Pilsner Urquell and a fabulous coaster. Photo by burge5000
Tourists flock to Prague for its Gothic architecture, striking art, affordable performances, and yes… zlevneny pivo, or “cheap beer.” Once you’ve polished off a half-liter of Staropramen, why not pick up the free coaster on which it sat?
Coast to coaster
For centuries, agricultural conditions in the Czech republic have proven ideal for growing hops. Historians place beer brewing as early as 859 AD. By 1200, most residents of the landlocked countryside had a home brew of their own. After the Velvet Revolution of 1989, investors started flooding into the Czech beer market, and the suds have been flowing ever since.
Today, the Czech population drinks an impressive (estimated) 156 liters of beer per person, per year. National brews, including Pilsner Urquell, Gambrinus, and Bernard, are served everywhere at anytime, even in breakfast cafés.
A half-liter of pivo ranges in price from CZK 24 to CZK 97 ($1.25 to $5 USD). Most pubs plunk drinks down on promotional coasters replete with enticing photos and slogans in the Western Slavik tongue. Grab yours… and maybe your neighbor’s, as well. They’ll be a hit back home.
While you’re at it…
Grab a bunch of arty Mucha postcards suitable for framing. Alfons Mucha was born in Ivancice, Moravia in 1860 and would later be attributed as the creator of the art nouveau art style. After dropping into a print shop in Paris, Mucha became an overnight sensation with his promotional poster for “Gismonda,” a popular play starring Sarah Bernhardt. Much postcards sell for CZK 12 ($.60 USD) to CZK 20 ($1 USD).