Beer (pivo) in Czech Republic is like bread. It is so common to drink it so that even if you drink at work or at lunch break most of the supervisors will have no problem with that. It is not forbidden to drink on the streets as well, apart from some residential areas marked accordingly. This unique beer culture you will surely not find anywhere else!
7 facts about unique culture of Czech beer
I spent a year discovering Czech breweries which are numerous. I can advise downloading mobile app called “Breweries” which will show you all of them on the map of the country. Very useful when you travel over there!
1. Czech beer is categorized in “degrees”
If you are wandering why one beer kind can have 10º or 12º don’t get confused, this in not percentage of alcohol! Czech Republic is truly paradise of beer. You can find plenty of kinds, degrees and flavors! Moreover, you will never finish discovering, because there are still new kinds and new micro-breweries. It is crazy! I prepared separate article about kinds of Czech beer and guide how to read the alcohol degrees to don’t get drunk!
2. Czech beer etiquette
Coming to Czech Republic you must know how to say Cheers! “Na zdraví” – means “to your health” and saying those words you must always make eye contact with each person, otherwise it is offensive! Lastly, when ordering beer at the bar, use your thumb to represent “1” beer, your thumb together with forefinger for “2,” and so forth.
3. The most rude customer service ever!
Unusual for Czech Republic is service, specially waiters in the pubs, because they are sometimes very rude. Of course, I am not talking about strictly touristic places, but real Czech experience. If you are used to polite customer service, you can get very disappointed. In other words when waiter doesn’t want to serve you, never smiles and look at you like you at least want him to carry a wardrobe for you on the third floor. And after all he expects you to tip!
This happened to me also in the restaurants, when we almost beg the waiter to take an order. Another time in the tobacco shop when the guy didn’t want to serve us at all, pretending that doesn’t see us (the shop had like 3 square meters). Typical situation is when the waiter comes totally bored and without smile. Then he takes your order like you are the last customer ordering while they want to close the bar. Sometimes you can feel guilty ordering when you see how big effort for waiter is to take an order.
Thanks that Vietnamese exist here, started to own ALL the small grocery shops in Czech Republic and they are very polite. Population of Vietnamese came to Prague during Communism times as a guest workers and now having over 80 000 habitats which is quite big minority in such a small country.
4. Next one? You better know before you finish first!
When you are about to finish your glass, expect waiter to come bringing you next one without asking. Yeah sometimes it is hard to order but once you start drinking it is even more difficult to stop. Don’t worry though, Czech beer is not so strong, as strong as regular beers in other countries and most of all they are the best quality ever! In Czech Republic you shouldn’t be worry about going to the bar to order. Waiters take care of bringing you new or asking if you want another beer, before you finish one! In some traditional places you will get a small bill on your table where waiter will mark each beer you are ordering. After all, it is easy when it comes to paying. Lastly, you are expected to tip in Czech Republic!
5. Beer is cheaper than water!
Satisfying is the price of Czech beer. Beer in the restaurants is cheaper than water or any other beverage. For a good draft beer you can pay from 1 to 2€ for 0,5 l. In the supermarket you can get a bottle for less than 1€ but beer from the bottle is considered much worse. For Czech people beer must be straight from the tap! Draft beer also should have pipes cleaned every day (of course it is rare). This fact makes the quality higher and taste better.
6. Small beer is not a good choice!
Size of the beer is very important as well. In most of the places waiters won’t even ask if you want big or small they will just bring you 0,5 l. because this is a standard. In some places (very traditional) they won’t even ask you if you want beer, they will just bring it! If the place is famous for a certain kind of Czech beer and people go there just to drink it, no need to make an order, right?
7. The biggest beer consumption in the world
At last, Czech Republic is truly the country of beer, with the biggest beer consumption per capita. Statistics say that one Czech adult person drinks average 150 liters of beer per year!
Ready to have a try?