Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Studying Czech Beer

A return visit to a Prague conference, having helped run one 20 years ago in my British Airways days, saw me grab a short afternoon and evening re-visiting this beautiful city.  Guiding marketing colleague Derrick Chong on his first visit, I felt it appropriate to use a social media 'top 5 brew pub' list to give us some informal structure to our walking tour.  My map reading skills were not quite up to the mark inferred with my Scouting credentials.  

In reality this looked more like a good old fashioned UK boozer, with a nod to beer history in the wall decorations only.  

From the left 0.1 litre samples of banana, sour cherry, nettle and coffee flavours.   Definitely interesting.

Social media comments suggest that many Prague visitors make a beeline to this historic micro-brewery.  The traditional rectangular tables and bench seating surrounded by wooden wall panels makes for an old world feeling, you can believe its been around a long time.  The service is intriguing - I had been hoping to savour anticipatory pre-consumption delight in pouring over elaborate product descriptions for a range of house brew offerings.  None of it.  Muscular looking men with trays stacked with Becherovka absinthe shots and a heady dark porter were constantly circulating - you just caught their eye and the beverage was beside you inviting you to imbibe - as a tally of your drinking developed on the scrap of paper.  Not the formal hospitality you would expect, but ideal for a mates session - you don't have to get out of your seat or even wait to order the next pint !

Budwar and the Pilsner style beer hails from Czech origins (if then over commercialised by post prohibition Coca Cola swilling America).  The tourism trade has sought to emphasise this as a key element of the Czech experience.  The airport shops boasted an unusually large range of local beers and multi-media advertising in the terminals sought to drive brand preference.

Czech's were in a state of national fervour as their team made it through to the semi-final stages of the  Ice Hockey world cup, hosted in Prague.  I spotted chocolate hockey figures and even player profiles on beer cans.  Pilsner Urqell and Kozel are both SAB Miller owned brands brewed in Czech Republic.

Best pint of the day - after a long hike up the castle hill.
Unfiltered, unpasteurised, locally brewed.  
CAMRA would be proud.

Cheers !  Hope you enjoyed this mini-beer fest !