In Czech Republic, man go 4x, women 2x a week to have Beer

Every Czech drinks beer. Even when this seems to be a cliche, often researches prove that is a true. The recently published research of CVVM in the Czech Republic reveals that almost all men and half of the women drink it. Quite probably it is not going to change by the economic crisis, people just change for cheaper labels. Share of the people who drink Czech beer doesn’t change, reaches about 90% at men population and 50-60% at women population.

Beside the regulars, there is a decent number of opportunities, when Czechs go to have ‘one’. Men during in the most cases four times a week and drink nine 0,5l glasses in total, women go ‘just’ twice a week, having 2,5 beers a week. Other important difference lies in the education. Regular beer consumption based on education in beer/week; Primary school – 12,7, Secondary School – 9,7, Grammar school equivalent – 6,6, University students – 5,8.

Christmas beers start to be sold in Prague

The number of beer exhibitions grow usually before Christmas in all the breweries, the tooth of people for something unusual, which they cannot have for the rest of the year, grows as well. The taste for experimenting with something unique, which you can’t have during the year, grows. Those look for the Christmas beers.

Where to they have them? You have to go to some small breweries, which you must look up, however, just a small illustration – at Strahov they brew 20° dark special, in the brewery U Bulovky they distribute two half-dark 17° beers with soft flavour of Christmas spices and herbs, i.e. cinnamon. The Beer house U Bansethu in Nusle brews 15° dark honey beer. The real classic among Prague Christmas beers is the already traditional vanilla beer, served with a sweet vanilla baby roll.

If you don’t know where to go, you can go Pivovarsky klub in Karlin, where they have a lot of Christmas special beers from other local breweries, from Broumov, from Rakovnik… a lot of choices.

Beer of the Year: KOZEL

Vyzkumny ustav pivovarsky a sladarsky – The Research institute of Brewery and Maletry organized the annual competition, where the experts try to find the best Czech bear. In 2008 it was the Kozel Medium, the 11° lager from Velke Popovice Brewery. It won closely ahead of Kozel Premium. The third was Litovel Premium from Hana.

Other beers which succeeded among lagers were Zubr, Holba and Patriot. From dark beers it was Rebel and Janecek. The second time in the history of the competition, also the best non-alcoholic beer was decided, again, the best Czech non-alcoholic beer became Radegast Birell.

The journalists choice of 2008 was Pilsner Urquell, followed by Bernard and Gambrinus. In total, 64 labels competed.

The Best Czech Beer according to The Times

It may be a cliché, but it is a fact anyway – in the world, we are known the best for our beer. The traditional British newspaper The Times published a list of the ten best Czech beers. The author is Evan Rail, known for his book Good Beer Guide Prague and Czech Republic.

So, the Best Czech breweries according to The Times:

1. Pivovarsky Dvur, Chyne
2. Berounsky Medved, Beroun
3. Moritz, Olomouc
4. Vendelin, Liberec
5. Pernstejn, Pardubice
6. Pivovar nova Paka
7. Medlesice
8. Pivovarsky Dvur Lipan
9. Pilsner Urquell, Plzen
10. Dalesice

Well, the truth is, I have never heard about most of those beers, as a matter of fact I had only three of these – Pilsner Urquell, which I consider the best Czech beer ever, than Medved, which is quite bitter but good, and Pernstejn, which I had to drink during my studies in Pardubice, which tastes like mud, and which I was getting used to about half a year.

What I really appreciate is the author Rail had to spend a lot of time travelling and degustation. It is an inspiration for a road-beer trip in the Czech Republic.

'Czech Beer' to become a trademark

Lidove Noviny presented a study of a label proposal.

The European Union is, with high probability, going to entitle the Czech Republic to use Ceske Pivo / Czech Beer as a trademark for beer brewed using the certain technologies in the certain latitude. It won’t change much for export of the well-known labels, however it should lead to higher customer satisfaction.

The reason is; beers like Staropramen or Pilsner Urquell are made in Russia, Poland or Slovakia, its externals however do not say much about the possibility of slight taste change. The Ceske pivo sign would say it all. If it is passed, we are probably going to see that label in half a year.

The other purpose is to distinguish similar labels, like the famous Budejovicky Budvar / Budweiser dispute. If both the beers use the same name and technology, the one directly from the Czech Republic should clearly say so.

Budejovicky Budvar – Budweiser – now even Bai De Fu

The well-known lager from Ceske Budejovice in the South Czech Republic starts to sell in China from 17th July. If Chinese decide to have a Budweiser, they are lucky. The name in Chinese – Bai De Fu means ‘A lot of luck’, something like good luck wish.

Budwar Chinese Etiquette Why would the well known brand rename? A Chinese is not able to pronounce Budvar or Budejovicky, so the business managers for East Asia decided to find a new name with locals, short and optimistic one.

The golden Czech beer starts in 13 million Shanghai. The Patent Office gave the Czech Brewery licence for whole China.

The Czech police is going to give away free non-alcoholic beer

Is it an absurd vision, that a police officer would give you a free beverage? Well it can happen, where else than in Prague. Since today to Thursday, the traffic-preventive action called ‘Alcohol doesn’t belong behind the wheel’ takes place in Prague.

The police is going to check drivers for alcohol, those who didn’t drink before driving will get a free, non-alcoholic beer as a reward.

The meaning of the action is to emphasize, drivers can drink only non-alcoholic drinks, and to warn against hazards of drunk driving. But it wouldn’t be Czechs, if the solution wouldn’t include beers… I guess beer really is the Czech word for water...

Prices of Beer in Prague

The page brought an interesting insight – if you come to Prague for good and cheap beer, this could be your guide to both. The map depicts Prague parts with colours according to prices, with little glasses, representing pubs and restaurant.

As it goes with the web 2.0, the map is interactive, so it still grows in information and quality. Prague citizens themselves form the information part. And how to summarize it? If you have a beer at the Old Town Square, you can pay ten times more than in the rest of Prague. Prague 1 prices are equal to those in Britain, but if you move just a little, you can find beer in normal Prague price – 25 czk or less for a 0,5 l.

The interactive map of beer in Prague is here

Pilsner Urquell is Cheaper in Germany than in the Czech Republic

Pilsner Urquell MF Dnes have drawn attention to the fact; Germany, which has symbolised the rich and expensive country for Czechs twenty years ago, is now becoming comparably cheaper.

If we go through a little counting, we find out: a bottle of Pilsner Urquell costs 19,90 CZK, meanwhile in Germany it is 15,93 CZK. The beer is four crowns cheaper, and also empties of Pilsner pay for more in the Czech Republic, than in Germany.

It would be very lucrative to build a business on it, however there is a problem; beer sold in the CR must have a Czech label.

Why the company Plzensky Prazdroj, the maker of Pilsner Urquell, puts its prices so high? They can afford it, as every second beer drunk in the Czech Republic is made by the company. They are setting the price. In 2006 it made 130 millions €, which makes it tenth most profitable company in the CR.

Pilsner Urquell Dominates Czech Market

urquell Last year, the Czech beer brand Pilsner Urquell held its 17% share on the non-alcoholic beer market.

Half a million hectolitres of nonalcoholic beer has been sold in the Czech Republic only. A year before, it was 328 thousands hectolitres. The general director of Urquell Mike Short claims, the sales of non-alcoholic beer are growing up in the whole Europe, but not so fast as in the CR.

Urquell’s brand is called Radegast Birell and it competes with another 25 brands on the Czech market.

Czech Brands Advertisements in the World

Skodacarpark When Skoda Auto introduced , during the Christmas season, their skoda-cake advertisement, it was just one of the ads they show to the world. By the way, the British Television Advertising Craft Awards went to this ‘baking’ advertisement.

Skoda advertisements have their place reserved at the web Ads of the Wold, which maps creative ideas, like the one when Skoda inform es they re-plant forests at various places of Earth; “Skoda compensates for the pollution of its cars, reforesting specific areas in the world.” (picture)

The second most well-known Czech product is beer, and the Kozel brand advertisements are recognized by world’s creative minds. Kozel is the beer with the billy-goat in its emblem, and the billy-goat propagates the beer e.g. by presenting ‘beer receipts’ in Finland, or by re-cycling the 3D glasses idea in Russia.

Pilsner Urquell International Master Bartender of the Year 2007

Pilsner Urquell International Master Bartender of the Year competition

Hundreds of contestants throughout the Czech Republic, Poland and South Africa had endured a grueling selection process in the preliminary rounds. Written examinations tested their knowledge of the traditional development of Pilsner Urquell and the brewing practices that create this distinctive beer. Each of the contestants had been required to choose a photograph depicting the embodiment of Pilsner Urquell and to write an essay explaining their selection.

The subsequent test was to demonstrate their ability to consistently perform the “perfect pour.” Such an art requires finesse, patience, and a steady hand. Technique differs for draught and bottle pouring, but either can be a difficult task. The contestants were judged on the draught technique, since this is the greater challenge.

Twenty-one-year old Erik Jönsson from Norway excelled in beer tapping with huge diligence. He did not allow so that the beer would owerflow. After that he hit the right rate.

Erik Jönsson gained a prestigious title Pilsner Urquell Master Bartender 2007 and he was introduced into the hall of fame of the Pilsen Urquell Brewery. “It is a great honour for me, the victory came as a surprise, even when I was prepared. The Czech representative was definitely a favourite .”

165th Anniversary of the Czech Beer Pilsner Urquell

The Day Lager was Born The Day Lager was Born

The well-known Czech lager was made for the first time on 5th October 1842. The main reason was probably the brewing crisis, going as far back as to 15th century. In the city of Pilsen was not only good beer, that was mostly sold away from the city, but much bad beer, sold inside the city. In 1838 it ended in a demonstration, during which citizens of Pilsen emptied 36 beer barrels on the main square. As a consequence, the Mestsky pivovar(City Brewery) was founded.

In 1842, the first brewage of a lager, as we know it today, was made there. Its author was the brewer of German origin, Josef Groll. He combined German advanced technology of brewing, combined with our local ingrediences – unique barley, local hops and soft water. By doing so, he set the basis for the new type of beer, that forms about 2/3 of the world beer production. Pilsen Urquell became the world first international beer.

Of course, the beer preparation came a long way until today. For example, for the quality check was used a simple test – the beer was poured on a bench, and one sit on it, wearing leather pants. If the pants stucked, the beer was considered of a good quality.

Of which quality the Pilsen Urquell beer is today, you can find out in Prague restaurant Kolkovna, where the celebrations of the anniversary take place today, 5th October.

By: Pavla Kozakova

The largest Czech brewery plans to rise the price of beer

Plzensky Prazdroj, the largest producer of beer in the Czech Republic, is going to raise the price of all the brands of beer by six or eight procent. One of the most famous Czech beer, pale lager Pilsner Urquell, may be by 1.40 CZK more expensive from this November.

The reason for the increase in price are the higher prices of barley and hops. “The current price of a ton of barley is about twice as high as it was last year,” said the head-manager of Plzensky Prazdroj company Mike Short. If the prices of hops and barely keep on rising, Prazdroj suspects further rise of the price.

Another brewery that’s going to increase the price of its beer is Budejovicky Budvar. Staropramen, the second largest brewery in the Czech Republic, doesn’t plan any increase of price yet.

Beer specialities in Prague

Prague mini breweries prepared many specialities for this summer. The most alcoholic beer in Prague can be found in ‘Restaurant U Medvidku’ (Na Perstyne 7 street, Prague 1). Their beer called X-Beer contains 12% of alcohol, which is about the same amount like in dry red wine.

A real rarity is a beer ice cream in ‘Richter Pub’ (Bulovka 17 street, Prague 8). Three scoops of beer ice cream with cream on it cost 65 CZK. The ice cream contains alcohol, therefore it’s not suitable for children and drivers. The ice cream is made on cream bases with bitter flavour of beer.

White wheat beer that used to brewed in the medieval times can be tasted in Strahov Brewery (Strahovske nadvori 301 street, Prague 1). Beer made from Bolivian cereal quinoa is tapped in ‘Pivovarsky klub’ (Krizikova 17, Prague 8).

Beer dispenser can read the age of consumers

The Czech Republic is not only the country with one of the highest consumption of beer but it has now also a beer dispenser that can recognize the age of a person. Karel Stibor and David Polnar invented a machine that can read data on identity cards or on passport and refuse underage consumers.

If the person is younger than 18 years or used a wrong (e.g. copy copied) identity card, the machine will return the money back. The machine can be used also for selling cigarettes, at the entrance of night clubs and disco, etc. The read information are not saved in the machine, so the data shouldn’t be abused.

Stibor and Polnar are now applying for international patent for their invention. They also signed a contract with Czech brewery Plzensky Prazdroj. The brewery wants to distribute the dispensers in Prague and central Bohemia first, especially in hotels, student dormitories and shopping centres.

Czech beer breaks records

Czech people are known for their high consumption of (especially Czech) beer. The statistics for the last year prove it completely – several records were broken last year regarding beer production, distribution and consumption.

Czech breweries produced 19.79 million hectoliters of beer last year, which exceeds the ‘top’ consumption of beer in the year 1992 by 330 thousand hectoliters. Czech people drank 16.25 million hl last year. Average Czech person drank 158 liters of beer per year.

Also the export of beer abroad broke records. More than 3.5 million hl of beer were sold to foreign countries, especially to Germany, Slovakia, England, and the USA.

Czechs vetoed the increase in price of beer

The Czech Minister of Finance Vlastimil Tlusty finally vetoed the EU plan to increase the minimum EU tax on beer to reflect the inflation. Tlusty’s argument was that there is zero minimum tax on wine which give wine a favourable market position. According to Tlusty Czech brewers should have the same tax conditions as winegrowers.

After Czech minister vetoed this plan, other ministers said no to the other Finish plan: to establish automatic increase in taxes on alcohol according to the inflation. Germany will take over the EU chairmanship next year, so it is not probable that this issue will be discussed again soon.

Diplomatic support - a beer barrow

The Czech Republic send a new diplomat to Brussels to support equal tax policy on beer and wine. The “new diplomat” is nothing less than a beer barrel. It will support Czech diplomats at the meeting of EU Ministers of Finance on 28th November.

Czech government does not like the idea that consumption tax will be increased only on beer but not on wine. “Beer is a part of our culture like wine is a part of French culture,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexandr Vondra who took over the beer barrel, that travelled from Plzen to Prague on a horse-drawn carriage, in front of Cerninsky Palace in Prague.

The beer barrow containing Pilsner Urquell is signed by many prominent people. Also President Vaclav Klaus supported this mission with his signature on the barrel.

The best brewer and pub are in Prague

Czech people drink the most of beer in the world. The number is 160 liters per person/per year. Their beer is also renowned in the world. “Spolek pratel piva” (free translated as “The friends of Beer Club”) gave several awards concerning beer, Prague was awarded in several categories.

If you want to taste beer from the best brewer in the Czech Republic for the year 2006, Martin Matuska, go to Monastic brewery Strahov (Klasterni pivovar Strahov) in Prague (near Prague Castle in the area of Strahov Monastery).

The best pub is First Beer Tramway (Prvni pivni tramway) that offers many kinds of beer. Every three days there is a new manu concerning beer. The pub has a very original interior. It feel like you are sitting in a tram. You can call in the waiter by pulling a rope with a bell.

The best non-alcoholic beer is Staropramen Nealko, which is produced also in Prague. 5% of consumed beer in the Czech Republic is non-alcoholic.