Franklin Street Brewing Company is one of 15 North American breweries invited to the Czech Republic as part of a program that teaches authentic Czech-style beer making to brewers.
Representatives from the Manchester brewery will be in the Czech Republic for a week beginning Monday, Oct. 14. According to brewery co-owner Kyle Sands, the trip will pack a lot of learning into a week.
“We will start and end in Prague, but I’m pretty sure we will visit different breweries and learn about their traditional brewing practices around their country, as well as learn about some of the equipment they use that might be specific to how they brew.”
He said they will also visit hop and barley farms on the trip, as well as speak with suppliers.
“I think from their perspective, they want to bring over North American brewers to learn the process and take it back to North America, hopefully purchasing things from the Czech Republic, whether it’s ingredients or equipment,” Sands said.
Sands said that while many breweries have beers they identify as Czech-style, most probably aren’t. “In my opinion, there are no breweries in Iowa making a true Czech-style beer, including ourselves.”
Sands explained that the ingredients, equipment and brewing process make true Czech-style beer.
Franklin Street learned about the program from a chance meeting with a member of the Czech Republic Economic Sector, Agriculture during a craft brewers’ conference in Denver last year. “We went to a Czech Republic hospitality event where a bunch of their beers were poured. My wife and niece were both with me.” Sands’ wife, Blanca Divisova-Sands, and their niece, are from the Czech Republic.
“The fact my wife is from there probably didn’t hurt our selection chances,” Sands said.
Sands expects brewers from Canada and Mexico to be part of the North American continent, along with other U.S. brewers.
Sands wants to bring what he learns back to Manchester. “For the longest time, I’ve wanted to do a traditional Czech-style beer. I’d like to do something more authentic for sure. That’s my goal.”
He knows there’s a lot to learn in the week he is there. “It’s all about Czech-style beer. It’s a lot packed into a week. I’m told it shouldn’t be thought of as a vacation. We’ll be there to learn.”