Did you know that…
- people have drunk a „beer“ already in 3000 BC?
- 90% of the Czech beer production are the pale lagers of the pilsner type?
- pilsner type of the beer comes from the Czech city of Pilsen (Plzen)?
- the Czech Republic is the seventh biggest producer of the beer in the European Union?
- the Czech Republic is the third biggest hop producer in the world?
- typical Czech drinks 138 liters of the beer per year (2017)?
- this makes the Czech Republic the absolute winner of the world chart (the second place is only at around 100 liters)?
- typical Czech man drinks nine beers per week?
- 87% of Czech men and 59% of Czech women are used to drink the beer more or less regularly?
Therefore we can say with a bit of exaggeration that the Czech Republic is a nation of the beer. And that Czechs love a beer.
Currently, there are more than sixty registered breweries in the country (minibreweries aren´t taken into account). Everybody can choose such a type of the beer, that taste the most. Black, blonde, filtered or unfiltered, pasteurized or unpasteurized, non-alcoholic, fruit beer and many others. The biggest Czech beer brands are Pilsner Urquell, Budweiser, Kozel, Staropramen or Svijany for example.
Czech Pilsner Beer Style
Would you be able to tell what do you need to make the half-liter of the typical Czech beer?
- WATER – it requires 2-4 liters of the water
- MALT – more than 2400 germinated and dried barley grains. The malt provides the carbohydrates that are needed for the process of the fermentation
- HOPS – three cones of the bitter hop. The Czech beer wouldn´t be good without pretty bitter taste
- YEAST – 3 grams of the yeast source that will start the fermentation process
This type of the pale lager came to the existence because the beer in the city of Plzen was disgusting in the middle of the 19th century. It was actually the German brewer Josef Groll who came to Plzen and prepared the first batch of the Pilsner beer in October 1842. He used the technique of the bottom fermentation when the yeast cells are capable of decomposing the malt carbohydrates. Therefore such a beer is not very sweet. The beer lies at a low temperature for almost one month, so we know it as the „lager.“ Groll also used the Czech hop from the area of Zatec, that is very bitter. This kind of hops of the Saaz Variety is popular until today.
The best ways how to enjoy the beer in the Czech Republic
This is, of course, the most traditional way how to spend the time with friends and drink the beer. Typical Czech pubs are full of people. Very often somebody is playing the guitar or the accordion. And Czechs loves singing the songs, doesn´t matter if the traditional or modern ones. Unfortunately, such local pubs are disappearing. Still, you can find some. In Prague, you can visit the pubs U Pinkasu, U Fleku or U Medvidku.
You will surely find the modern pubs in the Czech Republic as well. One of the most popular bars is called „surprisingly“ The Pub. You can find it in several Czech cities. Each table has own tap so you can make the beer yourself.
Almost every brewery organizes own feast. You can taste there not only the standard beer production but also the specialties. Most probably the biggest festival takes place in the brewery area in Plzen at the beginning of October. Come to Pilsnerfest to learn how to tap the beer, see the brewery inside or listen to the music of popular Czech bands. And don´t forget to taste at least one cold, bitter beer.
Several Czech breweries offer the guided tour. You will see the current production of the beer, but you will also have a chance to see, how they brewed the beer in the middle age. And of course, you will taste a good beer in the cellars. You can join such a tour in Plzen or Ceske Budejovice for example.
Try the relax in hot water with the extract of hops, herbs, and yeast. It was used in the middle age and renewed in the twenty century. It has many health benefits. The bath clears the pores, regenerates the skin, eases the muscle tension and increases cardio-activity.
A little of the history has never killed anybody….
People drink a beer almost from everlasting. We know that Egyptians enjoyed the beer already 5000 years ago. Most probably, the beer exists by coincidence, when somebody tasted the fermented barley for the first time. And the effect was apparently very nice. Such a beer surely needed the adjustment to be what it is today. People used to add into the ferment the fruits, herbs or even the mushrooms.
The boom of the breweries in Czech country has started with the spreading of the Christianity and the development of new monasteries. The monks could drink the beer during their fast. Therefore they received the brewing right from the king. This right was one of the privileges granted by the landowner or territorial ruler. It was closely connected with the „mile right, that prohibited the brewing of the beer within ten miles of the town walls. The oldest Czech brewery was established in 993 in the Brevnov monastery. The oldest Czech towns with brewing right are Plzen, Ceské Budejovice, and Svitavy. And the tradition stays in these cities till nowadays. Most of the beers were „top fermented,“ as the „bottom fermented“ beer needs a lower temperatures. But the quality of the bottom fermented beer is higher. Therefore this type of the beer has spread quickly in the 19th century when the industrialization has begun.
If you come to the Czech Republic, you will have many opportunities to taste our great Czech beer.