"A Beer-Drinker's Odyssey Begins on the River Vltava"
The world was astounded in 1913 when it was discovered that as many as 19 types of beer were brewed in Mesopotamia 5,000 years ago. It is fitting that the archaeologist who first deciphered the Sumerian tablets containing this information was a Czech, Bedrich Hrozny. Beer was also brewed in the earliest Czech civilizations (there is evidence that hops were already being cultivated here in 859 and were being exported in 903 - the first written documentation referring to brewing dates from 1088), and even British beer authority Michael Jackson agrees that the Czechs are the number one beer-brewing nation in the world today.
The Czech Beer Firsts are many and varied!
First in per capita beer consumption
First Beer Museum in the world
First beer brewing textbook
First president to have written an absurdist play based on his experiences working in a Czech beer brewery in AD 1974
The history of beer in the Czech Lands stretches back a thousand years, mirroring the ups and downs of Czech history through the ages. For more information, read Part One of the Radio Prague Czech Beer FAQ - History of Czech Beer
Beer is considered a part of the national heritage of the Czech Republic. For more information than you ever wanted to know about Czech beer and the drinking thereof, read Part Two of the Radio Prague Czech Beer FAQ - Czech Beer Culture
Check out our brand new (okay, not so brand new) list of Czech breweries
, complete with interesting facts and even some cool beer labels!
For a more detailed history on the Czech Lands, take a look at the Radio Prague History in a Nutshell