If you couldn’t make it to the Slunce ve skle beer festival last Saturday in Plzeň, here’s a YouTube video from the day. In a word: Awesome.
Above all, the one-day fest in Plzeň bears witness to the new diversity of the Czech craft beer scene. Two years ago, if you’d told me that at a regional Czech beer festival I’d be tasting a Czech Alt beer — newly arrived from Hastrman — or be able to sample domestically brewed stouts, Tripels, and American-style pale ales (and not those from Varnsdorf!), I’d have said you were just plain crazy. We’ve come a long way, baby.
Moreover, though draft remains king, many brewers — even tiny producers not far beyond the hobby horse — had their beer also available for sale in plastic bottles. And I was glad to see several Czech brewers going beyond the glass to offer glassware and even T-shirts for sale.
Personal bests of the fest: Klášterní Pivovar Strahov’s 14° wheat beer, a Weizenbock-like (though pale) Hefeweizen with a strong kick of Saaz and smooth, well-incorporated alcohol, as well as Hastrman’s new Velkorybnický Alt. In terms of atmosphere, you couldn’t ask for a better crowd or a better day. But you could certainly ask for more than one. Next year, can Slunce ve skle go all weekend?