Monday, August 19, 2013

Pivovar Kout na Šumavě

WFMU Podcast: interview in English and Czech with Kout's owner

  Kout podcast (non-Flash)
The Kout Brewery, or Pivovar Kout na Šumavě, is located in the south-western corner of the Czech Replublic, an area well known for launching the Pilsner style in 1842. The influence of the creation of Pilsner continues to drive the beer world, with Pilsner style light lagers dominating breweries the world over.
The first written record of beer being brewed by Kout was in 1736, though it's thought that the brewery originates from at least 100 years earlier. From its official founding Kout was run by the Stadion family, then in 1924 it passed to the Schönborn family. The brewery was nationalized by the communist government after WWII and was operated by Pilsner Urquell. It ceased operations in 1969, but before it closed, Kout's current owner, Mr. Jan Skala, worked summer jobs as a teenager at the brewery in 1967-68. From that point forward the brewery and the beer would be forever in his heart.
In 2002 Mr. Skala learned that the idle brewery was for sale and set out to acquire it with the intention of restoring Kout to its former glory and resurrecting its unique version of classic, traditional Czech beer. In 2006 the brewery was once again up and running! Incredibly, one of the former brewers of Kout, Mr. Bohuslav Hlavsa who was brewing there in 1969, was found and retained to bring Kout's beers back to life. After Kout closed in '69, Mr. Hlavsa continued brewing at the nearby Domazlice Brewery.
Adrian and Mr. Skala of Kout with Jimmy Carbone.
Kout strictly adheres to a traditional Czech recipe and technique from over 200 years ago. They get their brewing water from a "secret well", according to Mr. Skala, and use only Czech Pilsner malts, some specialty malts from Germany, and Czech grown Saaz hops. All the beers are double-decoction mashed, except for Kout 12° which uses triple-decoction. The beers undergo open primary fermentation -- a distinct rarity in modern brewing -- using the same yeast strain as České Budějovice (Budvar), and then are carefully lagered. The Koutská 10° blonde beer (4% ABV) is aged for about 5 weeks, while their Koutský tmavý speciál 18° (9% ABV) is aged for up to 5 months! The beers are kegged, unpasturized and unfiltered.
Mr. Jan Skala.
This summer Kout 10°, 12° and 18° are being brought into the USA for the first time on a very limited basis, available only in kegs.

Koutská 10° Pilsner (4% ABV) lagered for 5 weeksKoutská 12° Blonde lager (5% ABV) lagered for 3 months
Koutská 14° Schwartzbier  (6% ABV) lagered for 4 months
Koutský 18° Dopplebock (9% ABV) lagered for 5 months
Kout Brewery.
The 18° Spuyten Duyvil.
L-R: B.R., Paul of Ale Street News, Joe of Spuyten, Alexander of Andechs, Sebastian of Freigeist.

  Kout podcast

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