July 22, 2024

Students explore beer culture in Prague


Beer is arguably the world’s most well-known and socially consumed beverage. In Prague, this statement is no less applicable. From the minute you come within sight of the many restaurants’ outdoor verandas, you are hard pressed to find a patron without a beer in his or her hand.

Most restaurants in Prague offer two types of beer on their menus: light and dark.

In the United States, most alcoholic beverages tend to be consumed at nighttime or as a weekend respite; however, beer in the Czech Republic can accompany lunch, dinner or anytime during the week.

The multitude of breweries offer choices for all taste preferences, but a closer look at the restaurants we went to revealed that the selections within them are a bit narrower.

Most restaurants had around two beer choices: light and dark. The brand changed from place to place.

A look around the restaurants surrounding the Astronomical Clock showed Pilsner Urquell, KrušoviceČernovar and many others superimposed on the awnings of each restaurant front.

I get the impression that each restaurant paired their food with the beer available because each meal complemented the beer and vice versa.

Not only would a person’s food preference be a deciding factor, but his or her beer preference would also have to come into consideration when choosing a place to eat  for lunch and dinner.

Some brands of beer in Prague have been brewed the same way for more than 100 years.

The tastes coming out of each of these beers are unlike most American beers and unlike other beers across the world.

Some beers like the Oldgoff are produced the same way today as they were produced hundreds of years ago.

In essence, you are literally having a taste of history with some of these brews. Though most of the beers offered are lighter lagers, they do not shy away from the darker side of the business.

Beers like the Merlin Černy are black as night and offer the drinker a thick, syrupy drink with no lighter a head on top.

The heaviness does not mask the bounty of flavor beneath, rather it allows the flavor to stand on the palate a second longer and give the accompanying dish, in my case a spaghetti Bolognese, a little extra push in its robustness.

The lighter lagers work in much the same way though with a more gentle accentuation of flavor in the food.

As a whole, the beer industry in this country is in no danger of diminishing in the coming centuries.

The variety of events with which the coveted drink has been affiliated are too numerous to count. Catching up with an old friend, a first date, the wee hours of a Saturday night and nearly any other occasion you can think of has an open coaster for this staple of Czech culture.

Simply put, words have no flavor; if you want to experience what this magical city claims as its liquid mainstay, you’ll have to Czech it out for yourself.

Cody Woodside and Michael Abrams contributed to this story.

Edited by Maggie Jones