Friday, June 14, 2013

Barley, Water & Hops

IMG_2020

Beer is huge here.

Beer is cheaper than water, than wine, than tea. Beer is present at every meal, and appears in large glass mugs, with a thick two inches of foam floating at the top.

On Wednesday, our group of Documentary Photographers departed from Prague for a getaway in the fairytale town of Cesky Krumlov. To break up the three hour drive however, we made a detour and pitstop in the town of Plzeň, home of Pilsner Urquell brewery.

We received a tour of the brewery and learned the history of Pilsner beer, the most prominent beer brand in the Czech Republic and much of Europe. The town of Plzen first began brewing beer in 1295, and by 1839, city officials created a city-owned brewery which would brew beer in the Bavarian style--bottom-fermenting yeasts in caves which improved the beer's clarity and shelf-life.

We explored the brewery--from the interactive levels and moving theatre & movie, to the chilly caves beneath the main building where the beer barrels are stored. Our student group was even treated to a beer tasting of un-pasteurized beer.

Despite all of this, I am still a child. Despite the interesting exhibits and the process to make Pilsner beer, I am not a fan. The taste of bitter still settles uneasily on my tongue, tastes bitter, and evokes a disgusted facial expression. Europe, you did your best, but I am still not a fan of your national drink. I highly advocate a trip to a brewery for each and every legal reader out there. In the meantime, I'll stick to water and white wine.