Monday, March 21, 2016

Why do Czechs drink green beer (zelené pivo) for Easter?

Starobrno's advertisement for their green Easter brew (zelené pivo) includes glasses of beer flying off to Rome,
much like the traditional bells do on Holy Thursday.

Did you know that Czechs drink green beer on Holy "Green" Thursday, also known as Maundy Thursday, and not on St. Patrick's Day?

Thanks to the Czech tradition of eating green foods (spinach, nettles and various types of cabbage) on Green Thursday to ensure good health for the rest of the year, one of the breweries decided to adapt this custom to the country's favorite beverage -- BEER! The rich green color is obtained by adding an infusion made from several kinds of herbs, including nettles, during the brewing process.

Our quest for green beer on St. Patrick's Day turned into a wild goose chase when bar after bar told us that we would have to be patient and wait for Starobrno brewery to release its zelené pivo on Green Thursday, the 24th of March.

One of the bartenders further explained that Green Thursday is also the last time that the church bells will ring in the Czech Republic before they fly off to Rome. Having grown used to the novel idea of flying church bells while living in France and Switzerland, I'm pleased to say that I didn't even blink an eye. If people are willing to believe that it's the church bells returning from Rome that bring their chocolate and colored eggs on Easter morning, who am I to tell them that it is, in fact, the Easter bunny!

If you'd like to try a glass of Easter brew, click here to see the list of pubs in the Czech Republic that will be serving Starobrno green beer (zelené pivo) on Green Thursday. But don't wait too long! Green beer is a local favorite, especially since it's only available during Holy Week before Easter.

Our search for traditionally brewed Czech green beer led us to Barfüd, a fun bar for backpackers, especially if they're Packers' football fans. In a strategic move, Primátor brewery released their green beer a week early to coincide with St. Patrick's Day.  


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