12 Apr 2010

A true boom

Although I might still be a bit too early to speak about a trend in reference to the growth of the regional breweries, if we see this from the point of view of microbreweries, then there can be absolutely no doubt they are enjoying a boom. And this is not only a rosy view of a darker reality.

An article published in the daily Hospodářské noviny and reproduced by the portal Pivovary.info shows with figures that the reality is actually brighter than the expectations of many enthusiasts.

In 1990 there was only one microbrewry in business, U Fleku. In 2006 there were already forty registered. It might not look like a lot in a country with the tradition of the Czech Republic, but it must be remembered that here almost all micros are brewpubs, which require a much larger initial investment than those which evolved from homebrewing projects, as it's the case in other countries. But it still doesn't matter, because the numbers are still surprising. Last year the micros reached a total of 90, aiming for 100 by the end of this one, and they are still almost all of them brewpubs.

But the interesting stuff doesn't end there. The article includes fragments of interviews with the representatives of four companies that design and put together brewery equipment, and also, in at least two cases, consult, create the recipes, procure ingredients, etc. Ludvík Ješátko, from the ČKD Group says that the initial investment isn't too large, only a few million CZK, which in some cases can be cofinanced with government grants. Karel Dvořák, from the company Destila, from Brno, adds that the number of restaurant owners interested in this alternative is growing. They have realised that people are willing to pay a bit more for locally brewed beer. According to Václav Potěšil, from Pivo Praha, a micro can be successful if it sells 200 to 300l a day, and those that can reach that volume are more every day.

All this, of course, has increased competition which in turn, has brought down the prices for the technology, explains Josef Krysl, who already has 9 micros under his belt, including U Bansethu in Prague and Purkmistr in Pilsen.

Among all this the article also mentions several places where brewpubs are to open, have recently opened or their capacity has been expanded. And it's here where I find what is for me the most exciting information. They mention three new micros in Prague! One of them is a Krysl's project that will open in the classic hospoda U Dvou Koček, in the centre of Prague, and the other two are projects of Pivo Praha and Destila. These would join the recently opened Jihoměstský Pivovar (which I still have to visit, but probably won't do until they do start brewing).

Bright days are ahead of us

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2 comments:

  1. Great news that U Dvou Koček is to start brewing. It's a pub I've always had a soft spot for.

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  2. Now I wonder if this pub wasn't like many others in town, U Vejvodu, U Zeleného Stromu, etc, that used to be breweries. If so, it would be great. What better than, in some way, reclaim an almost lost tradition...

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