The “Beer Friends” association awards are the only nationwide consumer competition and the oldest “modern” competition in the Czech Republic since 1990, making it among the most respected by beer connoisseurs.
The association recently announced its award winners for 2019, naming the best beers, including a “beer of the year” across multiple categories, breweries, and brewing “personalities” in the Czech lands.
The results were in part decided by a blind taste test that took place in Prague at the Břevnov Monastery Brewery in late September where over 300 beers were sampled by members.
According to a press statement issued by Beer Friends, absolute winners were Primátor Weizen, Bernard IPA, and Bernard black lager.
Prague microbreweries scored wins across a number categories. Uneticka 10° from Unetice Brewery took home third place in the light draft beer category; St. Norbert Dark lager from Strahov Monastery Brewery was the best semi-dark of the year.
The top two spots in the newly introduced category of “sour beer” went to brews from Cobolis Brewery in Ládví. Located in the Ládví kulturní dům, among high-rise apartment buildings, the Cobolis brewery was established in 2017 and quickly gained popularity among beer geeks.
Radek Holopírek, of Brewery Rakovnik was named brewmaster of the year; Bernard was brewery of the year with Únětice placing third in this category.
This year, the ratio of awards between microbreweries and industrial breweries remained fairly balanced said organizers, who quoted what they describe as the age-old truth that, “Beer is either good or bad and the size of the brewhouse does not matter.”
According to the server Pivníci.cz, there are currently 87 breweries in the capital, with only three new ones added this year.
The full results of the awards can be seen here.