Fermented grain beverages can be considered the direct ancestors of beer – they are as old as humanity itself. However, over the past centuries we have discovered how to create a deliciously bitter golden beverage with a perfect frothy head. Did you know that the roots of pilsner-type beer come from the Czech lands, from the city of Plzeň? This alone makes the Czech Republic worth visiting! And, what's more, beer often costs the same as water in restaurants and pubs… Na zdraví!
Draught beer the Czech wayYou can tell a good publican by the fact that they keep their beer tap tidy and can serve beer in various styles. Thanks to these different styles of serving, the same beer from the same keg can taste different. One style can bring out more of a bite to the beer, while another can highlight the hoppy tones.
The foundation of serving Czech beer on draught is hladinka ("flat top"): a large beer with foam up to the rim of the glass, poured in one go. The result is beer that has the perfect temperature and the correct beer-to-creamy foam ratio.
Šnyt used to be the favourite of regulars, who would order it as their last round before going home. Šnyt is essentially a small beer with a large head of foam in a large beer mug. The advantage of šnyt is that it does not need to be drunk quickly because its creamy foam protects the flavour of the beer.
Mlíko ("milk") is an interesting style of serving beer. The beer mug is filled with a milky, cream-like foam, reminiscent of a glass of milk. Mlíko is best enjoyed if you drink it in one go. After drinking, you will be surprised to taste beer that is more delicate, and, more importantly, sweeter. Čochtan, on the other hand, does not have any foam at all. For this reason, it contains ample amounts of carbon dioxide, and makes the beer seem to have a sharper bite. Of all of the styles, čochtan is the most refreshing, and is perfect for quenching your summer thirst.
Where to go for beer in 2017Czech Beer Festival in Prague (11-27 May 2017)
The gates of Prague's Letná Plain will open in May for the now-traditional and largest of all Czech beer festivals. You can taste over 150 types of draught Czech beers, primarily from small and mid-sized breweries. As usual, the golden beverage will be served solely in glass mugs, as will the non-alcoholic beverages as well, which will be led by traditional Czech soft drinks.
Beerfest Olomouc (25-27 May 2017)
Visitors to the Olomouc Beerfest will have the opportunity to taste approximately 100 brands of beer, beginning with classic lagers through a wide range of speciality beers from the production of over 30 breweries across the Czech Republic. At the same time, there will be a diverse supplementary programme, along with various concert performances.
Žižkovské pivobraní ("Žižkov Beer Harvest," 2-3 June 2017)
Organisers of this beer festival in Prague have prepared over 100 varieties of Czech beer from over 30 small breweries and microbreweries, as well as a supplementary programme full of concerts. The focus on small-scale producers and craft breweries has earned the Žižkovské pivobraní a unique position among other beer festivals. This festival attracts visitors who want to taste interesting products, and the festival is more reminiscent of a wine-tasting event.
Pilsner Fest (7 October 2017)
Come and visit West Bohemian Plzeň for Pilsner Fest, and enjoy this Pilsner Urquell beer holiday. Celebrations in the Plzeň brewery will pay homage to the historical tradition of the brewing craft, and will show what stands behind the international success of the Plzeň lager. The Plzeň brewery will prepare its popular entertaining festival tours of the Pilsner Urquell brewery, during which you will make your way to the labyrinth of lager cellars with a year-round temperature of 7°C, and where you will taste unfiltered and unpasteurised Pilsner Urquell, served directly from their oak lager barrels.