- Title: CZECH REPUBLIC: Prague brewery believes it has produced Europe's strongest beer.
- Date: 6th April 2006
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (Czech) YOUNG MAN SAYING: "This beer is completely different from the usual beer. It is good, with a sweetness similar to honey."
- Embargoed: 21st April 2006 13:00
- Location: Czech Republic
- Country: Czech Republic
- Topics: Industry,Light / Amusing / Unusual / Quirky
- Reuters ID: LVADKC209XHCSACYLHCEW615HCZX
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: The 'U Medvidku" brewery and restaurant already holds a number of records. It was once the first Prague cabaret and then one of the biggest beer halls in the Czech capital. And now, it has reverted to it's original use and is the smallest brewery in Prague. But there is one more record that the brewers think they may have achieved - the creation of the strongest beer in Europe.
'X-Beer 33' is the name of the brew. The '33' refers to the concentration of brewer's malt. It produces a beer which is 12.6 percent alcohol, about three times stronger than normal beer.
Brewer Ladislav Vesely proudly demonstrates the production process.
"This one is the brew of "X Beer 33" which was brewed on the first of February and will be ready to drink on the 15th of September," he says.
X-beer 33 is produced by hand, using traditional brewing technology with special and secret procedures.
"Time is the main problem. The beer matures for six or seven months in oak barrels like this one. A lot of malt must be put in and boiled for a long time. The technology of preparing this beer is simply much longer and also much more physically difficult. Everything is hand made," Vesely says.
Getting the strong extract is the brewer's secret. The main fermenting is done in open oak barrels for fourteen days. Than it ferments for 14 weeks in closed oak barrels and then with added special yeast for another 14 weeks.
The strong beer came about, because the owners were looking to do something special and create a record.
"We have the smallest brewery in town. We thought about creating some kind of record. One of the proposals was to brew the strongest beer. Afterwards we thought about the technology, how we could do it," said co-owner Jan Goettel.
The new strong beer was immediately popular. The first brew was just 500, 0.33 litre bottles. These sold out straight away, and there is a waiting list for the second brew, which will be just over 1000 bottles.
While it is the strong degree of malt in the beer which makes it special rather than the alcohol content, the warning on the bottle is a valid one.
"Never drink it alone!" it says on the label.
The high level of malt causes a very fast injection of alcohol which can be dangerous for those who are not used to drinking beer, especially in hot weather. The brewers say one bottle should be enough for two people.
The beer has a reddish brown colour and reminds people of port wine.
"This beer is completely different from the usual beer. It is good, with a sweetness similar to honey," said one man who tried it.
"It is good ladies drink," said a woman after giving the beer a taste.
The beer costs 4 euros a bottle, but with the second brew almost sold out, you may have to wait until mid-September to get a taste of brew number
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