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Brewer’s Perspective: Brewing for Supreme Drinkability at Břevnov

In Prague, Evan Rail visits the Břevnovský Klášterní Pivovar Sv. Vojtěcha—aka the Břevnov Monastery Brewery, home of Benedict—to learn the secrets of “pitelnost,” essential to a great Czech pale lager.

Evan Rail Jan 25, 2022 - 9 min read

Brewer’s Perspective: Brewing for Supreme Drinkability at Břevnov Primary Image

Photos: Evan Rail

The Czech Republic might be famous for drinking the most beer per capita each year, but other aspects of the country’s rich brewing culture are almost unfairly unknown—especially compared to European countries located more to the west.

For example, take Břevnovský Klášterní Pivovar Sv. Vojtěcha, or the Břevnov Monastery Brewery of St. Adalbert. This brewery in Prague, with a well-documented founding date in the year 993, often goes unmentioned in conversations about the world’s oldest beer makers. And while many English-speaking beer lovers are learning how to pronounce words like světlý ležák—for pale lager, the Czechs’ favorite style—most drinkers outside of Central Europe don’t know the term for a Czech pale lager’s main characteristic—pitelnost, meaning drinkability—let alone how to achieve it.

For Aleš Potěšil, Břevnov’s sládek (or brewmaster), pitelnost is the overarching goal for the brewery’s flagship pale lager, a so-called klasická světlá dvanáctka, or “classic pale 12.” The beer is more commonly known as Benedict.

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