When you travel to the Czech Republic, there are things that you can not skip. This time, we will introduce you to beer. The brewing history can last traced back to the 6th century, and Czech’s beers are unique compared to other countries. Also, the Czech’s drinking culture is very different from the rest of the world.
Let us start with the fact that beer is cheaper than bottled water in the Czech Republic (a half liter of beer costs just over $1 at most places). Beer is an individual category according to most Czech people, and beer is a matter of national pride. It has a long history in what is now the Czech Republic, with brewing taking place in Břevnov Monastery in 993. The city of Brno had the right to brew beer from the 12th century while Plzeň and České Budějovice (Pilsen and Budweis in German), had breweries in the 13th century. The lager – particularly the pilsner-style light lager. The first brewery in the region opened in 993 AD, the kingdom of Bohemia, which made up the western half of the present-day Czech Republic, was just as passionate about brewing as their neighbors in Bavaria. The beer was often brewed by monks in monasteries, who were allowed to drink beer during fasting periods. The monastery in the Břevnov district of Prague started brewing beer in the 10th Century. Brewing was interrupted several times in the history, but up to today the brewing industry in Czech is now more developed than ever.
The Czech Republic is home to the original Budweiser, and you might be surprised by that. German was the official language for much of Czech history and is also the language of origin for many beer-related terms. Budweiser is what they called beer from České Budějovice, which is called Budweis in German. Much like Plzeň, it was known for its local style of beer, but it was a German immigrant named Adolphus Busch who emigrated to America, started a brewery and named his flagship beer Budweiser. Anheuser-Busch and the České Budějovice-based Budvar brewery have engaged in many legal battles over the years to determine who has the legal right to use the Budweiser name (Eating Europe, 2018). Typically, you would like to have less foam in a glass of beer right? However, to old-school Czech beer drinkers sometimes prefer more foam than beer. You may find it strange but back in the day it was a common way to test the quality of the beer, where you experience both the sweet taste of the foam and the bitter flavor of the beer.
Regardless of the reason, Czechs consume more beer per capita than any other country in the world – and they have a unique drinking culture to match. Czechs toast to each other by saying “Na zdraví!” while looking into each others’ eyes as they clink glasses. It is also super important to only clink with those across from you; crossing arms is a sign of bad luck. To make things easier, most bartenders will keep bringing a full glass of beer; if you are tapping out, make sure to indicate so, or you will be responsible for the last beer that comes (10 best, 2018). There are a few beer tasting tours in the Czech Republic that you can choose. They will take you to local pubs, introduce you to the history and let you enjoy some good beers. When you order a dish of Czech goulash, make sure to pair it with a cup of Czech beer to make the perfect combination because that is how the Czech does it.