It’s no secret that as far as per capita beer consumption is concerned, the Czechs occupy top spot in the world. Brewing great beer is simply part of the national identity which has been passed down from generation to generation. The reputation of Czech beer has reached every continent, but it’s only in the Plzeň district that you can experience the real deal. It’s enough to try one of the tens of beers that have been produced here for centuries to see why.
The brewery that gave the world lager
The jewel in the crown of Czech breweries is Plzeň’s Prazdroj. Beyond the historic gates of the brewery you can take a tour of the factory and see how the world famous Pilsner Urquell or Gambrinus are made. During the tour you can perfect your beer pulling skills and sample some excellent unfiltered beer straight from the oak barrels. However, whilst in Plzeň you certainly shouldn’t neglect the city’s other attractions. For instance you can call in at one of the largest synagogues in the world or admire the view from the tallest cathedral spire in the Czech Republic.
Traditional Czech breweries – alive and kicking
If you prefer smaller breweries, don’t miss the chance to visit the brewers in Dobřany. The much-loved beer here – Dobřanská hvězda and Dobřanský dragoun to name but two – have won many prizes. You can try light, fruity beers at Rokycany’s U Stočesů microbrewery, or combine a very pleasant tasting session with a visit to the local attractions, such as neo-Classical Kozel Chateau.
Beer from the spas
Another beer route will take you to the oldest brewery in West Bohemia. You’ll find it in Chodová Planá, where ale has been made since the 12th century. Try the refined Prezident or the Zámecký lager before unwinding in the spa. Banana and cherry beers can be sampled at the U Rybiček brewery in Stříbro where you shouldn’t miss a spin around the picture-perfect historical centre. In the part of the region that includes the Šumava area some beer trails lead to the doors of the Modrý Abbé Beer Studio in Klatovy. The local speciality here is dark Granát lager and the non-alcoholic, unfiltered Svatý Kryštof, a popular tipple amongst designated drivers. In the small town of Železná Ruda on the edge of the Šumava National Park you’ll find the Belveder Brewery, where you can try strong Pašerk honey beer.