Some words about Czech Beer, Bars&Pubs!
Czech Republic has a long history of czech beer making and it is still, to this day, making some of the best brands in the world.
Beer and the drinking thereof are ingrained in Czech culture, society and history. It is a fact that the people here consume more beer per capita than any others in the world. Czechs drink an average of 160 liters of beer per person per year.
Facts from history
What do you know about history of czech beer? Let’s talk about in example. Some of the most famous brewing cities were Budweis. By the way, the American Budweiser brand
took its name from. In 1876, the name Budweiser was adopted by the American brewer Adolphus Bush. When the Czech brewery, a few years later, wished to begin exports to the New World, this caused problems, and Budvar had to be given another name. For a time it was sold in the United States as Crystal.
Both companies are entangled in a trademark dispute involving the right to use the name “Budweiser” and variations of it in Europe for their two very different beers. Budvar still calls itself, with some justification, “The Original Budweiser”. The Czech Budvar has a unique bitter-sweet flavour and the brewery has taken up the study of Coca-Cola’s strategies over the years for protecting its trademark and recipe. Anheuser-Busch, along with some 40 other foreign firms, has been trying to buy a stake in Budvar since 1989, but the Czech government has dragged its feet in privatizing the brewery. The Czechs are wary of foreign investment in what they consider part of their national heritage.
What about today?
Hope, some words about history were not so boring… So, today there are many small breweries in Prague, but it is also home to a very well-known brand and the second biggest brewery in the country, Staropramen. The story of beer in the Czech Republic is exciting, but trying it is even better, so we will give you some suggestions on where you can enjoy beer when visiting Prague. In the capital of the Czech Republic you can enjoy a good glass of beer anywhere in the city and also very cheap. A glass of beer in Prague often costs less than a bottle of water! Some of the most popular and traditional versions are Urquell, Kozel, Staropramen, Budweiser Budwar and Gambrinus. How many have you tried?
One of the best urban legend says that drinking beer makes you live longer, because it reduces the aluminum in the body, saving it from the effects of aging and Alzheimer’s disease. Considering that life expectancy in the Czech Republic is among the lowest in Europe, this may be stretching the truth a little. Beer does contain natural B-complex vitamins, though, so it does have some nutritional value (maybe that’s why it’s also known in Czech as “liquid bread”). Another story going around after the revolution claimed that Czech beer is made without hops. This is pretty silly because beer without hops isn’t beer. A more reasonable Czech tale concerns beer consumption when times are hard. People don’t drink less beer, they just drink 10% instead of 12%, as 10% beer is cheaper.
Degrees of beer
The degree sign caused some confusion for consumers in the past, as international norms used it to signify the temperature of brewing and other things. Many think that the percent is the amount of alcohol, but it’s actually the amount of malt extract used in the brewing process. Today, Czech beer is divided into the basic categories: “light” beer brewed below 8°; “tap” beer, though it can be bottled, brewed between 8° and 10°; “lager” beer, brewed between 11° and 12.99°; “special” beer, brewed above 13°.
The best places for a local beer?
So, at first will tell you about “T-Anker“. This is a bar, that serves local beers and the best part about it; the rooftop bar! A perfect spot for tasting new beers and enjoying Prague’s skyline at sunset. Another interesting place for beer lovers is “Prague Beer Museum”. It is not a museum (there is also a beer museum in Prague). But it has around 30 taps with beer from small brewers from all around the country. The staff is very knowledgeable and the atmosphere amazing!
Want to have a drink right next to the river? Then “Lod Pivovar” is the right place to go. It combines its own brewery, a restaurant with traditional Czech cuisine and a wonderful view. All on a ship on the riverside, which once used to be a dancing ship. “U Medvidku”, a brewery housed in a historic brewery building of the 15th century. You can try their brewed beer on the ground level. Very cozy place, with a good cold beer; a great way to unwind after a day in Prague.
Once you’ve tried some of the local and traditional pilsners then be sure to head over to one of the many incredible newer craft beer bars around Prague. “Bad Flash” has an am
azing corner-bar in Karlin where they also serve some of the best and most recognised newer beer brands from around the world. Get your Danish “Mikkeller”, Belgian “Cantillon”, their own Bad Flash editions and much much more.
If you want to try something away from the tourist-hotspots then stop by “ALE Bar”. Small local place with 8 taps – and never afraid to try something different. One of the most popular newer bars in The Golden City is the “BeerGeek”. They have an absolutely incredible selection and they change it quite frequently. You will not regret it!
Other Beer experiences
And if that is not enough, Prague also has beer festivals to offer! Beer festivals in Czech Republic are called ‘pivni slavnosti’ and take place mostly on weekends. Most of them are rock festivals organized by breweries. Which means that only the beers of these particular breweries are available. But multiple breweries are invited and show off their wares. One of the biggest festivals in Prague is ”Czech Beer Festival”. Which has a duration of two weeks and a lot of beer to try out. The aim is not high consumption. But rather tasting, with 30 different breweries exhibiting each time.
One of the most visited beer attractions is the ”Urquell Plzen brewery and museum”. This museum takes you through all the steps of making beer in beautiful visual installations so that everyone has a chance to taste, see, smell and touch. Great experience for all beer enthusiasts!
Finally, if you are up for an alternative beer experience. In Prague you can experience beer in other ways, one of which is beer baths. Yes, that’s right! In Czech Republic you can go to specialized spas and bathe in beer. Beer baths started as a concept in the West Bohemia by the Chodovar brewery. But today there are also some situated in Prague, the most well-known being the Original Beer Spa.
The Czechs love their beer! Visiting Prague it is easy to understand why. You can experience new tastes. Enjoy a good glass of beer, and even sink in a bathtub of lager. And, of course, have a relaxing time in the Czech capital.