Thousands of pubs will participate in Czech Beer Days

Nine-day festival to promote local beer culture is in its fourth year

Some 6,000 pubs and restaurants across the Czech Republic will take part in the fourth annual Czech Beer Days (Dny českého piva) from Sept. 23 to Oct. 1. The festival is in response to the numerous wine festivals taking place in the fall. The beer festival includes Sept. 28, which is already a national holiday for St. Wenceslas, who aside from being a patron saint of Bohemia is the patron of brewers.

The festival, organized by the Czech Beer and Malt Association (ČSPS), will end with the Night of Open Breweries, when some breweries will have special events. Dozens of breweries and microbreweries are participating nationwide in the festival. Pubs, restaurants and breweries will offer special menus and beers, and meetings with brewers and beer experts.

The motto of the festival is “the Czech pub is part of our culture — our national identity.”

Aside from specialty beers, some venues will serve wild boar with rosehip sauce, a traditional Czech meal that is popular in the fall season.

“Czech Beer Days is a festival for all lovers of beer, pubs and gastronomy. With the festival, we want to promote the consumption of draft beer and also remind people of the unique traditional Czech pub,” František Šámal, chairman of the ČSPS, said in a press release.

Last year some 20.1 million hectoliters was consumed, but only 40 percent was consumed in pubs.

"We believe that Czech Beer Days will help encourage people to go out more often for their favorite beer. Czechs love Czech beer and Czech beer tradition. We know that favorite pubs, especially for smaller towns and villages, are the center of social and cultural life,” Šámal said, adding that people have been going less often than before.

“While the production of domestic beer is rising thanks to its exports, beer consumption in the Czech Republic has stagnated at 143 liter per capita per year,” Šámal said. “Nevertheless, we are in first place in the world in beer consumption.” A survey in July showed that Czech associate Czech beer with quality, and people also named it as their favorite drink.

The festival is held under the auspices of Czech President Miloš Zeman and Agriculture Minister Marian Jurečka. The opening, where barrels will be festively tapped, will be attended by local officials and prominent personalities from public life.

Prague-based brewer Staropramen is making a special 12 degree unpasteurized beer that will be available at 700 pubs and at the brewery. Plzeň-based Pilsner Urquell will make a special batch of Gambrinus using the first hops of the season. Svijany, a smaller brewer, will also make a special lager.

The idea for tours of breweries on the closing night was inspired by similar nights for museums and churches.

For more about Czech Beer Days of visit www.dnyceskehopiva.cz or also on Facebook.

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