It gets said quite often – the best wine in the Czech Republic is its beer. Not to disrespect the well-loved Czech and Moravian wine production, but truth is, the Czech beer culture is one of the things that unify this nation’s identity.
To say that Czechs are beer drinkers is an understatement, but in what ways exactly does their beer culture differ from the other parts of the globe?
To begin with, Czechs drink the most beer than anyone else on the planet, and the country that placed second is wildly trailing behind! In other words, they are the unquestioned champions! On top of that, a Czech pub goer is known to drink an average of 9 beers a night (a total of 4.5 liters).
Yet another fun thing to know about beer in the Czech Republic is that it’s often less expensive than tap water – people would gladly pay more than 2 EUR per bottle. Craft beer may cost no lower than 3 EUR.
Pubs are known to show a lot of TV or play music, but that’s not how it works among the Czechs. But the talks and the alcohol can still create a fairly noisy room.
Know as well that if you’re hanging out at a Czech pub, the pour is as important as the beer. Many bartenders have earned themselves superstardom (be ready with your camera.
In some classic pubs, you don’t order your beer at night – it will come to you. Bartenders just keep pouring beers and waiters walk around to distribute them. Like dimsum, only beer. In these classic Czech pubs, there won’t be any ushers too. If there’s an empty spot, go right ahead and take your seat – unless they tell you it’s taken.
And then there’s the rule of never disrespecting Czech beer. Don’t ever pour beer from one glass to another as locals will find this gross.
It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do outside the pub. Once you step inside, the treatment will be the same for everyone. And there will be no VIP area nor better beer. As a visitor, you may take the service as rude or cruel, but you’re not supposed to take it personally. It’s all in the name of efficiency, which is crucial when it comes to running a Czech pub.
Of course, the focal point of this whole Czech beer culture is none other than the hospoda, or the pub. Just the sound of the word, “hospoda,” itself can make any Czech feel light and warm. It’s both a phenomenon and institution where people often converge and everyone knows everyone, especially in villages.