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Prague - the Best Beer City in Europe
That probably sounds outlandish, at least at first glance.
Other European capitals certainly might offer greater variety, with a few more kinds of beer available. In a city like Brussels, you could probably find 400 different types of beer, including many rarities that would be hard to spot anywhere outside of Belgium. But in Brussels, you can also walk for blocks without finding any decent beer at all.
In Prague, on the other hand, amazingly great beer is on just about every corner.
Other cities seem to have greater amounts of pubs or breweries, but there’s often a catch. In London, interest in good beer has caused an explosion in the number of breweries, giving the UK capital 80 breweries today. But that amount is for London’s enormous population of 8.5 million, meaning there is one brewery for every 106,250 inhabitants.
By contrast, Prague currently has 30 working breweries and a population of just 1.25 million, giving us one brewery per just 42,000 people.
On a per-capita basis, if London were to have as many breweries and brewpubs as Prague, it would need to have 202 — more than twice as many as it does today.
To better find yourselves in the world of Czech beer please find below this text glossary of Beer Styles.
Glossary of Beer Styles and Terms
The following list should include the majority of terms you might encounter, including both styles of beer (such as stout) and specific terms that have been codified by Czech law (such as řezané pivo and ležák).
10º – a beer made from wort with at least 10% extracted sugars before fermentation. Known as a Desítka.
11º – a beer made from wort with at least 11% extracted sugars before fermentation. Known as a Jedenáctka.
12º – a beer made from wort with at least 12% extracted sugars before fermentation. Known as a Dvanáctka.
Ale – generally, a term used for all top-fermented beers; as a style, ale is often used to refer to the traditional hoppy brews, often pale, from Britain and the United States. Often written as Ejl in Czech.
Black Ipa – an India Pale Ale, or IPA, but very dark, often roast in flavor, with pronounced hop flavors and aroma. In Czech: černá IPA.
Bock – a type of strong, bottom-fermented beer, often equivalent to a Czech Speciální pivo.
Imperial Pilsner / Imperial Lager – a type of strong, pale, bottom-fermented beer, like a stronger version of classic Czech světlý ležák.
India Pale Ale (Ipa) – a type of top-fermented beer, usually golden or amber in color, with pronounced hop bitterness and flavors.Variations include Black IPA and Double IPA.
Kvasnicové Pivo – “yeast beer,” a legal term for beer produced by adding fresh yeast or fresh fermenting wort to finished beer, often resulting in a cloudy beer with a yeasty, bread-like aroma.
Ležák – “lager,” a legal term for the category of premium beers, made from wort with 11–12% extracted sugars before fermentation. These are the premium or flagship beers at any brewery, and include the most famous of Czech brands.
Nefiltrované Pivo – unfiltered beer. Not the same as Kvasnicové pivo, though the terms are often used interchangeably.
Pale Ale – a type of gold to amber top-fermented beer, often with pronounced hop bitterness.
Pilsner – in the rest of the world, Pilsner is a general term used to refer to pale lagers. In the Czech Republic, Pilsner is reserved for Pilsner Urquell.
Porter – a legal term for dark beers made from barley with a wort containing at least 18% extracted sugars before fermentation. A secondary meaning may refer to one of the many porter styles of beer: dark, often bitter, top- and bottom-fermented beers originally brewed in Britain and the Baltics.
Pšeničné Pivo – “wheat beer,” a legal term for beer made with at least 33% wheat malt.
Rauchbier – in German, “smoke beer,” a type of beer which uses beech-smoked malt, resulting in a combination of sweet malt and smoky campier flavors. In Czech: nakuřované pivo or kouřové pivo.
Řezané Pivo – “Half and Half beer/ Black and Tan,” a legal term for a mix of pale and dark beers, generally produced by tapping two types of beer into the same glass. Technically not the same as Polotmavé pivo, though the two are often confused.
Světlé Pivo – “pale beer,” a legal term for golden brews made primarily with pale malt.
Tmavé Pivo – “dark beer,” a legal term for dark brews in general.
Výčepní Pivo – “taproom beer,” a legal term for the category of basic beers, made from wort with 7–10% extracted sugars before fermentation. These are often light, easy drinkers or “session beers,” designed for mass consumption.
Weissbier, Weizenbier – originally from Bavaria, a group of top-fermented white or wheat beers, including beers where wheat malt was added. As the name suggests, they are light-colored and of a refreshing flavor.
Source: The Beer Guide to Prague: Prague — the Best Beer City in Europe by Evan Rail
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