The Beauty of Budvar [VIDEO]

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He leaned in towards me and whispered emphatically into my ear: ‘I will never compromise on the quality of our beer’ . These were the words of promise uttered to me by Jiri Boček, the CEO of Budweiser Budvar. The man at the top of an awe-inspiring Czech brewery that I had the good fortune to be taken to the other week. I’d dreamt of visiting there for years now and, when my moment came, I was overwhelmed. Pretty much everything on my whirl-wind trip to Budvar was incredible. Not least having lunch with the handsome, and extraordinarily confident man who used to nosey around the brewery in Ceske Budejovice as a young boy, while his father ran the entire state-owned operation. And now Jiri’s enjoying his turn at continuing the tradition of brewing some of the tastiest Czech pilsner sold in the world.


Budweiser Budvar Original (not to be confused with the American brewed Budweiser beer!) has been brewed in the industrial town, 2 hours away from Prague, since the 13th century. The Americans were allowed to use the trademark ‘Budweiser’ some years ago and so they won’t let go of it. But be sure that’s the only similarity between the two, because the Czech beer is superior in taste and heritage. And it’s got protected regional status, and it will always read ORIGINAL on the bottle.

 

My fab fellow guests and I were treated to fantastic brewery tour filled with audio-visual feasts for the senses (including a film in 3D) which envelop you in the history of their beer. Petr Samec, Head of PR, led us through the tour and handed us over to Head Brewer, Adam Broz. I was in terrific company with Mike Berry from the trade magazine, the Publican’s Morning Advertiser, prolific beer author Brian Glover and drinks writer, Mark Ludman from Bar Magazine. Denis Cox and Ian Moss from Budvar UK were our trusty, and fabulously funny escorts.

 

 

 

 

 

Mark Ludman (Bar Magazine) and Brian Glover

 

Denis Cox (Budvar UK) and Mike Berry (Publican's Morning Advertiser)

 

Brewmaster, Adam Broz then led us into the heart of his domain, the wonderful maze of his brewhouse: it’s extraordinary – can brew 1.2-1.4 million hectolitres of beer a week. This plant which brews up to 12 brews a day, 6 times a week, is almost hitting total capacity output. They are all set to expand their production to a site across the road. If you haven’t already tasted the beer, then you MUST.

 

Yes, they make a lot of it on an industrial scale but Budweiser Budvar doesn’t TASTE like it’s been mass-produced. To quote Adam, the brewery has ‘an industrial shell but the craft is inside’. By that he means they CARE about what they put in the beer: fresh, whole hops from the Saaz region of Bohemia, locally grown Moravian barley and water drawn from 300m underground. The beer’s brewed, ferments for 12 days in special vertical vessels (see them in my video above) and then it’s transferred to containers where it matures for 90 days to give it an extraordinary flavour. If you compare that to say, Guinness, which is produced (I seem to remember from the brewery tour in Dublin last year) in around 5 days flat, you realise the efforts Budweiser Budvar goes to make a fabulous beer!

 

Adam near the brewery well

 

Apart from the great beer, we all scoffed some rather delicious and hearty, traditional Czech food..

 

Starters at our dinner at Masne Kramy

 

Delicious Beef Goulash and Bread Dumplings at Masne Kramy restaurant

 

Starters at lunch in the brewery restaurant

 

Former Budvar Brewmaster, Joseph Tolar chats to Mark Ludman

 

And there were other Budvar beers too: the Yeast beer (the Original beer but with yeast in the barrel just like a British cask ale), the Dark Lager and the deliciously sexy Bud Premium Select (which at 7.5%) is a naughty temptation I couldn’t resist: a version of the Original that bordered on the spirit-like, that is stronger and sweeter and which felt silky-smoothness in my mouth. Mmmmmmmm!!

Super Sexy Glass, huh???

 

Not so sure about this beer mat ;-)

Basically all there’s left to say is I had a fab time, try and get over to visit the brewery if you can to, and if not AT LEAST DRINK THE FABULOUS BEER!!

 

Mark & I quaffing Budvar straight from the cellar tanks! Awesome!

 

 

One Response to The Beauty of Budvar [VIDEO]

  1. Hallo Marverine,

    I have really enjoyed your article and I´m pleased you´ve had good time in Budejovice.
    Keep enjoying Budweiser – the real one:)!
    Best regards,
    Petra

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