Beer Culture

Stories about great beer from the countries that invented it.

Tag: Doppelbock

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.

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A New Brew: Bakalář Jubilejní Speciál from Rakovník

First anniversary: Paper. Fifth anniversary: Wood. Fiftieth anniversary: Gold.

Five hundred and fifty-fifth: One very special lager.

Or at least that’s how it is for Pivovar Rakovník, a Czech brewery originally founded in 1454. To celebrate its 555th birthday next year, Rakovník is adding a “jubilee special” to its Bakalář line of beers. And though 2009 is still most of a month away, the new brew is already available at Pivní galerie.

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The Christmas Beer Mass at Klášterní Pivovar Strahov

One of the big events of the December beer calendar in Prague is the arrival of the “Svatý Norbert speciální polotmavé vánoční pivo” at Klášterní pivovar Strahov, the brewpub on the Strahov Monastery grounds near Prague Castle. Also known as “Saint Norbert special half-dark Christmas beer,” this strong lager shows up every year on December 5.

But before the beer’s official arrival on Friday, things kicks off in true holiday spirit with a “Christmas Beer Mass” taking place inside the brewpub the evening before.

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Březňák Doppel-Doppel Bock


Otherwise known as Březňák, Pivovar Velké Březno has one of the strangest and most tragic histories in the Czech lands. Located in the Czech-German border region that was once called the Sudetenland, for most of its early existence the brewery had a pronouncedly German clientele. Now, returning to its roots, the brewery has launched an excellent new beer for the German market: the so-called Doppel-Doppel Bock.

Of course, it’s never quite that simple when the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia and the Holocaust are concerned, and Březňák is so weirdly mixed up in the situation that as you hear the story it’s hard to remember which level of irony you’ve reached. For example, this brewery proudly supplied beer to Rommel’s Afrikakorps throughout the war. But the man who posed for the picture on the label, Victor Cibich, aka Zippich — the very image of a once-Nazi brewery — was actually a German-speaking Czech Jew. And yes, it gets even weirder from there.

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