Saturday, 8 December 2012
Decoction and COMECON
Lager brewers have been moving away from decoction for years, as the cost of fuel to do it is ridiculous. It is, however, still proudly practised at Pilsner Urquell, at least, so they say.
A retired brewer told me of a visit to Pilsen shortly after the Iron Curtain came down. He saw the last train of Pilsner beer destined for Russia standing in the brewery yard. Apparently there was a deal with the Soviet Union to exchange Czech beer for cheap gas. Perhaps this was the reason there was no pressure on the Prazdroj brewery to move away from decoction.
I do not know enough about the peculiarities of trade within the Soviet bloc to say whether or not this story is plausible.