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Czech independent lagers on the way to London!

By: Martin Macourek

By: Martin Macourek

Beer Ambassador

So here we go 4 trucks with trailers have left from 3 very old  breweries in Czech Republic on Friday – Bohemia Regent (est. 1379), Kutna Hora (est 1584), Albrecht (Est. 1278) and one modern Craft brewery  – Matuška – bringing on board beer from not less than 9 proud independent brewers. Including the likes of Uneticky and Jarosovsky pivovar with their award winning authentic Pilseners or the Prague based craft brewer Muflon! The beer has safely crossed the border via Calais Dover on Sunday 16th May!

A number of beer fans in the UK are keep asking why is it so difficult to find genuine Czech beer in such a great beer country as the UK other than the big brands such as PU, Staropramen, Budvar or Kozel.

Well, the above mentioned are mostly part of multinational corporations including their extensive distribution channels which is mostly not accessible to independently owned brands.

Now we managed to overcome this hurdle building our own independent distribution with the help of our friends from the Czech Beer Alliance but that is just a small part of the story. The second one is this is a dam fragile product. Why fragile? Well, simply for the sake it is brewed in exactly the same way as more than 100 years ago which means no stabilizers, not chemicals, no production rationalizing no adjustments, no final treatment – It comes in a pure unfiltered and unpasteurized form to which our ancestors were used to. So we need to transport it in cold tankers should temperatures raise above a certain level and never expose it to sun or light. Upon arrival to London it is crucial kegs are stored in a cold storage which is exactly what we have done just now – and guess what they will then be gradually driven to PIVO own cold cellar again and rest there for at least couple of days to accommodate to their new environment. Indeed, PIVO is proud to be one of the few London based venues with a proper cold cellar!    

To elaborate more on that let´s ask the question what is a traditional Czech Pilsener lager? No I do not mean one from a big industrial complex where the product is subject to cost cutting. In the Czech Republic or if you want, beer loving Bohemia,  we call this “cost-cutter” type of lager “Europivo” or euro-lager if you want – It has a unified taste, technologically OK, very pale in colour, light bodied, fizzy and basically tasting the same everywhere- I bet you had at least one in your life – me too😊.

By Pilsener coming from Czech Republic we mean a Real authentic Pilsener which obviously uses the local ingredients such as noble Saaz hops and Pilsener malt but that is not enough – No add on but hops, Malt and yeast (no sugar please!) but also proper decoction brewing with double mashing in order to generate proper body a key property of a Czech lager – body is further enhanced by a gentle fermentation at low temperatures in open vessels which means that a good part of the fermentable content is instead being matured in cold cellars at temperatures close to zero – and cellar brewers take their time  – not less than 8 weeks for a proper premium Pilsener!

So if you happen to visit  a proper cellar in Bohemia do not hesitate to do a tasting out of  one of the horizontal tanks – you will be submerged by a crispy yet soft, almost velvety texture along with a generous body unseen in normal lagers – a Pilsener imbued with love where the proud Master brewer can actually bring the customers without needing to hide away some parts of the production which is the case with most industrial brewers. Never trust brewers that are not prepared to take you through the whole actual brewing process that is one of my rules and kind advise from me😊

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