St Wenceslas plays an all-important role in Czech history and the story of medieval good Earl Wenceslas murdered by his brother Boleslav back in 935 is well known by most Czechs.
The St Wenceslas legend than spread very quickly during the reign of the first two royal families on the throne of Bohemia, the Premyslides and Luxemburgs.
However, for us beer lovers St Wenceslas day has got a very special meaning -indeed St Wenceslas is the patron saint of Bohemian brewers and maltsters in the same ways as other saints protect concrete professions/crafts.
Wenceslas´s love for beer has been such that he has not even been trying to hide it. The other way round he was very vocal about it and when he happened to overexaggerate his beer consumption on an evening, he rushed to the cathedral the next morning and asked God for forgiveness. Moreover, on his way, he was giving away his clothes to anybody he did meet.
Czech Brewers hence started to progressively brew their special St Wenceslas beer and the day became effectively “the Czech Beer Day” with big festivities taking place at breweries or in town centres.
So as I happen to be in Prague now, I wanted to obviously try my St Wenceslas beer too! – I thought to make a research to start with but then changed my mind and decided to just simply pop into my local pub to see what is on tap – and it was a nice surprise – a Matuska St Wenceslas 10!
You might think an ordinary 10 is not enough for such an important day (and it is fair to say Czech brewers usually brew stronger beers for the occasion) but this 10 is rather interesting – made of Pilsners and Carapils malts it has a crispy golden colour but yet some caramel aromas without the caramel impacting on colour. On the hop side, I can tell you this is a really hoppy light lager enjoying a lot of Saaz dry hopping. I was inquiring at the brewery and the beer has 38 IBU or, if you prefer, 15 kg of hops having been used.
So this special 10 Matuska really feels very special and I guess I do not need to inform you I had more than 1, as would have done our good Earl Wenceslas😊