What do you do when you get asked to go pour your beers at a well respected craft beer festival in one of the beer capitals of the world?! A few months back we were approached by Prague Craft Beer Festival, with support from the Department of International Trade, to pour our beers alongside a couple of other UK breweries. Well, it would have been rude to say no, and last weekend Jamie and myself (Robin) popped over on the plane to let the lovely people of the Czech Republic try our beers for the first time.
Arriving on Thursday evening, we had a mad dash through a torrential downpour to get to the festival site in time to prep the cask of Moonshine. CASK BEER! IN PRAGUE!!!! We got there just in time and we were indebted to Millie from Pivovar Thrills to lending us a beer engine to serve through. It turns out she lived in Yorkshire for over 10 years and worked at pubs we supply!
Another mad dash across town was needed to get to Badflash for the pre-festival party. A lot of the other breweries were in attendance, which was great to get to know some people. Our host, Libor, was absolutely delightful, their dark lager and the gammon on the buffet being notable highlights! Armed with a large bottle of Badflash lager each, we headed back to the hotel with Gregg and Brody from Siren Craft and *might* have stayed up ‘til the small hours to sample the beers (quality control obviously) 😉
The festival itself ran midday-midnight on the Friday and Saturday, and there were 50 breweries in attendance from across the Czech Republic, the rest of Europe and the wonderful Wild East from Brooklyn, New York. The early hit of the festival which had people coming to our stall was always going to be the Moonshine, with cask beer being such a rarity anywhere outside the British Isles. At one point we were fearful that it would run out on the Friday, but thankfully it did last until midway through the Saturday session.
We were able to sample the beer from the other breweries in attendance, and particularly memorable ones were Wild East’s Dark Mild (Brett was desperate for some English brewers to tell him it was a good Dark Mild, it was excellent!), tVerzet’s Oud Bruin with Strawberries, Zichovec’s Lichtenhainer, and then some unusual beers, Andersen’s Tomato and Basil Gose, plus Psychovar’s Kimchi Beer! As you’d expect the standard of the Czech Pilsner on offer was incredibly high. Also had lovely beers from Hop Hooligans, Totenhopfen, Madcat, Gorilla and Mad Scientist.
As we’d received support from the DiT and British Embassy, the Ambassador himself, Matt Field came down to have a cheeky beer with us, Siren and Cloudwater, in what we called our ‘Brexit Corner’ as we were located in the side room all together. We kept the energy going all through the weekend, and the camaraderie meant the long, long sessions were made just that little bit shorter. A big shout out to Natalie and Kat from Cloudwater, plus Gregg and Brody, it was great fun to share the weekend with you. Even another mad dash across town post festival to watch the boxing to arrive at the bar as the winner was announced didn’t matter, as we did what most Brits abroad do, and had a few pints of Guinness 😉
A nice leisurely day seeing the sights of Prague was the order of the day for Sunday, a walk over Charles Bridge, a trek up to the castle, lunch by the old square washed down with a litre of Staropramen straight from the tank.
A whirlwind of a weekend, over far too quickly, but another big thank you to Miroslav for inviting us to pour, Katerina from the Embassy for all her support, Millie for the loan of the beer engine and translation services, all the breweries for their company and great beers, and lastly the people of Prague who came down and made us feel so welcome in their wonderful country.
Until next time, Na zdraví!