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Czechs regard beer as their national drink. A testament to their fervent partiality to this liquid is the fact that the Czechs drink the most beer in the world per capita. Besides, it was precisely the bottom-fermented lager beer, Pilsner Urquell, which gave the world one of the most popular types of beer, the Pils or Pilsner. The name comes from the brewery in Plzeň where it was first brewed on 5 October 1842, something the brewery commemorates to this day. Every year it holds Pilsner Fest celebrations with lots of concerts and of course beer. Boisterous celebrations of the amber nectar also take place every year in Olomouc under the auspices of the Czech Beer Festival. This is the largest beer festival in the country, where you can try around 100 types of beer produced by more than 30 breweries from all over the Czech Republic.

Dobřany breweryHops from ŽatecBeer festival in Žatec
Pilsner Urquell Brewery gateBarrels in Pilsner Urquell cellarsCzech beer
Pilsner Urquell museumPilsner Urquell breweryPickled Hermelín cheese

The Czech Republic has several more superb beers
However, the Czech Republic offers much more than merely the most famous brands of beer, Pilsner Urquell or Budweiser Budvar from České Budějovice. Breweries big and small all over the country brew more than 470 types of beer. This is due to the fact that most royal towns have held the right to brew beer since the Middle Ages. This is why you can choose from Trappist beer (e.g. from the Želiv Monastery Brewery), wheat beer (the brewery in Náchod produces German style beer called Weissbier) or a type of English “stout”, the dark Kelt from the Staropramen brewery in Prague. Delicious unpasteurised beer brewed according to a recipe dating back to the 16th century from the family brewery in Humpolec can be tested under the Bernard brand. The Nymburk Brewery on the other hand, is linked with the name of the famous Czech writer Bohumil Hrabal. The brewery also provided the main scene for Hrabal’s novel “Cutting it Short”, filmed by Jiří Menzel, whose “Closely Watched Trains” also based on a story by Hrabal, won an Oscar in 1966.

Do not forget to have one of the renowned Czech snacks to go with your beer pickled Hermelín cheese or the so-called “drowned men”. This grim sounding name is actually sausages pickled in vinegar, onion and spices.

If you have succumbed to the charm of the “Czech liquid miracle” and are interested in how it is made, we recommend brewery tours, which are offered by all larger breweries (e.g. Plzeňský Prazdroj, Budějovický Budvar, the Prague Brewery Museum U Fleků  and similar). However, beer does not only heal from the inside, but also from the outside and the popularity of beer spas is on the increase in the Czech Republic. Why not for example try out a pleasant bath in Chodová Planá, in the Giant Mountains in Harrachov or in the Northern Moravian city of Ostrava.


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