Czech Beer as You Don’t Know It

Czech Beer as You Don’t Know It

Combine a brewery tour with beer tasting or walk through a hops labyrinth.

The Czech Republic: land of promising beer. No wonder. Beer has been brewed in this country for several thousand years, and the oldest historically documented brewery was founded in 993! But forget the world-famous Czech breweries: microbreweries also have their charm.

The Hops Temple

The Hops and Beer Museum in Žatec is a tourist area built in 2009-2012 when the former hops warehouses were reconstructed. This was no coincidence: it follows the unique tradition of growing and trading hops in the Žatec region. You can take a unique lift with 3D projection up the lookout tower called the Hops Lighthouse. You can walk through the labyrinth made of hops vines in the old warehouse, or through the coats-of-arms hall which tells the history of the hops-growing area. Also, there is an astronomical clock – an outdoor wall-mounted clock with an allegory of the local lifestyle centred around growing, harvesting, and using hops. Naturally, there is a restaurant and a microbrewery, U Orloje, with regional cuisine and distinctive beers.

Beer Brewed Not Only in Plzeň

You can also find excellent beer outside of Plzeň, home of the pilsner. One of the oldest breweries in the Czech lands is the Royal Krušovice Brewery in Central Bohemia, founded in 1517. If you want to tour the brewery, make sure you book your ticket at least a week in advance. The tour, with included tasting, takes about 90 minutes, and you will learn a lot of interesting facts about the production of this world-famous beer.

East of Prague, in Velké Popovice, there is another time-honoured brewery, this one dating back to the 16th century. The Velké Popovice Brewery has been brewing beer since 1874 and it also offers tours, during which you can see a historical brewing house of 1928 and lager cellars where you can taste unfiltered Velkopopovický Kozel beer.

To the west of Prague, there is the Berounský Medvěd Brewery in Beroun. This brewery follows the tradition of the original town brewery founded in 1872. Of course, you’ll also be able to taste several types of unfiltered, family-made beers.

In South Bohemia, at the historical centre of the spa town of Třeboň, there is the Regent Brewery. The brewery was founded in 1379 and it is one of the most ancient breweries in the world. You can book a day tour of the brewery, or a night tour lit with pine torches. As a bonus, the experienced brewing experts will teach you how to properly draw a beer.

Beer Trails on Foot or Bike

But if you really want to enjoy Czech beer, make time to walk one of the beer trails. In Krkonoše, the highest Czech mountain range, you can see the most beautiful parts of the mountains throughout the 35-kilometre trail, and taste beer from local breweries at six stops. The Krušnohorská beer trail offers not only light and dark lagers on both the Czech and German sides of the mountains, but also light wheat brews made according to old German recipes and low-alcohol fizzy drinks. Seventeen breweries from Bohemia and Germany have created one beer circle, where you get a map with information about the breweries, a beer card to collect brewery stamps, and a special trail-themed beer mug. Cyclists can also enjoy beer: the longest beer cycling trail in the Czech Republic is close to Rychnov nad Kněžnou near Pardubice, and boasts three local breweries, beer tasting included. There are also beer trails for cyclists in the Beskydy region near Opava, and in South Moravia near Jihlava, Pelhřimov, or Chrudim.