Today sees the return of the Brewer of the Week series. As you know, unless you are new or haven't been paying attention, I lived in the Czech Republic for about 10 years before moving to the US in 2009. Czech beer is thus very close to my heart and it has bothered me for some time that there hadn't been a Czech brewery in my Brewer of the Week series. Today that gets put right, and on Saint Václav's Day as well!
Name: Jakub Veselý
Brewery: Pivovar Falkon
How did you get into brewing as a career?
As a small child I was very excited of beer, its foam and interesting smell. I grew up in the town, well known by hop cultivation and people there were really proud of it. So when I was 9-10 years old, I started to collect beer labels, coasters etc., and at 12, I got the idea to brew my own beer. Of course, I knew nothing about the beer brewing. I started with malt extract and after a few batches I tried a full grain batch. When I was 15 I started studies of fermentation technology (especially beer technology) in Prague, still active in homebrewing and after graduating I’ve worked in one small commercial brewery. Now I am starting studies at the University of Chemistry.
What is the most important characteristic of a brewer?
Brewer should be careful, handy (exactly it doesn’t concern me), open to new things.
Before being a professional brewer, did you homebrew? If so, how many of your homebrew recipes have you converted to full scale production?
I was homebrewing, I am homebrewing now and I will in the future as well. I have converted to this date 2 recipes, but this number will raise.
If you did homebrew, do you still?
Actually I’m developing 5 new Falkon beer recipes in homebrew.
What is your favourite beer to brew?
Every beer I brew.
If you have worked in other breweries, which other beer did you enjoy brewing, and why?
It was non traditional beers (In Bohemia) - especially ales.
Of the beers you brew, which is your favourite to drink?
For Falkon I have already brewed 2 beers and I like them both.
How important is authenticity when making a new beer, in terms of flavour, ingredients and method?
Authenticity is thing, why customers decide to buy my beers. Not all materials, which I need for my “world wide concept brewing” are available, so I have to replace some of them by local ones. But not all of them of course! I always try to use original brewing method for individual beer styles. By this way traditional beers are produced with original character.
If you were to do a collaborative beer, which brewery would you most like to work with and why?
It’s hard to say. In the world, there are lot of excellent breweries with excellent brewmasters of course. For example Brewdog, Stone...
Which beer, other than your own, do you wish you had invented?
Recently i was in beer heaven of Brewdog "I Hardcore you" or Ov-ral double IPA fermented with wild yeast by To Øl.