I have been looking forward to this weekend for a few weeks now, ever since Evan Rail over at Beer Culture posted that there would be a beer festival in Plzeň this weekend. The thing that attracted me most was that this wasn't one of the big brand fests with music and the like which seem to be de rigeur for the major breweries in the Czech Republic these days. Also there was plenty of notice, I would have loved to get down to Moravia for the Štramberk event but I found out about it too late - such a shame as I think their dark beer is the best dark I have had in this country. The thought of trying beers from 14 small breweries and brewpubs was just too good a thought to put off, so I contacted a few friends and arranged for a group of about 5 of us to go down - at the moment it looks like me, Mrs Velkyal and 3 others.
The venue for the event is Hotel Purkmistr, a hotel which also happens to make its own beer, oh such a shame! I knew that there would be no chance of me wanting to come back to Prague after an afternoon enjoying various beers, so I decided to look into finding a reasonably priced hotel in the area. The company I work for has a benefits system which gives us 12000CZK a year to spend on cultural activities and the like, and so I looked into the system to see what hotels were available on it in Plzeň. You can imagine my joy when I discovered that Hotel Purkmistr was on the system. Two nights duly booked in the hotel and all set for a weekend in the home of Pilsner, although as the hotel's website says Plzeň equals beer but beer in Plzeň is more than just Urquell - and I am fairly sure they don't mean Gambrinus.
My plan of attack for the festival is simple, try all the Purkmistr beers tonight in the hotel bar whilst bowling with Mrs Velkyal, then attempt to try every beer available tomorrow - perhaps buying bottles if there are any available to try on Sunday and in the coming weeks. Working on the theory that each brewer has at least 2 brews a piece and 13 brewers makes 26 beers. Back in my hard drinking days I would have polished 26 half litres of beer off without the barest flicker of an eyelid, and if the company I was in was right would have moved on to demi-sec sparkling wine in a club, but I know better now.
I am not only excited about the many beers I am looking forward to trying, I am also hoping to meet with some of the writers of various blogs I read, and maybe some of the brewers themselves. Although the biggest thing that excites me, I bow my head in shame at this, but it willl be my first trip to Plzeň, so the camera will get a thorough workout.
Here's to a good weekend.