Žalec made international headlines in late 2016, when the world’s first “beer fountain” was officially opened in a park in the city centre – a fitting distinction given the long, storied hops growing and beer producing heritage of the town. After several years of discussion and planning, the final design is an homage to the hops flower, featuring two interlocking green semicircles, one of which boasts six retractable beer taps. While not a fountain in the traditional sense of free-flowing liquid being spouted up into the air (that would be both dangerous and likely illegal), the taps are open to the public and of the serve yourself variety, thus the structure serves as both an eye-catching piece of public artwork and a functional bar. How does the system work? Visitors can purchase commemorative beer mugs specially designed by renowned Slovene artist Oskar Kogoj who has a shop in town or from the TIC office or Eco-Museum, and then choose up to six 100ml samples to taste from the local craft beers on tap. State-of-art-technology takes care of the details, as microchips inserted in the mugs do all of the necessary calculations.