Czech Craft Breweries Call for Help to Save Millions of Pints

(Bloomberg) -- Save the Beer. That’s the rallying cry for microbreweries in the Czech Republic, the home of the world’s most avid beer drinkers.

While the shutdown of society to staunch the spread of the coronavirus in the central European country has led to shortages of some items such as protective facemasks and toilet paper, beer drinkers are being urged to up their game. At last count, about 1.9 million liters of craft beer is sitting in vats across the country, at risk of spoiling.

Czech Craft Breweries Call for Help to Save Millions of Pints

After the government ordered to close pubs and restaurants during a nationwide quarantine, beermakers took to the Internet with a campaign to boost online orders as regular deliveries plunged.

“Fresh, non-pasteurized, unfiltered beer is in danger,” the campaign organizers from the Kytin Brewery, located 40 kilometers southwest of the capital Prague, say on the website. “Come and save the beer with us -- by drinking it. Do you know a more pleasant way of helping somebody?”

The Czech Republic, which has more than 2,000 cases of coronavirus, is still less affected than neighboring Austria and Germany, after the government clamped down early with some of the region’s strictest social-distancing measures. It closed borders, shut schools and non-essential food stores and requires people to wear facemasks outside their homes.

Unlike mass-market breweries that make internationally known brands such as Pilsner Urquell and Budvar, microbreweries depend on local restaurants and pubs for sales of their specialty brews that have a short shelf life.

It’s not the first time microbreweries have worked together to push for a fresh alternative to mass-produced Czech beer. Last year, Cvikov brewery, which has joined the Save the Beer initiative, rounded up a group of craft beer makers for an ad campaign targeting the Brexit-bound U.K.

Kytin’s Save the Beer website lists the breweries, locations for safe pickup at a brewery window and includes clickable ordering buttons.

“With the onset of the coronavirus crisis, we don’t want to sit in a corner and leave microbreweries in the lurch,” the website says.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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