Czech drinkers expect a beer they can drink all evening, and Czech brewers are obsessed with fine-tuning all the details that help to deliver that experience. From selecting raw materials to the incredible attention paid to pouring and service, there is a willingness to do things the hard way if it advances the higher purpose of promoting drinkability. Even at smaller Czech breweries that provide their customers with more variety, that philosophy applies as much to their ales as it does to their lagers.
In Prague’s trendy Karlín neighborhood, northeast of the old town, Dva Kohouti brews an excellent, hop-forward, double-decocted 12° pale lager called Místní Pivo, and the local crowds who come every evening mostly drink that beer. However, nearly as popular is their Místní Ale, an aromatic, dry, and addictive American-style pale ale that borrows some tricks—including decoction—from Czech lager brewing. Head brewer Lukáš Tomsa has shared the recipe with us, so we can share it with you.
For much more from Tomsa, check out Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine® Podcast Episode 299: Lukáš Tomsa of Dva Kohouti Brews the Beer, but the Bartender Makes the Beer. And for much more from the brewers of Czechia, including deep dives into their lager-brewing methods and how they maximize pitelnost (drinkability), check out our lager-focused Summer 2023 issue.
Dva Kohouti Místní Ale
The kettle hops are Saaz Special, a relatively new aroma variety that’s similar to classic Saaz but often described as more floral, with a more pronounced bitterness from somewhat higher alpha acids. Then, the whirlpool and dry-hop combo of Citra and Mosaic brings a bright and distinctly American citrus-tropical familiarity.
Dva Kohouti’s approach is to give as much importance to service and pouring as they do to brewing—so, embrace the natural carbonation, make sure you have a beer-clean glass, and allow yourself to enjoy plenty of lush foam atop this American-inspired beer that is nonetheless very Czech in execution. Better yet, make the visit to Prague and experience the thoughtfully produced and served lagers (and ales) for yourself.
Batch size: 5 gallons (19 liters)
Brewhouse efficiency: 72%