As you’ve probably heard, beer is the best Czech wine there is. Not to disesteem the beautiful Czech and Moravian wine production, but there’s no denying that the local beer culture is one of the most prominent elements of the Czech identity.
It is an understatement to say that Czechs are beer lovers, but what specifically make their beer culture stand out compared to the rest of the world?
For one, Czechs consume the most beer in the world, and the margin between them and the country that ranked second is extremely far behind! In other words, they are the unquestioned champions! Aside from that, a typical Czech pub goer is known to down at least 9 beers (around 4.5 liters), and that’s every night.
Yet another interesting thing is that beer in the Czech Republic is usually cheaper than tap water – locals are happy to pay above 2 EUR for a bottle. For craft beer, that could be over 3 EUR.
If you’re used to pubs that play music or show much TV, you won’t find them in the Czech Republic. But it sure gets fairly noisy still with all the beer drinkers talking and laughing.
Know as well that if you’re hanging out at a Czech pub, the pour is as important as the beer. Many bartenders have earned themselves superstardom (be ready with your camera.
At night, in some classic joints, you don’t call a waiter and order beer – it comes to you . Bartenders and waiters walk around pouring beers and handing them to patrons who are just finishing theirs. Like dimsum, only beer. In these classic Czech pubs, there won’t be any ushers too. If there’s an empty spot, go right ahead and take your seat – unless they tell you it’s taken.
And then be sure not to break the golden rule: RESPECT CZECH BEER. Pouring beer from one glass to another is considered gross.
It’s immaterial what your activities are outside the pub. As you step inside, you will be treated the same way as the others. And there’s no better beer or a VIP section. As a visitor, you may take the service as rude or cruel, but you’re not supposed to take it personally. It’s all in the name of efficiency, which is crucial when it comes to running a Czech pub.
Of course, the common thread that binds the entire Czech beer culture together is no other than the hospoda, aka the pub. The word,
“hospoda,” alone can give any Czech a warm, fuzzy feeling inside. It’s not just a phenomenon but an institution where people spend time on a regular basis, especially in villages, and everybody knows everybody’s name.