If we overlook all the Americans who moved to Europe and started brewing American-inspired beers there, which already-existing American craft brewery will be the first to open its own European brewing facility?
Every hue of IPA and dozens of Stout sub-types are recognized in style guidelines, but Czech beer is reduced to “Bohemian Pilsner,” a name that would leave a Czech drinker scratching his head. Meanwhile, the country is awash with an array of lager styles, more than anywhere else in the world.
Brevnovský Pivovar has an annual production of about 2,500 barrels. Most of that is its Pale Lager, but it also makes an Imperial Stout, a Baltic Porter and an IPA, all rarities in lager-loving central Europe. For the moment, however, none of the brewery’s beers are regularly exported out of the Czech Republic.
No, Sommerbier and Winterbier are not seasonal specials. At least not in the sense you’re thinking. They’re two of the earliest lager styles, now almost completely forgotten, though traces of them remain.
Modern Prague is not a bad experience. On the contrary, it is many times better than it used to be. But I am glad that I was young when I was, and saw different worlds from the one that has become familiar.