About Czech Beer

The Czech Republic: Home of Pilsner

The Czech Republic has played an important role in the development of the type of beer we commonly drink today. In the early 19th century, Bohemian brewers pioneered the development of pilsners—a style that we commonly associate with pale, well-hopped lagers with crisp carbonation. Pilsner Urquell, made in the town of Pilsen, is still one of the most popular Czech beer exports, and a fine benchmark of the style.

The history of Czech beer styles does not end with pilsners. In the latter part of the 19th century, American brewery owner Adolphus Busch first encountered a local style in a town called Ceské Budejovice. The beer, better known in Europe by the town’s German name, Budweis, was none other than the original Budweiser Budvar, or Czech “Bud.” It is from this style that Busch developed his own variation in the United States, producing Budweiser in the giant Anheuser-Busch brewery based in Missouri.

The Czech Republic is also a major grower and exporter of the finest hops used for pilsner-style lagers. These hops are typically imported in large volumes by U.S. brewers, and are used in attempts to brew beer outside of the Czech Republic with just as much character, quality and flavor.
Top Picks for Czech Republic
Pivovar Nachod
Primator Hefe Weizen
Cloudy golden sunrise color. Aromas of dried banana, wafer, and cucumber with a dryish finely carbonated medium-to-full body and refreshing sprouts, Meyer lemon, shredded wheat, moss, and mineral accented finish. A refreshing and precisely made hefe.
Date Tasted: 7/9/2014 in our Chicago tasting lab
Pivovar Samson
Praga Dark Lager
Dark chestnut brown color. Interesting aromas of fried sweet and sour chicken with pineapple-red pepper sauce, mocha and chocolate chestnuts with a frothy, fruity medium-to-full body and a toasted spicy, grainy pasty, woody incense, and peppery radish sprouts accented finish. Interesting roller coaster of sweet, sour, and earth flavors.
Date Tasted: 11/6/2013 in our Chicago tasting lab
Prager Cider
Honey Cider
Brilliant gold color. Delicate, interesting, toasty aromas and flavors of graham cracker, rye crisp, and granola, honey roasted golden beets and apples, and apple pie crust with a soft, crisp, spritzy, fruity medium body and a smooth, compelling, medium-length suede, honeycomb, buttered toast, and earth finish. An intriguingly toasty and honeyed cider.
Date Tasted: 4/27/2016 in our Chicago tasting lab
Pivovar Samson
Praga Premium Pils
Golden amber color. Inviting aromas toasted pretzel bread, fig jam, and herb frittata with a supple, dryish medium body and a long, refreshing finish with notes of nuts, clay, jicama, and buttered herb-pepper baguette. Very well made and thoroughly refreshing.
Date Tasted: 11/13/2013 in our Chicago tasting lab
Mestansky Pivovar Havlickuv Brod
Lev Black Lion
Dark brown color. Aromas of grainy flour, chocolate roasted chestnuts, honeyed greens, and faint dried meat with a supple, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tangy, peppercorn, honeyed radish. cocoa, and grassy, barky earth nuanced finish. Quite tasty and engaging.
Date Tasted: 11/6/2013 in our Chicago tasting lab
Mestansky Pivovar Havlickuv Brod
Lev Lion Pilsner
Golden amber color. Aromas of roasted golden beet, toasted herb bread, clay, and custard with a crisp, dryish medium body and hint pear-like fruit, grass, and peppery spice accents on the refreshing finish.
Date Tasted: 11/11/2013 in our Chicago tasting lab
Prager Cider
Golden amber color. Earthy, phenolic smoky aromas of apple tree, candle wax, reduced lemon, and alfalfa and straw with a satiny, bright, effervescent, fruity sweet medium body and a graceful, intriguing, medium-long apple butter on cinnamon raisin toast, honeyed nut brittle, grilled root vegetable, and grass finish. A rather enigmatic earthy cider.
Date Tasted: 5/13/2016 in our Chicago tasting lab
Mestansky Pivovar Havlickuv Brod
Lev Lion Double Bock
Golden amber color. Aromas of orange and peach yogurts, brioche and candied yams with a frothy, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tangy, lemon pepper, herb, grass and beet accented finish.
Date Tasted: 11/13/2013 in our Chicago tasting lab
Prager Cider
"12" Cider
Clear amber color. Delicate, fruity, sweet green herbal aromas and flavors of dried apple, toasted nut brittle, and chestnut honeyed tea with an even, vibrant, spritzy, off-dry medium body and a polished, fast toasty apple tart, delicate baking spice, and lemon marmalade on toast finish. A mellow, lightly spicy cider.
Date Tasted: 5/6/2016 in our Chicago tasting lab