Czech beer is world-famous and fully appreciated by the Czechs themselves. For many centuries Czech beer has been the finest available. The distinctive flavour of Czech beer comes from handpicked Bohemian hops.
The Czech Republic is the largest consumer of beer in the world (153.6 litres annually per capita), even beating Germany. That means that every adult drinks on average 1L of beer a day.
Prague’s main type of beer is lager, the best known being Pilsner Urquell and Budvar (Budweis). Don’t be misled by the name — the American beer, Budweiser and the Czech brew, Budvar, have nothing in common. Popular Czech brands include Gambrinus, Staropramen, Krušovice, Radegast and Velkopopovický Kozel. If you want to sample local brands, each with their own specific taste, try some small breweries like NovoMestsky Pivovar producing Flek (dark beer). Another dark ale style beer – Velvet, is produced by Prague breweries in Ostrava. If you like Guinness, try the Czech beer called Kelt. Apart from breweries, there are also more than twenty restaurants with their own micro-breweries where you can follow the brewing process for yourselves. The most famous is U Fleků, which has been brewing beer since the year 1499. Beer is normally served in half-litre glasses unless you ask for a small beer (0.3l).
Czechs generally prefer light beer, but you can ask for sweeter dark or mixed beers in many pubs.
Czech pubs atmosphere. Drinking is done in smoky pubs with stained tablecloths and surly servers with dodgy maths. Anything less than half a dozen half-litre mug is suspect – if you can drink ten you can walk away with your pride intact.
You most often come across draught beer which is popularly called “desítka” (ten) — it contains up to 4 % alcohol and also “lager” type beer called “dvanáctka” (twelve), which contains approximately 5.5 % alcohol. Occasionally, you will find special beers with higher alcohol content.
Brewery excursion tip
You can visit most of the breweries and taste their beer at the very source. Read more
Czech Beer Festival Prague
Taste a selection of the best from Czech breweries, Czech chefs, butchers and bakers for you. Website
The cost of a half-litre of draught beer range from around 28 CZK to 45 CZK in pubs and restaurants situated outside of the city core, to 90 CZK and up at open-air tables and beer gardens around the tourist spots like Old Town Square, Charles Bridge area and Wenceslas Square.
A bit of history Czech Beer
Before 1842 beers were dark and cloudy until visionary brewmaster created the world’s first golden beer. This evolutional breakthrough took place in the city of Pilsen, in today’s Czech Republic; the town and the beer have given its name to the new style of beer – Pilsner. Beer-lovers from all over the world come to Plzen, which has become something of a brewing Mecca. It is also easy to determine why the total consumption of beer in the Czech Republic – 160 litres per capita per year is the highest in the world.