Podcast Episode 298: Aleš Potěšil of Prague’s Břevnov Monastery Brewery Is Perpetually Pushing for Pitelnost

Drinkability is a religion for Czech brewers, with all methods, ingredients, and service geared toward a beer that always leaves you wanting more. At one of the oldest (revived) breweries in the world, brewmaster Aleš Potěšil is carrying that legacy forward.

Jamie Bogner Apr 8, 2023 - 7 min read

Podcast Episode 298: Aleš Potěšil of Prague’s Břevnov Monastery Brewery Is Perpetually Pushing for Pitelnost Primary Image

Photo: Jamie Bogner

Subscribe to the Craft Beer & Brewing Podcast:

Documents show a brewery at the Břevnov monastery in Prague as early as 993. There have been interruptions over the centuries, but the current Břevnov Monastery Brewery of St. Adalbert is the third incarnation, founded in 2011. This one has gained local and international fans for aromatic and highly drinkable pale lager, Benedict 12°, a well as for its other beers, including an imperial stout, a monastic IPA, and a 9 percent ABV imperial lager beloved by the Břevnov’s own Benedictine monks.

In this episode, Břevnov brewmaster Aleš Potěšil discusses their approach to these exceptional beers, including:

  • leaning into Saaz hops and whirlpool additions for distinctive aroma
  • the meaning of pitelnost, and aiming for great drinkability
  • the importance of malt specs and protein content in ensuring sufficient body
  • the benefits of decoction mashing, including both body and higher attenuation
  • the Břevnov double-decoction process, step by step
  • adjusting the mash steps and times depending on malt specs
  • reducing and managing diacetyl to accentuate body
  • bringing Czech-style drinkability to an IPA

And more.

This episode is brought to you by:

G&D Chillers
G&D Chillers. The brewing industry’s premier choice for glycol chilling. They are proud of the cool partnerships they have built over the past 30 years. G&D Chillers has set the standard on quality, service, and reliability with 24/7 service and support. Want to maximize efficiency in your chiller? G&D’s Micro-Channel Condensers are designed for less power draw. They have a lighter weight, and a more compact design using up to 70% less refrigerant means a lower GWP and lower operating costs. Reach out for a quote today at gdchillers.com or call to discuss your next project.

BSG horizontal Primary logo EC3400 12284B 200px
Today’s podcast is sponsored by BSG. When planning your next brewing journey, consider travelling domestically with your malt choice. As distributors of quality domestic malts like Rahr and Gambrinus, BSG gives you the freedom to explore a world of flavors but at local prices. So, you can cut costs but not quality. Start exploring at BSGCraftbrewing.com.

Old Orchard logo 200px
Is your brewery making its own ciders, seltzers, and other beverages beyond beer? If you need a central source for fruit flavor, Old Orchard has you covered. Old Orchard supplies flavored craft juice concentrate blends to beverage brands for the production of beer, cider, seltzer, wine, spirits, kombucha, and more. Flavor your lineup and streamline your sourcing by heading to oldorchard.com/brewer

Take your brewing to the next level with AccuBrew's revolutionary fermentation monitoring system, now predicting specific gravity! With predicted SG, you'll have precise control over the fermentation process to ensure consistent, high-quality results. AccuBrew's mobile app and stainless steel sensor work together to send you live data from inside your tanks, including predicted SG, fermentation activity, clarity, and temperature. Join the AccuBrew community and experience 24/7 peace of mind with our set-it-and-forget-it solution. Come see them at CBC BrewExpo in Nashville to meet the engineers at booth 2935.

ProBrew Logo 200px
ProBrew has always been a dedicated and trusted partner to breweries, especially when they make the leap to canning their product. That is why we only sell rotary can fillers, which significantly reduce product waste and produce higher quality product than an inline can filler. Need proof? Visit ProBrew at Booth #433 as well as at our party at Yazoo Brewing at this year’s Craft Brewers Conference in Nashville. To RSVP to our event or schedule time with us at the show, visit us at Probrew.com/CBC or email us at [email protected]. ProBrew, brew YOUR beer.

Indie Hops breeds new hop varieties to help brewers captivate beer lovers. Indie’s unique varieties — Strata, Lórien, Luminosa and Meridian — are trusted by brewers worldwide to modernize, brighten and diversify their beer lineup. Indie also offers classics that thrive in Oregon terroir such as Chinook, Crystal and Sterling. Thoughtfully crafted and selected hops to meet your brewing needs. Visit indiehops.com/podcast and stop by their booth#2131at CBC to discover what’s new in hop flavors. Indie Hops — Life is short, let’s make it flavorful!

Are you ready to start canning your craft beverages? Twin Monkeys Beverage Systems is here to help. This troop of engineers, service techs, and microbrew fanatics offers customizable packaging solutions for every craft. Their canning lines are affordable, made in the USA, and engineered to grow alongside the needs of your business. Visit TwinMonkeys.net today and learn just how easy it is to get YOUR craft into cans.

Fermentis 200px
Do you know Brettanomyces yeast? Brett is wild, its unpredictable, gives funky notes to beer, evolves in time. Historically it was used without control, but Fermentis harnessed it… Discover SafBrew™ BR-8, the first dry Brett by Fermentis, now available in 100g and 5g. Want to know more? Don’t miss the Fermentis Academy 2023 program in Minneapolis April 11th or Portland April 13th, or meet Fermentis experts at CBC in the BSG Village to answer all your questions. We will also host a SafBrew™ BR-8 barnyard bash on Monday May 8th from 2:00 - 4:30pm. You are cordially invited, don’t miss it!

ABS Commercial has been a full-service brewery outfitter for over 10 years. We are proud to offer brewhouses, tanks, keg washers, and small parts to brewers across the country as well as equipment for distilling, cider-making, wine-making, and more! Contact us today at [email protected] to discuss your customized brewery needs. Going to the Craft Brewers Conference in Nashville? Stop by their booth to connect with our brewery consultants and enter for a chance to win a Keg Viking Keg Washer! ABS Commercial. We are brewers.

Jamie Bogner is the Cofounder and Editorial Director of Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine®. Email him at [email protected].