Tuesday 1 December 2009

Brewers loop

Svijany - my favourite beer on my favourite cycling jersey
When I worked at the Czech News Agency (CTK) back in the mid-1990s, hardly a month went by without reports coming in of another Czech brewery hitting the skids. Around 20 were closed down in the ten years or so following the 1989 Velvet Revolution. There was trouble brewing.

Anyone who knows beer knows the big Czech brands - Pilsner Urquell, Budvar, Staropramen and so on. But there are some 125 beer producers in the Czech Republic, most of them local breweries, microbreweries or brewpubs. And it was these small operations that were struggling the most.

But now they are bouncing back.
Certainly I've noticed a rise in the availability of provincial beers on tap in Prague recently. Diversification is the new trend. Fruit beers, wheat beer, stout, English-style ale, medicinal brews, unfiltered beers, unpasteurised beers, even cappuccino and cannabis beers - the choice has never been wider. The Czech Republic is developing a beer glut.

This, I feel, is something to be encouraged. So, to keep me ale and hearty while I'm barrelling along, I've decided to sample as many as possible of the local brews I encounter en route. With the aid of the beer map of the Czech Republic at pivni.info, I've come up with the following list of candidates.

Stage 1 - not much to begin with, but a good few later on:
Bravůr Loučná nad Desnou 
Holba Hanušovice 
Rampušák Dobruška
Žamberecký Kanec
Primátor Náchod

Stage 2 - another selection of five:
Opat Broumov - Olivětín
Krakonoš Trutnov
Pivovarská bašta Vrchlabí
Novosad Harrachov
Kocour Varnsdorf

Stage 3 - none right up in the mountains, but a few further inland:
Mostecký kahan
Velichovský Forman
Hastrman Velký Rybník
Permon Sokolov

Stage 4 - again, none directly on the route, but a couple to look out for:
Chodovar Chodová Planá
Pivovar Kout na Šumavě

Stage 5 - one near the start of the stage, and another near the end:
Belveder Železná Ruda
Minipivovar Vyšší Brod

Stage 6 - South Moravia is a wine-growing area, so only:
Hostan Znojmo

Stage 7 - A better offering here, mostly microbreweries:
Švihák Hodonín
Janáček Uherský Brod
Balkán Uherský Brod
Valášek Vsetín
Minipivovar Třinec


Anonymous said...

i hope your trip will allow you to visit some of these....all in the interests of research ofcourse.

Circuit Rider CZ said...

Of course!

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