Prague Beer Festival 2012
The 5th annual Czech Beer Festival is here and returning to its original site – the Exhibition Center in Prague-Holešovice where it was first held in 2008. The new grounds are beautiful, bringing to mind images of The World’s Fair. Once you walk down the hill to the two enormous “tents” you will also see a carnival, complete with an oversized ferris wheel! Although last year’s location was a bit of a trek (especially coming home late at night after having three too many 18 degree beers) lots of folks will be happy to have the festivities Center adjacent: with easy access to multiple tram stations.
- Holešovice is a suburb in the north of Prague near the Vlatava, in Prague 7
- The area was once industrial, but now houses the National Gallery, theVeletržní palác, and one of the largest railway stations in Prague
- Czech’s have been brewing beer for a long time! The earliest known brewery dates back to 1118!
- Czechs PROUDLY have the highest rate of beer consumption per capita in the WORLD!
The Czech Beer Festival kicks off Prague’s summer festival season with a wide selection of beers from all over the country. The center houses up to 10,000 people and they have 200 staff including servers in traditional costumes. The service is always quick and friendly most likely because they run on a special Beer Festival Currency called the Tolar. It’s kind of like tokens for video games. You pay 225 kc for 5 tokens and you can spend them on food, drink, rides and merchandise within the festival. It’s a good idea for people to share if they are light drinkers since there are no refunds on Tolars. Prague is not the city for casual beer drinkers. This place is for professionals!
By far my favorite beer at the festival was the “Easy Rider APA” from Nomad.
The term pale ale originally denoted an ale which had been brewed from pale malt. The APA style is close to the American India Pale Ale (IPA), and boundaries blur, though IPAs are stronger and more assertively hopped. Any type of PA (‘Pale Ale’) is hard to come by in Prague, so finding this beautiful amber colored beer was a real treat! I loved the hoppy flavor and the aroma. I also loved the slight bitterness to the beer. I only know of one restaurant in Prague that sells this, The Tavern in Prague 3 – home to Prague’s best hamburgers. To find out more about The Tavern, you can visit the website here
Rebel Ležak 12º was a mild flavored lager. The honey colored beer was very mild and only slightly bitter and would go well with a klobása sausage and bread.
Next came the Kocour IPA 12º (Czech for „Tomcat“) beer. This was great as well, but I love a good IPA! This was more along the lines of a traditional Czech lager – golden color, balanced, slightly bitter and nice full flavour.
Kout na Šumově 10°, was another favorite brew. A few folks I talked to said it was their current favorite in the Czech Republic, and I would not argue. The 10°beer had just as much flavor and character as any 12° I had tasted in Prague. A good choice for a long afternoon of drinking 2 liter beers!
I have attended the Czech Beer Festival for three years in a row now, and I have to say that this year was the best. Perhaps it is due to the change in venue or the addition of more Micro-brews. Or, perhaps it is due to the fact that I didn’t get myself completely wasted and ride the Tilt-A-Whirl. Sure, I got a little drunk but that’s the whole point of the event – Try new beers and make some bad decisions. In fact I think I’ll contact the organizers of the event and suggust that as next years slogan. “The Czech Beer Festival – Try New Beers. Make Some Bad Decsions. You’ll Be Glad You Did.”