Czech Brewing History
The Czech brewing history dates back more than a thousand years and is generally recognized as starting in Prague with a brewery established by the monks of the Brevnov Monastery in 993. Historically, brewing beer was a way many ancient cultures preserved water, using beer’s mild alcohol content to prevent contamination. As brewing was perfected and beer was embraced by Central Europeans, the right to brew beer was one of the highest privileges a Bohemian king could grant a city. The Czech Republic, comprised of old Bohemia and Moravia today, is famous for its love of beer, and you can find a brewery in nearly every town of significance. The old beer recipes were primarily ale variants and did not resemble the beer we drink today, but in the 16th century, Bohemia enacted a similar law to the Bavarian Rienheitsgebot restrictions of 1516, which defined the ingredients brewers may use: water, barley and hops, the same essential ingredients we use in Praga today.
Artesian water. Our water is drawn from ancient artesian wells in the Czech Republic, the roof of Europe, which from time immemorial have flowed with “soft” water, ideal for producing the foundational balance and smoothness of authentic Czech beer. Our finished beer contains less carbonation (CO2 or carbon dioxide) than other European varieties, a Czech beer heritage characteristic that brings the beer’s taste forward, undistracted by pronounced bubbliness. Soft artesian water and balanced carbonation makes Praga a far richer and smoother experience than that of other European beer traditions.
Local malt. We locally source all of Praga’s barley, which we germinate in the brewery’s own malt houses under the supervision of our brewmasters. This gives our malt our characteristic consistently rich quality and ensures no deviations from our standards in the brewing process.
Saaz hops. Hops from the town of Saaz (or “Zatec”) are traditional Czech hops, and are among the most sought-after and expensive hops in the world. Saaz hops are renowned for their balance of floral and tangy bitter tones and are an essential part of giving Praga its full but balanced Czech taste.
Proprietary yeast. It is often said that the soul of a beer is its yeast, a healthy and naturally occurring fungus originally cultivated from fruit. A beer’s yeast is closely guarded, and the yeast used in Praga today are the great grandchildren of yeast strains developed over a century and a half ago.