Beer Nation – Czech Republic
Czechs are a beer nation. They love to speak about beer, and they love to drink beer. The average beer consumption in 2010 was 134 litres per capita, which represents the highest in the world, followed by the Irish.
Beer is considered a Czech symbol and in 2008 “Czech beer” was recognised as a product with Protected Geographical Indication. The annual production of nearly 20 million hectolitres places the Czech Republic 15th in the world (the biggest producer is the USA, followed by China and Germany).
Beer is a very important Czech export article. Every year, over 2 million hectolitres are exported from the Czech Republic. Nearly 40% of this is exported to Germany, followed by export to Slovakia, Sweden, England and Russia. Exports are currently increasing to the Ukraine, Belgium and Finland as well. Nevertheless, you can encounter renowned Czech beer brands nearly anywhere in the world.
Currently, the best-known brands are the beers produced by the Plzeňský Prazdroj
and Českobudějovický Budvar
There are over 40 industrial breweries in the Czech Republic today.
Largest Czech Breweries
Heineken Česká republika Group (Starobrno, Krušovice, Zlatopramen, Březňák)
PMS Přerov Group (Litovel, Zubr, Holba)
The Czech Republic has over 70 medium-sized and small, mainly family breweries, such as:
Bernard Family Brewery – Humpolec
Svijany Brewery – Svijany
Platan Brewery – Protivín
Recent years have also seen a number of small restaurant breweries developing in the Czech Republic.
An overview of Czech breweries can be found here.
A beer bath has become an extremely popular wellness procedure. It is a special spa therapy which combines the salutary curative effects of mineral water with the effects of beer and all of the ingredients which are used for beer production. The beneficial effects of a beer bath have been known since the Middle Ages. Medieval doctors, herbalists and bonesetters were perfectly aware of the fact that bathing in yeasty beer has curative effects, including prevention against a number of diseases.
At present, beer baths in the Czech Republic mostly include bathing in water enriched with a mixture of ground herbs and brewer’s yeast, as well as massage, curative wraps and naturally, drinking beer.
A list of beer baths in the Czech Republic can be found here.