Brewers in the Czech Republic are stepping up production of beer in cans and bottles rather than keg as the country’s pubs close while also warning close to 1.3 million pints worth of fresh lager will go “off” unless it is drunk soon.
With pubs, bars and restaurants across the country closed due to Covid-19, Czech brewers say all the currently kegged beer needs to be drunk “within weeks” to stop it spoiling.
As with many other countries around the world, the Czech on-trade has had to shutter for the foreseeable future but it means over a million pints that were due to be delivered both nationally and internationally have not been sent out and all that fresh beer needs to be drunk or it will go to waste.
Many breweries have quickly switched their production to cans and bottles instead as the public is still allowed out to shop and breweries can still sell beer directly to them (through hatches), though some have had to stop production altogether as they have no way of selling enough.
Czechs are the biggest beer drinkers in Europe, consuming an average of 141 litres per person annually – helped along by a booming tourist industry.
As such, the closure of so many taps in the country has hit the industry hard and the industry group representing small brewers there has warned as many as a quarter could be bankrupted by the disruption caused by the pandemic.
There is a website for Czech beer lovers to track breweries that have beer for sale.
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