Top Czech beers awarded at the Pivex Golden Cup awards

This year saw a big rise in the number of competitors and the introduction of new special categories.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 09.04.2022 15:09:00 (updated on 09.04.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

The most successful Czech brewery for the past 30 years is Pivovar Zubr, which won a special award at the annual Pivex Golden Cup competition in Brno. This year, 20 expert judges evaluated 45 bottled and 35 tap beers.

Zubr Grand won in the ležák (11 to 12.99 degree) category, while Zubr Gold won in the výčepní (8 to 11.99 degree) category and was the overall winner. Among dark beers, Bernard černý ležák took top honors.

“We are justifiably proud of the 30-year brewery award because it is proof of the long-term high quality of our beer,” Zubr’s brewer Nataša Rousková said.

“It would not be possible without following the classic production method using selected raw materials, and without people who brew beer with love and maximum care. This is the only way to create a beer with good drinkability and the right taste,” Rousková said.

Birell’s za studena chmelený (dry hopped) brew was the best non-alcoholic beer, while the best low or no alcohol mix was Litovel Pomelo free.

“Birell has become synonymous with quality non-alcoholic beer, which testifies to its long-term popularity among Czech consumers,” Lenka Králová, marketing manager of Birell maker Plzeňský Prazdroj, said.

A special prize in the bottle competition for best top-fermented beer went to Soutock-žitná IPA from minibewery Proud, which is also owned by Plzeňský Prazdroj.

While the bottled beer competition has taken place for 30 years, this was the eighth year for the draft beer competition and the first year for special prizes.

The winners of the draft or barrel beer competition for best ležák was Gambrinus Unpasteurized 12, while Braník Světlý prevailed in the výčepní category.

Medlánecký Kluzák 11 from Pivovar Moravia won a special prize for a ležák from a mini-brewery.

Last year, the brewers entered 30 brands in the bottled beer competition but this year it rose by half to 45 brands. The number of draft beers was comparable with 33 last year compared to 35 this year.

“The Pivex competition is unique in that it is open to both large and microbreweries. The number of registered samples is very much related to the market situation, this year it is evident that the decline in tourism has also strongly affected breweries, the certificate from our competition can help them as a marketing tool,” Jiří Morávek, director of the organizing form Snip&Co., said.

Judges evaluated samples anonymously and do not evaluate samples from their own breweries. The main evaluation criteria are taste, fullness, aroma, zest, and possibly bitterness. Bottled beers are evaluated in two rounds, and barrel beers in one round.

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