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NEW IN: THE CZECH GOSE SPECIALIST

VIK brewery has got a great reputation among beer connoisseurs despite having started brewing only in 2020 firmly determined to remain authentic, uncompromised and at the same time innovative.

We visited Prague-based VIK brewery on a beautiful crispy late winter afternoon of this year with my colleague Hana from CzechTrade upon invitation from the owners whom we met at a business event in Prague. To be honest, it did not take us long to clear some time in our otherwise busy schedule in the Czech capital as we really were so much interested to find out more.
We took the train at Prague Central station and in 4 stops we are in Hostivar, a Prague suburb, not that distant from the City Centre. We meet Jakub, the owner and Michal who is Commercial Director. Both very nice guys and friendly at first sight – the usual sort of polite intro is skipped and as Jakub put it, let´s go to taste from the tank! Just in four years they became famous with their authentic Gose-style beers which is an old German beer style born in Goslar and then transferred to Leipzig. This style is noticeable by its salty and coriander-driven taste as well sour notes due to use of lactobacilli. Sadly, due to competition from other beer styles but mainly the dark communist rule in Eastern Germany, this style had been nearly
forgotten and eventually re-emerged much later in the US.
Here in Prague, however, it is VIK that is considered one of leading Gose influencers in the country with possibly the Best Gose you can get out of the Czech Republic! The name is Dirt Devil and this is a clean Gose of 4,9% with the base being Pilsener and Wheat malts. Balanced saltiness, typical lemon-lime acidity and the taste of coriander create a light and dangerously drinkable beer. They use kettle souring which takes time and much care, a method where the wort is cooled while still in the brewhouse and inoculated with lactobacilli, which lower the beer’s PH, multiply for several days and release lactic acid. This method gives the resulting beer its typical and unmistakable taste. Dirt Devil is a classic pure version without added fruit – a clean beer that will please every Gose-style fan and it certainly did please myself and Hana a lot – in short, a superbly drinkable and clean Gose.
There is much more than Gose though, with IPAs (especially a great East Coast called Groovy Storm), Blond Ales, Stouts, many collabs (including with Budvar) and obviously Czech lagers. Many beers are commonly aged in wooden barrels.
Come to discover the world of the VIK couple (both he and she were Headbrewers in other breweries) who decided to live their dream and after our visit that took about 4 hours instead of the planned 1,5 hour, we can quite understand.

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