The Czech Republic is famous for its beer. There is a long tradition of brewing beer, and there are many staples in the country, such as Kozel, Staropramen, Pilsner Urquell, and the list goes on. However, it should be no surprise that the Czech Republic also has a thriving microbrewery scene.
In a seemingly endless list of breweries, the Czech Republic has 424 different breweries, according to Rate Beer, a popular website for beer enthusiasts. This list comprises everything from industrial breweries, to small, restaurant-based brewers.
Being a part of the micro beer scene comes at a price though. Like a fine wine, drinking a specialty beer means that you need to form an opinion about the brew to share with your friends. Is it a lager? An IPA? What about an APA? Is it citrusy? Hoppy? Too flat? Too foamy? What temperature should it be served at? And the critique goes on. To be a part of the conversation, you must know something about beer.
Okay, of course, you don’t need to be an expert to enjoy a beer. You don’t need to sniff it or swirl it around in your glass to enjoy your beer. But, it is nice to have an opinion. Luckily, the Czech Republic has a school for this. You can take classes at the Research Institute of Brewing and Malting, a Czech facility studying the craft, or in some cases science, of beer production since 1887.
While the institute’s main purpose is conducting research on brewing and the ingredients involved, they also provide lessons on beer tasting. Now, everyone can be an expert. Finding the beer for you, like anything, depends on your tastes.
When it comes to beer, the best place to start is with the temperature. Light lagers, especially citrusy brews, should be served around 4-7 °C. Medium-bodied lagers, your typical craft beer, should be served at 8-12 °C. Heavier beer with a higher alcohol content, which you tend to find on the fancier side of the beer world, should be served at around 12-14 °C.