Beer Culture

Stories about great beer from the countries that invented it.

Tag: E300

Czech Christmas Beers: Rebel Sváteční Speciál

Beers from the Měšťanský Pivovar — or Burghers’ Brewery — in the Czech town of Havličkův Brod are usually known by the brand name of Rebel. In this country, when it is thought of at all, Rebel is considered a better-than-average medium-size brewery, winning an award in Žatec in 2008 as the “brewery of the year” among producers under 100,000 hectoliters. Abroad, Rebel is one of the few Czech lagers to make it to the United States, along with other low-profile brewers like Nová Paka, sold under the Brouček / BrouCzech label.

However, it’s doubtful if most Americans — or even many Czechs — are aware of Rebel’s under-promoted Christmas beer, the very nice Rebel Sváteční speciál.

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More on Vitamin C in Beer


A post here on the use of E300, sometimes called vitamin C, as a preservative in Czech beer got a bit of attention and a few comments, also bringing up an interesting question or two. Specifically: would vitamin C continue to exist unaffected in the presence of alcohol? And is this E300 the selfsame ascorbic acid many of us take as a nutritional supplement? If not, does it have similar health benefits?

The answers, apparently, are: Yes, No, and Probably not.

To find out, I contacted Dr. Victoria Drake at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. In an email interview, Dr. Drake emphasized repeatedly that we should not recommend that people drink beer for the vitamin C. (Everyone clear on that?) In addition, she offered a few clarifications on the use of ascorbic acid as a food preservative.

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