12 Mar 2010

Amazing

Yesterday I put on my journalist costume and had did an interview for my next piece for Bar&Beer. I was at SPŠPT (that in Czech stands for Industrial Middle School for Food Technology), where, among other careers, kids can learn Brewing. There I had one of the most wonderful beer experiences of my life, tasting at a secondary school beers brewed by pupils.

I tasted three of them, a polotmavý ležák with a nice caramel body, fruit notes and a mild bitter finish, a tmavá 20ª that was a great example of Baltic Porter, a lot of dried fruit and well integrated roasted notes and the star of the house Podsklalský Smrtihlav a tmavé with 37º Plato and 13.3%ABV, brewed with 100% grain, with a pretty complicated process and, the sample I tried, lagered for about a year. It was really good, even though it was served too cold, I could still feel ripe fruit, vanilla and some spice. The alcohol was very well integrated and made me feel I was drinking some nice brandy.
All three beers, which I must emphasise are brewed by secondary school kids, were flawless and would put to shame many a product from non-Czech commercial micros.

But the best of all was having the chance to meet and establish a friendship with the man in charge of the department, the School's Director and his predecessor. All of them, fantastic people, with a lot of passion for beer and whom I hope I'll meet again soon.

Yeah, that's right, I live in a country where already at 15 a kid can learn how to brew professionally and also how to taste beer.

Na Zdraví!

Choose your preferred Prague hotels and get free transport.

7 comments:

  1. Thats really great. The Czech Republic puts my Country to Shame. So nice, that young people have a interest in Brewing.

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  2. Sounds great, can i have an invite please:)))
    Shame they don't sell it anywhere on the premises.

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  3. Brilliant!

    Any government introducing training on brewing for kids in the UK would find themselves in the centre of an almighty shit storm. We have some well-regarded university courses, though.

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  4. I still find it hard to believe here. But the more I think of it, the more it makes sense. These kids will have a knowledge of and respect for alcohol like few of us adults have, and so will their eventual kids. Not to mention that you can have 19 yearolders who are already perfectly capable of brewing professionally. This explains a lot about the high average quality of Czech beer.

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  5. How many students would be takign a course like this? Several hundred across the country? Or Thousands? Is there really a demand for this many in the Czech Rep? Do many students go on to study this at university or will they try and get jobs at breweries when they graduate? (geauxT)

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  6. A class isn't very big, around 20 people, mostly from Prague. There's also the possibility of carrying on these studies at the Uni, but the orientation is a bit more on the technical side. They keep on brewing, in fact, the Agricultural University keeps a commercial microbrewery, but they also learn to malt, design, put together and maintain brewing equipment. Classes here are 15 people with most coming from the secondary school. But those who graduate from the secondary school can start working right away, if they want. Most Czech brew masters, technical directors and a few brewery owners are alumni and keep a very good relationship with the school. On top of that, many of the students are children or grandchildren of alumni.

    Most Czech technical and trade schools have big problems finding enough students to stay alive, not this one, though.

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  7. They have three courses - one for daily study, where students learn everything from potatoes to beer(in the last term, when they are over 18 years old)- well, it is a food procesing school:), they organize "long distance study" for people, who need post gradual study for their job, usually "older" people and third one is a course for public, which is organized by school, Pivo Praha(Pivovarsky dum, Pivovarsky klub) and me- three Saturdays introduction into homebrewing...

    Honza, http://www.svetpiva.cz/

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