Beer Culture

Stories about great beer from the countries that invented it.

More on the Czech Beer Festival

In just nine days, the first annual Czech Beer Festival takes its shot at establishing a springtime Oktoberfest in Bohemia. Not only are the first advertisements starting to show up, but I’ve just received confirmation that the beer list has expanded well beyond Pilsner Urquell, Budvar and Staropramen. In fact, it seems a slew of smaller producers will be represented.

According to the organizers, the beers on tap now include 16 brands. First, the usual suspects:

  • Budvar
  • Pilsner Urquell (SABMiller)
  • Kozel (SABMiller)
  • Gambrinus (SABMiller)
  • Radegast (SABMiller)
  • Staropramen (InBev)
  • Ostravar (InBev)
  • Braník (InBev)

That leaves us with nine smaller producers, some of which are rather unusual picks. (As in there’s no Bernard.) Witness the fitness:

  • Černá Hora
  • Janáček
  • Jihlava
  • Platan
  • Svijany
  • Rohozec
  • Konrad
  • Rakovník

Not a bad selection. However, it does bring up a few questions:

Whatever happened to Primátor, which was supposed to be included when we first wrote about the Czech Beer Festival?

Does this mean that Primátor’s special beer for dogs is also off the table?

Where did Krušovice go — and why?

What beers from each brewery are going to be present? Will Janáček serve its Comenius? Will Jihlava offer Jihlavský Grand? Or will it all be 10° and 12° světlý ležák, the pale lagers that dominate 95% of all local consumption?

In other words, it’s a great thing that the Czech Beer Festival plans to offer sixteen beers, a few of which are rarely seen in Prague. But are all sixteen going to be more or less imitations of each other?

In nine days and about an hour and a half, we’ll all find out…


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  1. Those are good questions. I have with me the Pivovarnictví magazine from Hospodarksé Noviny, it’s dated May 5 and on page 15 there is an article talking about the festival. There is some sort of map with the layout of the different tents and Náchod and Krušovice are still shown.
    It would certainly be a pity if Primátor wasn’t part of the festivities.

  2. I’ll be in Prague the 22nd and 23rd of the month. Would this festival still be something worth checking out or would I be better off sipping beer at the bars? I’ve got a limited time to explore, as I’ll actually be there for another reason, as well as a few other cities over the course of two weeks.

    Also, it may be asking a bit much, but I’m curious as to which bars and beers would be the best to check out with only a brief amount of time in the city. I would’ve emailed you directly, but it’s not listed, so if it’s easier you can contact me that way.

    Sorry to hi-jack the comments section. Any information would be very much appreciated. Cheers!

  3. I think the festival might be worth checking out. It’s not far from the centre, so you may want to drop by and see if you like it or not.
    As for pubs, I’ve listed several in my blog, though you might know some of them already if you’ve been here.
    Na Zdraví

  4. I was doing a little searching of your blog as well. The “Tips for Visitors” tab is definitely helpful. I’ve never been before, and only have a limited amount of time, so I’m trying to map out a plan to get the most out of it. That’s why I was thinking about the festival, depending upon when I can get over there.


  5. I think you should hit the brewpubs plust Pivovarský Klub and maybe a couple of the classics. You can easily do that in two days and still be able to have a look at the festival.

  6. Well, from the second group, six out of eight there are members of K Brewery Group( * Černá Hora
    * Janáček, * Jihlava,* Platan,Svijany,Rohozec). This makes me wonder, if the last two, Konrad and Rakovnik are new members or they just want to participate in a beer festival.
    When Rakovnik is a brewery with capacity over 300 thousands hectos of beer a year and is acutally making about 10-12 thousands…

  7. Good point, Honzo. On a related note, I’ve just received a text message from the organizers: No Primátor, no psí pivo. So I’d treat even this list with a grain of salt, as it might change completely by the time the event kicks off.

  8. What a shame! I wonder what happened there. I guess I will spending my time only at the K Brewing group tent then…..

  9. Jay

    I feel like it said somewhere that the beer will be 40kc each. Anyone know if that’s true?

    If so, I’m probably going to skip the festival and just head to Pivovarsky Klub– more beers to try for less money.

  10. Hey, Jay. The price should be 40 CZK per half-liter, that’s correct, or at least that’s what we had here:

    What remains to be seen is the entry fee. Any guess on how much it’s going to cost to get in?

    You can’t go wrong with PivoKlub, though…

  11. I think to get in will set you back 120 crowns. But I am not sure…

  12. I think that’s what I heard, too. It remains to be seen how this is going to go off. If it’s just sixteen kinds of světlý ležák, that 120 CZK might seem kind of steep for some folks. And the organizers are definitely going to want repeat visitors.

    I’m planning on going the first day, Friday 23 May, around noon. Anyone else?

  13. I just received the beer list from the organizers, which I’ll have to put up in a new post. It looks pretty good, considering…

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