Q: I currently live in San Diego, California, but am moving to the Czech Republic in March, 2009. I am an avid homebrewer here in the USA but I was wondering if you know how accessible brewing supplies would be in the Czech Republic?
A: Until recently, homebrewing in the Czech Republic has had a very low profile. The intimate networks of homebrewers here would often buy or barter their ingredients directly from contacts at small commercial breweries and brewpubs, or even purchase leftover malt from giant breweries like Pilsner Urquell.
Lately, however, Czech homebrewing has really started to pick up the pace.
You can still buy your malt, hops and yeast directly from one of the 120 breweries and brewpubs in the country, or you can order your stuff online from Domacimikropivovary.cz, a site which offers Czech, German and British malts, Czech hops (Sládek, Premiant and the great Žatecký poloraný červeňák), brewing kits, equipment, and several types of both ale and lager yeasts.
Coincidentally, any would-be homebrewers in Prague should note that this coming weekend marks the “D-Day of Czech Homebrewing” with a day of seminars and a homebrew tasting competition taking place on Saturday, December 13, at SPŠPT, home to the brewing technology school in Prague. Entrance is free.
D-Day of Czech Homebrewing
Saturday, December 13, starting at 10 a.m.
Podskalská 10 (near tram station Výtoň and Karlovo náměstí)
If there’s anything you might want to bring to the Czech Republic from the States, it’s hops — while lovely Saaz varietals are, naturally, ubiquitous here, finding American C-hops or virtually any other varietals in the Czech Republic is nearly impossible. Bring a bunch of Cascade, Centennial or Chinook (or Columbus, Amarillo or Simcoe) with you and trade them to other homebrewers at next year’s festival. Will we dare to call it Czech homebrewing’s V-Day?