In the Czech pub: How well do you know the four beer pours?

Bartenders from Lokál taprooms in Prague explain the different varieties of Czech beer pours and how to drink them.

Klára Kvitová

Written by Klára Kvitová Published on 10.05.2023 14:31:00 (updated on 10.05.2023) Reading time: 3 minutes

The same beer can taste different every time, it all just depends on how the bartender pours it. At the Lokál taproom, there are four styles of skillfully poured beer to savor: hladinka, a šnyt, a mlíko, or a čochtan. One beer, four different flavors. What makes them different? Dive into taproom terminology with us.


The most well-known pour is what every Czech considers a "real honest beer." It's a large pint with foam up to the rim of the glass, poured in one go. The beer is at just the right temperature, with the perfect ratio of beer and a creamy head with a slight kick.

When poured precisely, the beer foam should reach the rim of the glass, and after finishing the beer, a visible surface should be left behind. This phenomenon is often referred to as the beer "ringing nicely."


Also known as košt, this is the preferred pour for checking the quality of a newly racked cask. While it was once popular among regulars who would drink it before leaving the pub, it has recently experienced a resurgence among beer connoisseurs and is now enjoyed by anyone who appreciates a milder-tasting beer with a lighter finish.

The šnyt is a beer pour that features a rich and creamy head, which helps to preserve the beer and keep it cold and wonderfully fresh. Czech writer Karel Čapek famously deemed the šnyt the perfect choice for a beer drinker who wants to wet their whistle without consuming a full glass. It is often compared to a small beer in a large pint glass, featuring a dense layer of foam on top.


Mlíko is another way of pouring beer. When poured, the pint is filled with creamy foam, giving it the appearance of a glass of milk. The singular characteristic of mlíko becomes apparent when it is consumed in one go. Despite its appearance, the beer is surprisingly smooth and sweet, and you can even smell the beer after drinking it.

Mlíko is a popular choice among light drinkers and regulars who prefer it as a "pick-me-up" after consuming several beers instead of taking a shot. The head bartender at Lokál, Lucie Janečková, is the reigning champion of mlíko drinking, with a personal best of 3.2 seconds. Many regulars have attempted to beat her record but have not succeeded.


The čochtan is a neat pour without any foam. The bartender's task is to fill the glass to the brim with beer only, leaving no space for foam. The benefit of this pour is that it contains 100 percent natural carbon dioxide, resulting in a particularly sharp and rich taste.

To avoid confusion, it's important to note that čochtan is not the same as an aged beer that may have lost its head due to being on tap for an extended period. Despite the lack of foam, čochtan is a very fresh beer with a crisp taste that needs to be consumed quickly to prevent it from going stale. It is the most refreshing of all the beer pours and is perfect for satisfying your thirst.

In the Czech Kitchen is a weekly column written in cooperation with the culinary experts from Ambiente. Established in 1995, the Prague-based collective of pubs, restaurants, and fine-dining outlets have transformed the Czech culinary landscape and lent to the widespread awareness of quality food service and production in Czechia. Follow their socials or book your table at

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