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Showing posts from 2020

The Lockdown from Behind the Taps

In the evening of Friday 13 May, the Czech government announced series of measures that effectively put the country on lockdown. The borders were closed, public events and gatherings were banned, freedom of movement was restricted, wearing face covering was mandatory when going out and only businesses deemed essential were allowed to open. The restrictions are gradually being eased now. Beer gardens can open from 11 May and pubs, restaurants, and cafés will be allowed to welcome patrons back into their premises on 25 May, after almost two and a half months of only selling food and beverages to go, at best. The effect this has had on society and the economy as a whole is enormous and we aren’t even close to the end of this crisis, which has been especially hard on small businesses, like pubs. There’s been a lot of talk in the media about it, but I still wanted to know (and share) the perspective of the owners, so I sent a couple of questions to a bunch of them. These are the answers I g

Kout na Šumavě - RIP

At the end of last year, Pivovar Kout na Šumavě was shut down. This was no surprise to anyone who follows Czech beer news, the problems that led to this had begun in 2017, if not earlier. Nonetheless, it is a sad ending for a brewery that for some time was considered one of the best. When Koutské pivo appeared in Prague in 2007 or 8, the 10° and 12° pale lagers were better than anything anyone was doing at the time, and the two dark lagers, 14° and 18°, were equally superlative. When they opened U Slovanské Lípy, their flagship pub and also distribution point in Žižkov, and Koutland, in Pilsen, they seemed ready to take over the world; literally, because it was not only at home where they were gaining fans. Koutské pivo was also exported and, at some point or another, it made its way to Sweden, Germany, Italy, Russia, Spain, the UK, and even the US, among others. The brewery could barely meet the demand – domestic and foreign – and it didn’t take long before they had to start thinkin