Ages ago, Czech winemakers embraced St. Martin’s Day as befitting festival to uncork the season’s first wine. The nation’s brewers only recently followed suit, seizing on St. Wenceslas Day to celebrate and showcase their tipples. That red letter day is now the peak of a week-long national celebration – the Days of Czech Beer.
A small brewery in the South Bohemian village of Čížová has produced the Czech Republic’s first beer made from recycled, purified wastewater. The water came from a Prague wastewater treatment plant and was processed by experts from the company Veolia. So far, the brewery has rolled out some 15 hectolitres of ‘sewer beer’ under the brand ERKO.
The demand for craft beer from mini-breweries has been growing the world over. The Czech Republic had just 40 min breweries a decade ago, whereas now it has over 400. And given the reputation of the country’s golden brew, it has plenty of know-how to share. The company TechOrg is engaging in one such venture in Bosnia, where it is offering the locals advice in terms of financing and technology as well as the know-how of Czech brew-masters. The aim is to support the rise of local breweries which would cater to local tastes. I spoke to the coordinator
Budějovický Budvar last year recorded the highest exports in its history. The brewing company – whose products are sold under the Czechvar brand name in some states – exported 1.07 million hectolitres of beer in 2018, a rise of 8.5 percent on the previous year, according to figures it has just released.
Zubr Gold has taken top honours at the 27th annual Pivex Golden Cup contest
in two categories. The Přerov brew was named best bottled beer and best
light draft beer.
This year 50 brands from 13 industrial breweries took part in the two-round competition.
Bernard won in the category of top dark lager. Holba won in the mixed beer category for its cranberry and mint brew.
In the mini-brewery contest, the Merklín crocodile of the Petr Petružálek brewery took first prize.
Czech state-owned brewery Budějovický Budvar sold more beer in 2018 than
in its entire 123-year history, following a 7.3 percent rise in sales to
2.57 billion crowns.
Budvar, which has been in a long legal dispute with U.S. giant Anheuser-Busch over use of the “Budweiser” brand, said output rose 3.6 percent last year to 1.602 million hectoliters. The growth followed a 4-percent decline in 2017, caused by shifting production to a premium brand.
In 2019, the brewery plans to build a third bottling plant. It said its focus on premium lagers is paying off.