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Three things to know about Czech beer etiquette

In Czechia, beer is a way of life. It is both celebrated and adored, brewed passionately and enjoyed thoroughly. In a country so obsessed with the best drink in the world, waiters, tapmasters and drinkers follow a certain set of rules.



When ordering beer, drinkers can call for a veIké or malé pivo. If not indicated otherwise, you will get a classic Czech lager, or ležák in Czech. If you would like a dark beer, tmavé is the word to use. Also, do not get confused by the 10°P, 11°P or 12°P signs as they do not indicate the level of alcohol but rather the beer gravity. The most common is 12°P or dvanáctka, which is a standard 5% alcohol beer. The 10°P or desítka stands for 10 Plato, which is usually a 4% ABV beer. As a rule of thumb, the higher the Plato, the more alert you should be about the number of beers enjoyed.




Once the waiter brings the beer, it is customary to place a beer coaster in front of you. This probably has something to do with the Czech pour. The trained tapmasters serve the beer by creating foam first and then bringing the beer to the top of the glass. The foam is supposed to be approximately 2,5 cm high and it should be leveled. Nothing is to compromise the creamy head. Before settling, the foam spills over so the coaster is a good idea.



When toasting, you must say “Na zdraví” which literally means “to health”. As you cling the glasses, be sure to make eye contact with that person. After enjoying a generous first sip gently wipe the beer mustache as the foam is rich and creamy.


Na zdraví!