Beer Culture

Stories about great beer from the countries that invented it.

UPDATE: The Christmas Beer Markets 2008

There’s more information about the Christmas Beer Markets taking place next weekend, December 20, 21 and 22, right here in Prague. Not only will some of the best Czech brewers bring their holiday and seasonal specials to the capital, but next weekend’s festival will also include a handful of great names in brewing from around Europe.

If you’re at all interested in craft beer, you won’t want to miss a single one of the festival’s just-announced foreign brews.

From the announcement at

The Christmas Beer Markets take place next Saturday, Sunday and Monday, December 20–22, at Prague’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

Beyond domestic — meaning Czech — seasonal beers from craft producers, this year’s festival will include several notable foreign specialties.

Germany’s legendary wheat brewer Schneider Weisse will offer Aventinus Weizenstarkbier, an outrageously good wheat Doppelbock, as well as the special Aventinus Weizen-Eisbock rocking 12% alcohol by volume.

Two as-yet-unnamed surprises will come from the Bamberg region.

From Denmark’s Nørrebro Bryghus, attendees will be able to sample various beer styles including the brewery’s brown ale, IPA, stout, coffee stout, Imperial IPA and more.

From Scotland, beer from the Inveralmond Brewery.

Also from Scotland, BrewDog — makers of the excellent Punk IPA — will offer beers including the 10%-alcohol Paradox, a deep and mysterious Imperial Stout aged in whiskey casks from some of Scotland’s greatest distilleries.

As a kicker, the Christmas Beer Markets will also include a selection of beers from Belgium.

That’s a big step up in terms of variety from last year’s Christmas Beer Markets. The only thing that’s missing is the cult Norwegian brewery Nøgne Ø, whose Dark Horizon Second Edition (17.5% alcohol) the organizers planned to include, though the price and the expense of delivery proved to be a bridge too far.

Which just gives us something to look forward to next year.

Christmas Beer Markets
December 20, 21 and 22 (Saturday, Sunday and Monday)
Inside the Mandarin Oriental Hotel (Nebovidská 1, Prague 1—Malá Strana)
Tram: 12, 20 or 22 to Hellichova
Two sessions daily: 1-5 p.m. and 6-10 p.m.
Entry: 150 Kč including glass and one beer

For more information, see the previous Beer Culture post on the Christmas Beer Markets.


Czech Christmas Beers: the 17° Sváteční Speciál from Broumov


Czech Christmas Beers: Vánoční Speciál from Krakonoš and Speciál 14% from Poutník


  1. Kjetil, Norway

    Czech Christmas beer is new for me, except the all year around Bernard “holiday” beer. I just had a Swedish Christmas beer and British bottle is waiting.. If you and your “hardcore” beer friends would like a bottle or two from Nøgne Ø, I think there will be plenty of space in my suitcase when I`m arriving Praha in February. The Dark Horizon Second Edition costs about 650 czk, but I will gladly exchange with beers like Janáček Vánoční speciál, Opat Christmas beer or other rare czech christmas beers. Pivovarsky Klub is an good arena, I have brought beer there before.

  2. deBembo

    I haven’t tried any czech christmas beer, partly because you can’t find them in Croatia, partly because I have been to Prague only once, but thanks to my friends from Germany, I drank Aventinus Weizenbock on more than one occasion.

    It really is beautiful beer, a bit strong for many who are used to wheat beer of conventional strength, but with beautiful aroma and taste, prefect beer for winter evenings, especially if not chilled too much, even before you taste, I felt on the nose that it is something extraordinary.

    I wonder how it would taste to typical czech consumer, since, they are mainly used to lager beers, and as have seen in Prague and read on the net, they don’t drink too much of strong beers. I do not imply that czech beer is not good, on the contrary, I can’t wait to go to Prague again :)

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