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Enriching conversations

OK. I'm sure that for many of you this won't be anything new, but still I want to say it. Having a chat with someone who makes a living out of making beer, specially with true Brew Masters, is a fantastic experience, one I think I would still enjoy even without being the beer obsessed that I am.

During this decade that I've been teaching languages to adults  I've got to know pretty well many people from all walks of life. Few are those who enjoy what they do and feel so passionate about it as brewers.

Last week I visited some of the local brewpubs to research for my new piece for Bar&Beer and I "interviewed" the lads in charge of making the beers. As always, I came out learning a couple of new things.

At Chýně, Brew Master Tomáš Mikulica told me that he always lets top and bottom fermenting yeasts do their job in open fermenters in the same room without fear they will fight each other. Only once he's had a problem, and it was after letting ferment several batches of wheat beer, and still nothing serious happened. I'd always thought such thing could not be done. Go figure.

That same afternoon I went to U Medvídku. I go there once a month or so to talk to Ladislav Veselý, the house's Brew Master, who is a really nice guy. While were discussing the new 16% Plato Honey beer that, if my suggestion is taken into account, will be presented in March, a fairly attractive lady approached us. She turned out to be another beer writer, who like me was visiting Prague's brewpubs to research for an article in a Dutch beer magazine. She asked Veselý some technical questions and me some Prague questions and we talked about beer a bit more. Once again, our favourite drink doing a good job at bringing people together. Gotta love that!

Anyway, these anecdotes serve to illustrate something I've always experienced among the Czech brewers I have met. They are very enthusiastic people, who enjoy answering questions and listening to opinions of people who have some understanding about what they do, and who really appreciate when someone tells them they like the fruit of their labours. And this is no PR bollocks, it's just genuine love for their jobs.

I always say that the only important thing is what you have in the glass, but there are some things that can make you enjoy a good beer even more.

Na Zdraví!

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