Misunderstood. That’s the Czech Republic in a nutshell. This unassuming little republic with the misfortune to be located between two mighty nations that don’t always get along so well has been repeatedly occupied, artificially grafted onto its neighbor state, bombed back to the agrarian age, forced into the fold of the iron curtain, and made to struggle to catch up to the western word after that rusted curtain flaked to pieces. Now on firmer ground, the Czechs get to endure their capital city getting overrun with twentysomething British Easyjetters fighting and vomiting on the cobbled streets of their capital every weekend because the beer is so cheap.
They don’t go to Prague because the beer is good. They go there because it’s cheap.
Jeez, if I were a Czech brewmaster, it would be a real personal victory just to drag myself to work every day. Here they are, brewing some of the finest beer in the on this Earth, and a good portion of the drinking world turns up their nose at it, because it’s low-alcohol lager, and therefore must be fizzy piss. It’s something to drink on vacation, to yak back into the Vltava River from the parapets of the Wenceslas Bridge.
it’s not like Pils gets any respect from the older, more knowledgeable British beer connoisseur. Those Santa-faced CAMRA heads are so wrapped up in their hand-pull that they scarcely acknowledge anything else as real beer- not even good quality local keg bitter.
American beer lovers usually share the same prejudice. Our beer culture, varied as it is, has become so insular that many scarcely perceive golden-hued brew as beer at all. Beer geeks here associate quality with high bitterness, powerful aftertaste, and devastating alcoholic kick.
I’m starting a crusade to right this unjust wrong. Therefore, using images stolen off the Web, I’ve created the banner at the top of this page, urging people who’ve never given real Pilsner two shakes to try a glass. Other bloggers are encouraged to use the banner and take up the cause.
I certainly don’t expect to change minds with this post, but I’d urge you to bookmark this new Czech beer blog, part of the Prague Daily Monitor, as a source of knowledge about this most misunderstood of beers.
Edit, next time I make a banner, I’ll use Illustrator for the text instead of Photoshop. -Mark