Prague Beer Festival

The Infamous Prague Beer Festival 2018

The Infamous Prague Beer Festival 2018

Last Updated: Apr 12, 2018 @ 8:27 pm with 13991 views

Beer Drinking Record Holders and Always Will Be

Czechs drink more beer per capita than any other country in the world and will do forever unless Bavaria declares independence from Germany so when the Czechs have a beer festival you’d better pay attention.

When is the Prague Beer Festival?

In 2018 its May 10th until May 26th.

Where is it and What are the Opening Times?

After a number of years of moving around different locations in the city it looks like they have settled on an area called Letna. If you are using Google Maps then search for “Letenske Sady” and specifically you want the “Letenske Plan” area (it’s signposted). If you stood outside the Hotel Intercontinental and looked to the opposite side of the river then that is Letna Park and the Prague Beer Festival is in the park so allow 15-20 minutes to walk to it from there or 20-25 minutes to get there from the Old Town Square. It opens at midday and closes at midnight everyday of the festival period. Kids from 0-15 have free admission as do ZTP cardholders (Czech disabled permit).

How does it work?

There have been a couple of changes since last year. Whether you’ve made online ticket reservations or you’ve just turned up at the gate, you’ll receive a single card which contains both your entry ticket and your first consumption card with credit (if you purchased that option) on the card. The first thing you’ll do is tear off the consumption card part so you separate it from the entry ticket. You’ll keep the entry ticket part and use it for each day that you want to attend the Prague Beer Festival.

Now the “consumption card”. The festival is cashless so if you want to buy food or drink you will give the vendor your consumption card and they will write codes on your card depending on what you ordered. You continue in this way until 1) your card has no more space or 2) that you’ve finished for the day and you now have to settle your bill. At the festival exit point are cashier booths where you will give your consumption card and they will give you the bill. Credit cards and cash accepted. Now I know what you’re thinking, lose the card and you won’t have to pay. Wrong. As with any card system, if you lose the consumption card there is a fixed fine. This year I think it will be CZK5000 or so. Enough to cover even the most expensive options that the card could take. If you use up the space on the card and you’ve not yet finished for the day then you need to pay off the previous card before getting the next.

The VIP area offers “Premium” table service which means you can order just about any food and drink available at the Prague Beer Festival and have it served to your table. There are 150 places available at any given time and reservation is based both on availability and the size of the group as priority is given to groups larger than six.

Prague Beer Festival Entry Packages

CZK100 at the ticket office

You pay your CZK100 and get your entry ticket and your consumption card which gets you access ONLY to the regular Festival. You CANNOT reserve a table online. You CANNOT access the VIP area. There is no credit on the consumption card.

CZK400 at the ticket office

You pay your CZK400 and get your entry ticket and your consumption card. You CANNOT reserve a table online. You CAN access the VIP area. There is no credit on the consumption card.

CZK750 online 24 hours before arrival

This gives you entry only to the regular Festival. The consumption card has a CZK650 credit. If you exceed the credit amount then you pay the difference when you exit. If you do not spend the full CZK650 then you are refunded what you have not used. You CAN reserve a standard table online. You CANNOT access the VIP area. 

CZK1050 online 24 hours before arrival

This gives you entry to the regular Festival and VIP area. The consumption card has a CZK650 credit. If you exceed the credit amount then you pay the difference when you exit. If you do not spend the full CZK650 then you are refunded what you have not used. You CAN reserve a standard or VIP table online. You CAN access the VIP area. 

And So to the Prague Beer Festival

All of the above was just so you know exactly which package to ask for so as not to waste your eating and drinking time. People who went to the early festivals would have had to go to the outer reaches of the Prague metro system. They would have found a selection of beers from the major brewers here, pub food and non-refundable “tollars”. How times have changed. Nowadays the Prague Beer Festival has been elevated to the top table. More regional breweries, central location and the cuisine is a magnet for foodies who want to try the many types of food so expect the gourmet action to be running neck and neck with the beer.

There are several covered beer tents and one central food tent plus uncovered areas so you are looking at a festival size of just over half a football pitch.

When drinking just remember that the 0.3L glass is considered “small”, the 0.5L glass is the regular size here but you can also choose the 1L version (if available). That’s twice the normal volume even for a large Czech Beer so just make sure you drink quick or it will go flat.

I think the menu is pretty good this year. Nice selection, obviously priced for the Prague Beer Festival but there are many Czech staples and presentation is light years better than it used to be. The webpage currently lists many guest breweries so that will equate to at least 200 different beers to try.

Letna Park is a good location for the Prague Beer Festival. Close enough to the centre to make it walkable. Far enough away to want to go here for a reason.

Etiquette

No table-hogging allowed and as usual, you ask to sit down if somebody else is on the same bench or table. Clean up your own mess. Keep the swearing to a minimum. Don’t break the glasses. Stay just within your limits. Respect the staff.

Further information and advance tickets sales are on the Prague Beer Festival webpage.

Related Post

This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. Hey Jason,

    Given that the festival is almost a month long, are there some days that are better to attend than others? For example, are weekends any different than weekdays? Are there scheduled events that go on throughout the festival?

    Jonathan

    1. Hi Jonathan, I’ve generally found that there is an increase in people at the weekends as more local Czechs will be there. During the week there’s not much difference. The only “events” I know of at present are in the main tent which has the stage. Evidently this will be more toned-down than recent years and I guess different bands will be playing. I don’t know of anything planned outside. Most important thing is don’t lose your consumption card and make sure you can pay your bill at the end. Have a great time and when I go to the Beer Festival I’ll update this post with any other info that I find out.

  2. Hi Jason,

    What are the approximate prices for food and drink? What do you suggest budgeting for something like this? Also, the festival website has the set dates with certain times and names (?)/events next to them, can you further elaborate on what this is/means? Thank you!

    1. Hi Mai, from the beer festival website just scroll down to the “Food” icon. Click that and you’ll see the available food with prices. Budget? If I’m there for a few hours then maybe 4 beers and something to eat I’d allow CZK500. For any planned events you’ll need to contact the festival. Have a good trip.

  3. Hi Jason,

    I was just wondering how necessary it is to reserve tables? I’m travelling in a large group (around 17 of us) to Prague when the festival is on and we’re hoping to attend.

    Are there usually plenty of seating areas even if you don’t have a reservation or would you recommend doing so?

    Thanks

    1. Hi Chris. For a start you can only reserve tables online and 24 hours before you attend. I’ve heard they’ve changed things around this year so that there may be more outside seating. You may have to separate into two or three smaller groups because the outside tables are usually scattered and close to the food areas. The VIP area is restricted to 150 places. So my advice is attend and pay the basic entry then have a look around to see how it looks. Then if you want to upgrade to VIP tickets you can do that when you are here. I’m probably going to attend the opening day so I’ll update this page with any other info. Have a good trip. Jason

    1. Hi Nathalie, I guess the easiest phrase for you to say in Czech is “je to volno?” phonetically “yeah toe volno” which translates as “is it free/unoccupied”. Another option would be the opposite i.e. “je to obsazeno” which means you are asking if it’s occupied or not. You would only be asking this of people already seated at the table therefore they know that you are asking about free spaces so I’d go with the first option above. Have fun.

  4. Where exactly is the Beer Festival. I’m visiting prague for the first time in a couple of weeks and have booked to go to the beer festival. I’m keen to learn exactly where it is so I can plan how to get there etc. in advance.
    When I google Letna it shows me Letenske Sady. A park by the looks of things? Is this where I’ll find the beer festival?

    Thanks in advance

    1. Hi Bobsy852, that’s right i.e. it’s on the far side of the Letenske Sady (Letna Park). From the Old Town walk past the Hotel Intercontinental, across the river and up the steps. Or take any tram that stops at Sparta. I prefer to get the tram number 8 tram from Republic Square. Na zdravi (cheers).

    1. Hi there, right now you can make reservations online but you still have to collect the physical card when you get to the festival. If that changes I will update this thread.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *