Belgian Beer In Prague...
Prague, November 2006 - A new distributor of Belgian beers in the Czech lands showed his wares at the Pivní Galerie in Prague. The event may mark be the very beginnings of an awakening for beer Czech beer lovers. As you may or may not be aware this Republic is the land of lager. Although the consumption of beer is one of the highest per capita the local palate does not really care too much what beer it is so long as it's beer - which indicates to me that the locals aren't drinking because of the taste...
Beer production in Belgium dates from the 3rd and 4th century so they have about 600 year jump on Bohemia. To make predictions is the game of fools but I would suspect that over the coming years lets say 5-10 there will be more people in Czech that will drink less while expanding their palate at the same time. The problem with palate expansion right now is the pocket book. Given that Czech beer is very cheap and that Belgium imports being at least 80% more expensive than the local brew, - it is going to take some drastic price increases in the local wages before the average Czech starts to develop that palate. Given that that average wage in Czech Republic is about 80% less than in Belgium for instance it is easy to understand the lay of the land, maybe it'll be more towards 10 years before that palate develops.... But the Belgium beers are a most worthy luxury for those who really love beer and want to try something beyond the land of lagers.
We tasted a number of staple beers such as Orval 6% abv. Orval being one of the best of the Belgium beers. Achel Blond 8%. Westmalle Double 7% abv and then Triple 9.5% abv. Rochefort 10 11.3% then we tasted some fruit Lambics, cherry, apple, Geus which is a sweet beginning and bitter finish - perfect.
The exporter also runs Auberge de Provence, a French Belgian restaurant and hotel where you can sample some fine dishes and wonderful Belgian beers, it's located in a 17th century former Jesuit residence and 5 min from Ruzyne airport. www.tuchomerice.cz