko is a pale lager beer with an alcohol content of around 4.9%. It’s a light and refreshing option for those who enjoy a crisp, slightly hoppy flavor.

Where can I buy Skopsko in the USA?

While Skopsko may not be widely available in the United States, you can sometimes find it in specialty beer shops or online retailers that offer international beer selections. Expanding your search to include nearby cities or larger metro areas might increase your chances of finding this Macedonian beer.

How much does Skopsko cost?

The price of Skopsko may vary depending on where you purchase it. In Macedonia, you can generally find it for an affordable price, around 1-2 euros per 500ml can. However, importing it to the United States or other countries might result in higher prices, usually due to shipping costs and import fees.

What are some other popular Macedonian beer brands?

If you’re interested in trying more Macedonian beers, you might want to explore brands like Zlaten Dab, Gorsko, and Krali Marko. These brands offer a variety of flavors and beer styles that showcase the diversity of Macedonian brewing traditions.

What’s the difference between Skopsko Smooth and Skopsko IPL?

Skopsko Smooth is a variation of the original Skopsko beer, with a smoother and creamier mouthfeel. This version aims to provide a more balanced and drinkable experience for those who prefer their beer less hoppy. On the other hand, Skopsko IPL (India Pale Lager) is a more hop-forward option that uses different hop varieties to create a more complex and pronounced flavor profile. Both versions cater to different tastes and preferences, so it’s worth trying both to find your favorite.

Do people recommend Skopsko as a good beer?

Opinions on Skopsko tend to be subjective, as with any beer. Some people enjoy its light, refreshing, and slightly hoppy flavor, and appreciate its straightforward and unpretentious qualities. Others might prefer more complex or experimental beers. To determine whether Skopsko is the right beer for you, it’s best to give it a try and form your own opinion.


This guide was first published on August 11, 2023 and was last updated on January 17, 2024. For more information, please contact us at contact@skopjeguide.com.