As a follow-up from last week’s post on two new wheat beers in the Czech Republic, I’ve got more details about the new Dožínkové pivo appearing at outlets of Heineken Česká republika around the country. And no, it’s not exactly from Krušovice. And it wasn’t brewed at Starobrno, either.
You’re walking down the street in Prague, completely minding your own, when your eye hangs on a sign announcing a new beer. What stops you is an apparent error in the picture: instead of barley, the poster is adorned with what seems to be wheat.
Called Dožínkové pivo, the Czech Republic’s newest wheat beer started to show up at pubs around the country this week. There are two surprising things about the appearance of a new wheat beer in Bohemia, not the least of which is the brewery making it. (Drumroll, please…)
Although I believe in the importance of local ownership for breweries, I’m not totally convinced that that local owners are always better owners. Sometimes local owners can screw things up. Sometimes foreign owners can improve things. Look at what happened with Krušovice Černé, the legendary black lager from the brewery once owned by Holy Roman Emperor Rudolph II.
In just nine days, the first annual Czech Beer Festival takes its shot at establishing a springtime Oktoberfest in Bohemia. Not only are the first advertisements starting to show up, but I’ve just received confirmation that the beer list has expanded well beyond Pilsner Urquell, Budvar and Staropramen. In fact, it seems a slew of smaller producers will be represented.
According to the organizers, the beers on tap now include 16 brands. First, the usual suspects:
- Pilsner Urquell (SABMiller)
- Kozel (SABMiller)
- Gambrinus (SABMiller)
- Radegast (SABMiller)
- Staropramen (InBev)
- Ostravar (InBev)
- Braník (InBev)
That leaves us with nine smaller producers, some of which are rather unusual picks. (As in there’s no Bernard.) Witness the fitness:
There’s a fair amount of beer in the Swedish capital, and much of it seems to be Czech. Step into a bar in the trendy neighborhood of Södermalm and you’ll probably see Krušovice and Pilsner Urquell as often as anything else. Czech lagers seem to be frequently sold as premium imports here, an in the case of Starobrno’s position at the top of the list at Pet Sounds Bar, a chic offshoot of a legendary local record shop. A few other Czech brands — including Primátor — show up at the many outlets of Systembolaget, the Swedish government’s alcohol monopoly.
And then there’s Stockholm’s Švejk pub.