Culture & Society Czech Republic News

Will Czech beer become UNESCO-protected?


Prague, Czech Republic – The world-famous beer-loving culture of the Czech Republic could soon become UNESCO-protected, local media reported.

A few days ago, the Czech Association of Breweries and Malthouses submitted a request for Czech beer culture to be added to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list.

The head of the organisation František Šámal said that they would first try to get it listed on a regional level before applying for national status.

The association is reportedly in talks with the Czech Ministry of Culture to coordinate efforts on the matter.

Warning that the whole process could take at least four years, M. Šámal appeared optimistic about its outcome, pointing to the cultural importance of beer in Czech lands, the centuries-old local expertise and global recognition of domestic breweries and the social and economic impact of beer-making in the Czech Republic.

First established in 2008, UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage aims to “ensure better protection of important tangible cultural heritages worldwide and the awareness of their significance” while safeguarding cultural diversity and creative expression.

It is made up of two separate listings for a total of more than 600 cultural practices and traditions: the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, and a shorter list for those “in need of urgent safeguarding”.

Falconry, the handmade production of Christmas decoration from blown glass beads and puppetry are among the handful UNESCO-protected heritages from the Czech Republic.

Famously known as the beer capital of Europe, the Czech Republic has the largest beer consumption per capita in the world (from 135 to 140 liters per person every year) and is also one of its most important producers with over 20 million hectoliters brewed in 2020.

If successful, the Czech Republic would follow in the footsteps of Belgium, whose beer and beer culture were added to the Intangible Cultural Heritage list six years ago.

Headed by Kafkadesk's chief-editor Jules Eisenchteter, our Prague office gathers over half a dozen reporters, editors and contributors, as well as our social media team. It covers everything Czech and Slovak-related, and oversees operations from our other Central European desks in Krakow and Budapest.