History of Czech beer

The history of Czech beer dates back to 1118, when the first brewery was
built. Much of the brewing history was centered on the monasteries in the
area. Today, there are very few monasteries left that produce beer for
the public; however, brewing for their own consumption is still a very
popular practice.

In the 12th century, the city of Brno was given the rights to brew beer.
They also began to export the hops that were being grown in the area
to other countries. This enabled other countries to attempt imitating
the Czech beer. Although many have come close, none have succeeded in
producing the same type of beer.

Following this, Pilsen and Budweis began brewing beer in the 13th century.
Their fantastic quality soon became the most popular in the Czech Republic. Pilsner Urquell was created in 1842 by a German brewer, Josef Groll, who understood that to produce a great beer; the quality had to be the best available. He created a new type of beer which was lighter in color and taste.

It became very popular, replacing the existing beers that were available. Once the product gained popularity, it was exported to other countries. By 1874, it had reached the USA, where it became an instant hit. The low profit margins that the local breweries gain make the export of the Pilsner beer essential.

Although other brewers have tried to compete in the Czech Republic, their own local beer still remains the most popular. Other brewers sell less than 1% of the overall beer market. Much of the Czech beer that you will find is brewed from handpicked hops.

The agricultural conditions in the Czech Republic are ideal for growing the ingredients necessary to brew beer. The land produces top class hops, allowing only the highest quality of beer to be produced. These bohemian hops give the Czech beer its distinctive taste and color. Although the brewing techniques have changed over the years, the quality of the beer remains the same. You will find the beer is best served at cellar temperature, with a creamy head.

Author: Aleš Březina (http://www.prague-online-guide.com/czech-beer.html)