Though Prague has become a hot spot for beer tourism, visitors can end up disappointed by the lack of options in the city’s pubs. Many bars in town are locked into exclusive agreements with large breweries, which often install and control the taps. (Obzerstvi’s standard offer is Staropramen, a mass-produced brew from Prague that is part of the giant Anheuser-Busch InBev.) But recently, a few pubs like Obzerstvi have begun selling rare craft beers on a so-called ctvrta pipa, or fourth pipe, a new term for an independent tap on which pubs can offer a greater variety of brews....Not so much on the styles of beers these craft breweries are making, but it's still a very nice piece on the overall beer scene there. Sounds like some very positive developments.
The Czech Republic is home to about 125 breweries, ranging from tiny brewpubs to industrial giants, according to the list at www.pivovary.info. A couple of years ago, I counted just 23 Czech breweries whose beers could regularly be found in Prague. This fall I counted more than twice that number of just what could be considered Czech craft brewers, the small-scale producers whose products are preferred by connoisseurs.
Now, off to the Holiday Ale Fest!