Czech Beer Blog

News from Czech beer scene plus some more stuff. Na zdravi!

5+1 Monday Beer Readings (7) — May 5, 2014

5+1 Monday Beer Readings (7)


Since the 1970s, the number of craft breweries operating in the U.S. has skyrocketed from less than 100 to more than 2,500. That’s promising news for the industry as a whole, but if you’re a new upstart fighting for recognition—or an older outfit trying to stay relevant—it spells fierce competition. Go to any beer store—or even the local bodega—and you’ll be inundated by choice. Which of the 60 different IPAs on offer are you going to pick? In craft beer, as in any business, branding matters. But rather than relying on million-dollar Super Bowl commercials and sponsorships to push their product, most small breweries duke it out on the shelves simply with cool bottles and cans. If you’re as into label art as we are, it’s exciting is to see how these brands create visual identities to match the creativity of their beers.

The attack of Haynau: “Down with the Austrian butcher!”
The Spring of Nations took Europe by storm. People for various reasons from different background thought it was time to act. From Paris to Debrecen people fought for what they thought was right against their opressor, military officials like Julius Jacob von Haynau. In 1801 he started his military career in the Austrian army, rose quickly in the ranks and when the revolutionary insurrections of 1848 broke out in Italy, Haynau was selected to command troops to suppress them. He is still known as the “Hangman of Arad“, the “Hyena of Brescia” or just simply as “The Butcher” He had earned his delightful moniker by torturing prisoners and flogging women while suppressing revolts in Italy and Hungary. But this is a beer blog, so why do I write all about this you ask? I get to it now.

Pop the Top: The 15 Best Canned Beers
There’s no denying that cans are more convenient than bottles. Cans are lighter, less breakable, and they’re also better for the environment. But canned beers come with a stigma–that they all taste metallic and are, therefore, inferior to bottled brews. This may have been the case when canned beers were first introduced in 1935, but both brewing and canning technologies have come a long way since then, right? There are now a growing number of canned suds that satisfy. Even Samuel Adams began canning their brews in 2013, paving the way for smaller craft breweries to follow the trend. But now when you go into your local beverage center, you might see a wall of beer which all look similar–which includes the less-tasty offerings from the big brewers. In fact, some of the big guys are now masking their mediocre beer with a craft-style can design (we’re looking at you, Anheuser-Busch). So without further ado, here are the 15 best canned beers.

Mexican craft beer a Cinco de Mayo review
With Cinco de Mayo coming up Sunday, May 5, a look at the state of affairs of Mexican craft beer is in order. Mexican beer has come a long way from the pale yellow fizzy lagers like Corona and Tecate. In today’s Mexico, craft brewers are setting up shop in and around major cities like Mexico City, Tijuana and Guadalajara. These pioneers have seen the craft beer craze sweep through the United States and seek to bring the great flavors of Mexico to artfully crafted ales. In an article by Yahoo Food editor Rachel Tepper, John Holl, editor of All About Beer Magazine, explained, “We’re seeing stouts, Belgian-style ales, tripels, beers that have local ingredients in with the mash,” Holl explained. “I think local ingredients can really be everything. Beers are brewed with cactus. Beers are aged in tequila barrels, or with spices that might go into certain local dishes.”

5 unlikely celebrities with some skin in the craft beer game
Ever wonder what celebrities do with their spare time and money? We’ve all heard stories about Charlie Sheen taking a hit of the devil’s dandruff and threatening porn stars. Justin Bieber might get a little high, hurl some eggs at his neighbor’s house, and then blame cocaine possession on his African American friend when the cops show up. Should we go on? Some celebrities, however, are productive, participating members of the community. And not just any community, we’re talking the craft beer community we’ve all come to know and love. In fact, we did a little research and put together a list of 5 celebrity-backed beers you’ve probably never heard of but should know about. There are some unlikely names in here, so get ready.


Cicero´s Beer School Podcast
Live beer tasting with the Brewmasters! Cicero’s Beer School has been rocking St Louis since 2006. Share the thirst for knowledge, right here. Or join us at Cicero’s Restaraunt in The Loop, 6691 Delmar, St Louis, MO 63130.



Barrel-Aged beers are big hit among the beer geeks. Even here, in CZ, there are some breweries trying to master this craft somehow Czech Way – they use Czech Porter beers and Czech wine barrels. So it´s always good to know about it a little bit more.

It used to be that the only age bar owners were concerned with was 21, but nowadays every serious craft beer bar has at least one brew that’s spent time in a wooden barrel before it’s old enough to drink.

To better understand how barrel-aging works, we consulted a pair of experts: the trend-setting Scottish brewers Innis & Gunn, who’ve been sneaking oak flavors into beers since 2003, and Austin, TX’s young-gun experimentalists Jester King, who’re known for using wood to make their fermentation go wild.

Why barrel age?
Innis & Gunn ages primarily to give their beer the flavor characteristics of wood, whereas Jester King uses the wood to affect the fermentation process. Hence, I&G chars their barrels heavily to allow the flavors to easily seep into the beer, while Jester King wants barrels to be as neutral as possible.

What flavors result from aging?
Oak’s most prominent flavor is vanilla, but the barrel’s previous contents have a big effect on the sloppy-second flavor characteristics. Bourbon barrels give off a toffee finish, gin has a more complex suite of botanicals, mezcal imparts more smoke and spice, and cedar spirals lend a piney aroma.

the rest of the questions and photos –

How to Taste Beer – Training Your Palate with Chris Quinn of The Beer Temple — April 15, 2014
A Beginner’s Guide to British Beer Styles — March 21, 2014

A Beginner’s Guide to British Beer Styles


A few days ago I added a link to seriouseats´ article about Belgian beer styles. Today I continue with a new one – this time about British beer styles. British beer is very famous and the tradition is very old. I love their styles because I prefer bitter brews and British beer is synonymous for bitter. So what else is made there?

“When I began to plan this series of beginner’s guides to the world’s most famous beer styles, I was pumped. I would get to shine light on the underappreciated lagers of Germany and reignite passions for the Belgian beers that gave so many of us beer geeks our start. I’d get to draw attention to the style-bending innovation occurring in the United States [coming soon]! But along with that, I’d have to cover British beers. Less pumped all of a sudden.

It’s not that I don’t like British beer. I do! There are few things better to me than a couple of rounds of well-made ESB or mild in a cozy pub.

But writing about British beer styles is complicated. Beer culture in Britain is as much about the culture of cask ale and the pub as it is the beer itself. In the Oxford Companion to Beer, Pete Brown describes the scene as “something that re

In other words—just discussing beer styles sells British beer short. These beer styles also have a history of dramatic change over time such that it’s difficult to establish what a “traditional” example of any style looks like.fuses to be bottled, standardized, or easily replicated.”

Then there are the myths and half-truths. Think that IPA was invented to sustain British troops in India? Think milds have always been super low in alcohol? Think porter was invented by a dude named Ralph Harwood? These often-told fanciful stories are more myth than history.

So let’s get into it. Curious about the beer styles of Britain? Here’s an introduction.”

A Beginner’s Guide to British Beer Styles

Six beers that changed the world — March 20, 2014

Six beers that changed the world

Great article about basic brews that define the beer we know today. Keystones of the industry. They may not be te best ones out there but all of them are significant and unique. I´m proud that one Czech brew is included. Untitled-1_2845666b

By  @ The Telegraph

“Business is booming for microbreweries, but in the clamour for new flavours don’t forget the classics which changed the face of beer drinking, say Ben McFarland and Tom Sandham.

Unlike this chap, we’re all over the whole “craft beer” thing like a flannel.

What’s happening in beer at the moment can only be a great thing. After decades of drinking the same old stuff you get in the supermarkets, pub-goers are being greeted with genuine choice at the bar; flavour has been placed firmly at the forefront of the British beer scene; and, finally, people are realising that they don’t have to put up with piss-poor brews if they don’t want to.

It’s great that breweries are experimenting with new ingredients, innovating with new techniques and, in terms of flavour, pushing more envelopes than a drug fuelled Lance Armstrong locked in a sorting office, paying back the multi-million dollar sponsorship owed to the US Postal Service.

Yes, sometimes the new-world beers can be a bit much and, yes, they can be a little unbalanced and inconsistent. But these are necessary growing pains of a burgeoning scene that is grabbing the established brewing hegemony by the ankles, giving it a shake and watching all the grubby coins fall out.

The same accusations were levelled at Australian and American winemakers 50 years ago, but only the most myopic of old school oenophiles would argue that the emergence of New World wines hasn’t been a good thing.

That said, as we admire the scampering pomp of the new-world beer scene, let us not forget the “old world” brewers who have been brewing “craft beer” for centuries. After all, to fully appreciate the joyous beers of the present, it’s essential to understand the beers of the past.

Below are six classic beers that changed the world beer scene – the giants on whose shoulders contemporary craft brewers currently stand. They are the brewing blueprints, the founding fathers, the unwavering upholders of tradition deserving of considered appreciation from every craft beer connoisseur.

Illustrious and inspiring, they are to beer what the Aston Martin is to the automobile; the little black dress is to fashion; and Les Dawson is to ropey piano playing. Liquid legacies of a certain time and place, these are the kind of beers that once in a while, turn up rather quietly, and remind you why they’ve achieved such greatness.”

Six beers that changed the world

A Beginner’s Guide to Belgian Beer Styles — March 19, 2014

A Beginner’s Guide to Belgian Beer Styles

Belgian-BeersBelgian beer is exceptional. So many to choose from! I am not a big fan of Belgian brews – I like more English and American styles – but I have a huge respect for belgians and I love visiting their beer shops and beer bars. And it´s quite useful to be prepared because sometimes you may find a belgian beer style which is totally different and difficult to drink and appreciated.

“How can you not love a country known for its love of waffles, chocolate, French fries, and beer? Belgium is my version of Guns ‘n’ Roses’ Paradise City, where the grass is green and the beers are plenty.

And not only are the beers of Belgium vast in quantity, they’re vast in quality, diversity, and cultural importance. Every beer that we credit to the country’s name seems to have a history and character that’s independent of its neighbors on the shelf. If you’re put off by intensely bitter IPAs or bland canned lagers, the Belgian beer section at your local bottle shop may be a good place to start your love affair with beer.”

Here’s a guide to get you started

12 Things You didn´t Know about Guinness — March 18, 2014

12 Things You didn´t Know about Guinness

guinness_lineupIt´s St. Patrick´s Day and even here it´s widely popular and celebrated in bars and pubs all over the country. And the one beer that is associated with it is – of course – Guinness. Eventhough it is not my favourite brew I recpect it as a flagship of Ireland beers – somehow similar to Pilsener Urquell to the Czech ones.  So let´s educate ourselves!

“It’s St. Patrick’s Day, and you know what that means — you’re going to get a Guinness. And so is that dude right next to you, even though neither of you is Irish. Drinking Guinness Stout is an Irish tradition that’s as prolific as dressing up in green and imploring people to kiss you, but not many people know the deeper history of this magical elixir. For example, did you know that the original Guinness Brewery belongs to the Guinness family for the next 8,745yrs?”

So stick with us, and you’ll learn some truly eye-opening stuff about Guinness, just in time to get it all over yourself.