Which countries come to your mind when I say beer? I hope Czech Republic is one of them. Pivo, which means beer in Czech, is loved by Czechs because of its great taste. The Czech Republic is one of the countries where beer sales per person is the highest. And there are more than 120 breweries in the country.
Many Czechs say that the reason for that is the high quality of hop in Czech Republic, which is one of the major beer ingredients. Their hop is exported to a lot of countries in the world.
Among many Czech beer brands, Pilsner Urquell and Budejovicky Budvar are famous Czech beer brands. Pilsner Urquell, the first pilsen type beer in the world, is a classic Czech Pilsner beer. Because Pilsner Urquell beer contains more hop than many other beer companies, it’s famous for its bitter taste. Using Pilsner glass is recommended to keep the beer bubble when you drink beer.
Budejovicky Budvar is the third largest beer producer in Czech Republic. An interesting thing about this company is that they haven’t changed their original way of brewing.
Czechs, who love beer, try their best to keep improving their beer. There’s a school where students learn how to brew beer! During the 4-year-long program, students who major in beer brewing, not just learn how to brew good beer. They also learn basic principles about how beer is made through chemistry experiments. There’s a small brewery in the school where they brew beer monthly. They can taste their beer at any time at school. It seems that students and teachers in this school, which has around 150 years of history, have great pride in their beer brewing education.
The Czech Republic is also known across Europe for their dark lagers, offered standard at most establishments. Some people refer to this as a “Black” beer (in German, known as “Schwarzbier) because of how dark the brew appears in a glass. Czech dark lagers generally range between 4 and 5% alcohol by volume and are often a flavorful beer with a bit of sweetness to the taste. Although it may look like a stout beer like Guinness, Czech black beer is contrarily a lighter and very drinkable beer. Many of these brews come in seasonal flavors reminiscent of chocolate or coffee, definitely playing up the sweetness of the lager. The oldest and most popular dark beer in the Czech Republic is called U Fleku’s ‘Flek’ dark beer and is solely available at U Fleku’s restaraunt and brewery in the heart of Prague. U Fleku’s, founded in 1499, is said to be the oldest brewery in Prague. So, if you find yourself in the Czech Republic, be certain that you try a dark lager or black beer, and if you’re in Prague, definitely hit U Fleku’s brewery up for a tour, beer tasting and leisurely meal. It’s tradition!
Co-written with Shelby Rudolph