Spring/Summer 2015 Beer Festival Roundup
Hereʼs our list of festivals weʼre particularly looking forward to
Spring is upon us, which here in Prague and the Czech Republic means the outdoor drinking season has begun. In the past few years, Prague has exploded with the most picturesque way to experience microbrew culture- beer festivals. So hereʼs our list of festivals weʼre particularly looking forward to.
První Pivní Máj - On the first of May, the grounds of Břevnovský Klášter will host První Pivní Maj. 20 of the best microbreweries are invited to participate, offering a total of 80 different beers to try. Theyʼll be typical Czech festival food, like sausages and grilled meat, plus wines from Moravia. Kids are welcome, and the Czech Republic v. Sweden hockey game will also be shown. Admission is free, and this event lasts from 12-22. This is the first year for this festival, but Břevnovský Klášterʼs grounds are charming. Since these guys brew some great beer, weʼre expecting something good.
Pivnífest.cz - From May 1-3, Plzeň, a European Culture Capital for 2015, will host a microbrewery beer festival. Participating microbreweries include U Tří Růží, Zvíkov, Valášek, Blahovar, and a few more. Larger breweries like Pilsner Urquell, Svijany, and Holba are also attending. Expect music, lots of food, and beer. Combine Pivnífest with a trip to Pilsner Urquell and Purkmistr, a great microbrewery, for a beer culture weekend.
Kocouří Kouř - On May 2, Kocourʼs Varnsdorf brewery will host their annual ʻsmokedʼ festival. Smoked beers and foods will be plentiful, plus live music and entertainment. The brewery grounds are huge, and include a restaurant plus accommodation in their unique ʻwagonsʼ. A huge variety of Kocour beers should be on tap. Varnsdorf isnʼt the easiest location to get to, but the surrounding area is beautiful and a good idea for a weekend trip. For tips how to get there, check out our brewery review.
Czech Beer Festival - Lasting 17 days, this festival is from May 7- 23. This is Pragueʼs answer to Munichʼs Oktoberfest. Huge beer tents have a capacity for 4000 people. In the main tents, Krusoviceʼs 10 and 12 degree lagers will be on tap. They say this is a specially brewed beer for the event, but even so, we canʼt imagine this beer being anything more than a functional, at best sufficing beverage. Thankfully there is a ʻbeer nerdʼ tent, with good breweries like Rukodělný Pivovárek Třebonice, Valášek, Nomád, and Břevnovského Klášter. Entrance only costs 99 czk this year and is valid for all 17 days. Payment for beers is through a ʻpersonal festival cardʼ, and this year the festival is once again on Letenská Pláň.
Černokostelecké Vysmolení - Located at the Černokostelecký brewery in Kostelec nad Černými Lesy, a small town about an hour east of Prague on May 23. This festival is unique for its brewery atmosphere and limited, but solid, beer selection. This year theyʼll have on tap a Belgian type wheat beer, a single malt lager, a dark special, a bottle fermented strong wheat, a maibock, and a Baltic porter. Theyʼll be plenty of delicious food and live music. Glasses can be bought there, bring your own, or they sell in plastic cups.
Žižkovské Pivobraní - On June 5th and 6th, Parukářce park overlooking Žižkov becomes alive with perhaps the most chill of the Prague beer festivals. Live music, tons of food, even wine and cocktails and a playground make this an event for everyone. The brewery line-up isnʼt available yet, but in years past, thereʼs been no shortage of good old favorites and a few new names to try. Usually you can buy a festival package, which includes a glass and booklet of all the participating breweries. They also sell beer in plastic cups or bringing a mug from home will work too.
Pivo na Hradě - One of our favorite festivals. Scenically located on the Prague castle grounds, this is a beer festival organized by the Czech and Moravian Micro-brewers Union (Českomoravského svazu minipivovarů). Only microbreweries belonging participate, and itʼs a great chance to sample whatʼs going on across the country. This year, tickets sales will be different than in years past. A limited number of tickets will be sold, either online for 375 czk or at the door for 400 czk. Each ticket includes a glass, program, and all of your beer. This year, the festival is on June 12 from 14-20 and on June 13 from 12-20.
Pivo Na Náplavce - The lively riverbank along the Vltava called Náplavka, under Rašínovo Nábřeží, is home to one of Pragueʼs best farmerʼs markets and beer festivals. Beginning on June 19th and 20th, Náplavkaʼs Pivo Na Náplavce has live bands and music, tons of food, and of coarse a long list of breweries. The participating list so far looks good- Clock, Falkon, Zemský, Břevnovský Klášter, plus many more. In the past, you had to buy one of their glasses for a small fee. All stands also sell beer in plastic cups. They always brew a special beer for this event. Pivo Na Náplavce starts on Friday June 19th at 14, finishing at 21, and is open on Saturday from 10-21.
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