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And the winners are...

Just like I promised yesterday, here you have the list of winners of this year's Sdružení přátel piva awards, plus some comments.

Desítka roku

1. Podskalák, světlé výčepní pivo (Pivovar Rohozec)
2. Moravské Sklepní (Pivovar Černá Hora)
3. Březňák, světlé výčepní (Pivovar Velké Březno)

I must confess that I don't remember ever drinking this beer (which I hope to correct soon). The other two, however, are well placed, yes.

Jedenáctka roku

1. Otakar 11% (Pivovar Polička)
2. Svijanský Máz (Pivovar Svijany)
3. Klášter 11% (Pivovar Klášter)

Otakar is a very good, and not known enough, beer. Máz is my least favourite from the Svijany lot and I would put it well behind Klášter's (which dropped from the first spot for the first time in I don't know how many years).

Dvanáctka roku

1. Svijanský Rytíř (Pivovar Svijany)
2. Březňák, světlý ležák (Pivovar Velké Březno)
3. Bernard, sváteční ležák (Rodinný pivovar Bernard)

This first prize is going to be discussed a lot among Czech beer geeks, some whom, for reasons hard to understand, seem to have something against Svijany. Personally, I think it's well deserved, after all, it's the beer that I always have at home, though if Bernard had won, I wouldn't have any objections, either. Interesting bit, Herold Wheat came in 5th in this category.

Speciál roku

1. Kvasar, 14% (Pivovar Černá Hora)
2. Primátor Exkluziv 16% (Pivovar Náchod)
3. Březňák, světlý ležák speciál 14% (Pivovar Velké Březno)

Kvasar is a beer that has never convinced me. It says it's brewed with honey, but I've never been able to taste anything other than a slightly "overcooked" lager a bit sweeter than others.

Tmavé pivo roku

1. Bernard černé 13% (Rodinný pivovar Bernard)
2. Budweiser Budvar tmavý ležák (Pivovar Budějovický Budvar)
3. Svijanská Kněžna 13% (Pivovar Svijany)

From the start, I don't agree how this category is put together. Gravity isn't taken into account, which I think would make it impossible for any tmavé výčepní to win, no matter how good it can be. That said, Bernard černé is a great beer.

Polotmavé pivo roku

1. Primátor Polotmavý 13% (Pivovar Náchod)
2. Bernard Jantarový ležák (Rodinný pivovar Bernard)
3. Skalák, řezaný ležák (Pivovar Rohozec)

It doesn't matter that what they were tapping the other day was not in good shape, Primátor 13% is a superb beer and, to me, really the best in its lot.

Nealkoholické pivo roku

1. Bernard Free Jantar (Rodinný pivovar Bernard)
2. Bernard Free (Rodinný pivovar Bernard)
3. Radegast Birell (Pivovar Radegast)

I'm not a consumer of Nealko Pivo, but If I was, Bernard would certainly be my beer of choice.

Minipivovar roku

1. Pivovarský Dvůr Chýně
2. Klášterní pivovar Strahov
3. Pivovar Hubertus Kácov

Not to question Chýně's award,but  there's only Prague on the podium (Kácov is well outside of Prague, but their beers can be found regularly at 3 pubs in the capital). I can't help to notice the absence of micros from the rest of the country like, for example, Kout.

Pivovar roku

1. Pivovar Herold
2. Pivovar Svijany
3. Rodinný pivovar Bernard

I was surprised by the choice of Herold as first. They hadn't won anything thus far. How well deserved this prize is or not is very arguable in this category (more so perhaps than in the others). Truth is that not long ago Herold was about to shut down for good when their American owners decided to pack their bags. The new owners have been doing a great job and the brand does have a lot of potential.

A special award was given, something like "New Enterprise of the year", and Pivovar Chotěboř was the winner. The reason, it is the first industrial brewery proper to open in the Czech Republic after more than 30 years. Their beers are of really good quality and the people making and selling them are very enthusiastic. Good luck to them!

The award that closed the ceremony was Sládek roku, brewer of the year. One can have the most cynic attitude towards awards, but things change when one is given to a friend and great bloke. Ladislav Veselý, from U Medvídku, is not just a brewer, he's a Brew Master in all the sense of the term. He's also a personal friend and a fantastic person who also happens to make wonderful beers. Never a prize was more deserved.

Note: Before any of you writes a comment complaining about the absence of this or that beer I'll explain what system the SPP uses to give the prizes. In the first round the members of the association vote for a beer in each category. Those which get the most votes go to a second round where a blind tasting decides the winners. In other words Kout na Šumavě Desítka didn't win anything because it didn't get enough votes.

If you want to change things, become a member and cast your vote next year.

Na Zdraví!

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  1. I was very impressed by the beers from Pivovar Chotěboř, both the unfiltered one I had on tap and two bottled beers.
    Incredible that there is a new industrial brewery that focuses on good beer and not only on design and marketing. That makes good export potential, too.

  2. For what I've heard, and Evan posted about it a long time ago, they are export driven. I do hope the can pubs that will stock their beers in the local market as well...

  3. This was an interesting list with many beers I have never tried. Černá Hora's Sklepní is one of my favourites, and I am also fond of the dvanáctka beers from Svijany and Bernard. Otakar was very good, but I am also fond of the kvasnicove version I tried at Hrom do Police. A great beer!

    By the way: I tried a Rohozec beer from tap at U Prince Miroslava. I do not remember if it was the desitka or the jedenactka, but it was a nice lager beer.

  4. Rohozec is perhaps my favourite beer. Obviously a matter of personal preference, but I find it to be just perfect. Their polotmavy's surprisingly been popping up around town quite a lot recently, at least in Vrsovice/Nusle, interestingly mostly at low-end places. Perhaps not the best thing for it's image? But at any rate nice to be able to get an excellent beer for often as cheap as 18kc.

  5. I really don't think the place where it's tapped affects the image of a beer. You can find signs of Pilsner Urquell announcing the seediest herna bars and nobody has a problem with that.

    Besides, unless they have a direct contract with the place, there's little the brewery can do to prevent that (and frankly, I don't think they care at all, as long as someone is buying their stuff).

    I must find those places in Vrsovice/Nusle for a project I'm working on.

  6. You can see the Rohozec place in Vršovice from the tram, between the Bohemians and Slavia football stadiums. The Chodovar place is right next to Albertov tram-stop...

  7. In Vršovice they have Rohozec at a few places, one the one that Iain mentioned, never been there, big Cafe de Colombia sign outside and topless service on Thursdays..
    Better is Bistro Eva, just a ways back from there, across from the parking lot next to Bohemka and itself next to the park along the Botič. They sell some chlebicky and other take-away stuff in the front and in the back some lunchy stuff in a really homey little pub you would never expect from the outside. Klaster and Rohozec polotmavy on tap, though the sign for the place outside boasts Ferdinand.
    The Rohozec polotmavy is also at a "Sport Cafe History" on 28.pluku, just around the corner from a big bus stop on Belocerkevska (101, 124, 135, 136, 139, 213). Kind of out of the way if you don't live there and more of a place to visit in the summer when they've got a few tables outside.

  8. I've spotted both the Rohozec places, owe them a visit, which I hope will take place soon.

    BTW, Bistro Eva is the Ježek-Klášter place I speak about in the other post (which also gives you a very good hint about the Kout dive)

  9. Don't worry, Terry. There's a Rohozec place near Holešovice train station.... Not Letná, but still Prague 7

  10. Aha, guess they've switched up one of the taps then. I thought it was possible, but was thrown off by it being 'acorss the street' from the other place, as the only time there's something across the street from it is when the circus is in town. Guess I'll have to widen my frame of interpretation..


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