Budweiser Budvar winds up the hops with Clock collaboration

Budweiser Budvar has released its first collaborative beer outside the Czech Republic through a tie-up with one of the country’s smaller craft breweries Pivovar Clock.

The move follows three previous collaborations but these former brews were restricted to the domestic market whereas this new collaboration, Bohemian Idols, will be available in Europe in a limited run of 20 litre kegs and 500ml cans.

Clock typically brews 7,000 hectolitres per year whereas Budweiser Budvar is at the 1.7 million hectolitres level and the coming together of these two very different operations has created a beer that mixes the traditional renowned Czech lager characteristics with a dash of contemporary thinking.

The double-decoction mashing process, six weeks of cold conditioning, and the sourcing of malts from the Hana region of Moravias are all in place but where the beer moves sideways is with its use of Saaz-late hops and the Kazbek hops that bring a punchy citrus character that dials up the bitterness to levels not typically found in Czech lager and pilsners.

Jakub Sychra of Pivovar Clock, says: “Budweiser Budvar is the beer I’m proud represents Czech brewing around the world. A collaboration between what is the biggest craft brewery and one of the smallest was a logical step for us. Our aim was to make a classic Czech beer, but one that will have that extra zest of new raw materials, new hops, and a New World kind of taste.”

Glynn Davis, editor, Beer Insider