Чешская история пивоварения

Czech beer is one of the famoust in world. Were you ever interested about the history behind? Do you know what beer types were brewed as first and where? Do you know where the Pilsner type is coming from?
pivo-vrchlabi1

CZECH BEER HISTORY

Czech beer brewing is a history that dates back to 993 at Břevnov Monastery in Prague. In that time, brewing was primarily done at monasteries, as the Czech Republic was under a 250 year ban on nonmonastic brewing, which was only lifted in 1250. From the beginning, Czech beer used hops in its brewing, for several hundred years before other beer loving countries embraced the technique. Czech hops became a highly prized product for producers of beer, as other countries wouldn’t grow their own hops for brewing for hundreds of years. Once the beer ban was lifted, breweries across the country were granted rights to brew beer for the first time outside of monasteries; the cities of Ceske Budejovice in 1265, Plzen in 1290, and Svitavy in 1256 were some of the first cities to be granted the right to brew some of the first beer in the Czech Republic. 

Monks from Brevnov

FIRST CZECH BEER

Though the rich tradition of beer brewing has been a large part of Czech culture, the beer brewed in the first breweries was known as bile pivo or “white beer”. The brewing technique used a top-fermenting yeast, producing a cloudy wheat beer. Stare pivo, or “old beer” was brewed with a bottom-fermenting yeast; these beers were brewed at low temperatures for longer amounts of time, producing some of the first lagers. It’s believed that lagering originated in Bohemia, and the practice passed on to Bavaria and beyond during the second half of the 15th century.

Old beer

Old beer and lagering gradually faded out of the Czech beer brewing tradition; along with the fading traditions, Czech breweries were gradually destroyed in wars and conflicts in the country. The Brevnov brewery in Prague, along with the Brevnov monetary, were destroyed in 1420, and were not rebuilt for three hundred years. Despite the destruction, the Czech tradition of brewing beer continued on, focusing in top-fermenting beers, mainly made with wheat.

PILSNER LAGER BEER

The mid-19th century brought back the bottom fermented beers from Germany, thanks for improvements in transportation and trade; not many remembered the darker beer that their ancestors had introduced to their Bavarian neighbors, and so the Czechs feel in love with the change from the lighter beer they had been used to drinking. Breweries quickly began working on their own brewing methods for the darker beer. Despite other breweries producing darker beer, in Pilsen in 1842, the brewery developed its own technique of drying its malt with indirect heat, resulting in a crisp beer, not quite as dark as the German brews, but a more golden color; breweries began switching over to bottom fermentation in the hopes to replicate their successful innovative technique. Thus started a revolution of brewing techniques in the Czech Republic; breweries began switching to bottom fermenting techniques, and those that couldn’t often closed. Breweries began consolidating as the 20th century approached, and wheat beers had almost completely disappeared. Want to listen the whole Pilsner story ? Then pick one of our tour and join us! 

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COMMUNIST ERA

With the onset of the communist era in 1948, many breweries closed, reducing the number of producers rapidly. Those who survived produced mainly two types of beer, a pale or dark lager, and were restricted to such for the next 40 years. One of the few positives to come out of this era was that the Czechs weren’t able to update or renovate their breweries, preserving old fashioned techniques for brewing and malting, which had otherwise disappeared across Europe. 

RISE OF LOCAL MINIBREWERIES

As capitalism was reintroduced into the country, more and more smaller pubs and breweries began popping up, and the breweries began to experiment with brewing techniques, flavors, and even revisiting brewing wheat beer. With more than 250 breweries, the Czech Republic has maintained its long history of beer brewing despite multiple setbacks and restraints. That hasn’t stopped the country from producing some of the world’s best beer, leaving it no wonder that the Czech Republic is the number one consumer of beer per capita in the world. 

Modern minibrewery

 

 

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Пиво, Прага и История

Best way how to learn about Czech beer is to taste one. And we are happy to help you with this on our tours! But if you want to prepare on your own first, you can check out those articles. 

Интересные факты о пиве

How do you say beer in Czech? What is the beer consumption in Czech republic? Those and other interesting facts you can find here.

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Чешская история пивоварения

Czech beer is one of the famoust in world. Were you ever interested about the history behind? Do you know what beer types were brewed as first and where? Do you know where the Pilsner type is coming from?

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Чешское историческое наследие

What do you know about Prague as the city? Have you seen Prague Castle or maybe Charles Bridge? Let’s take a look and get some basic info first.

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see more beer facts

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