Czech beer still popular in Slovakia

Let's stick with beer shall we. Since Czechoslovakia split at the beginning of 1993, the Slovaks have never lost their taste for Czech beer and Czech breweries enjoy healthy sales figures in Slovakia. One major Czech brewery - Velkopopoivcky Kozel - has doubled its sales in Slovakia in the last year to an estimated 170 thousand hectalitres and is the biggest selling foreign beer. Several others such as the most popular beer in the Czech Republic - Gambrinus - and Budvar and Krusovice are also doing well . What's more, Czech theme pubs are springing up in Bratislava.

Radio Prague asked Radio Slovakia's Hannah Skrinkar about the popularity of Czech beer in Slovakia, and Velkopopovicky in particular.

"I think Czech beer is very popular here, but Slovak beer is still also popular. There have been lots of new Czech theme pubs opening recently and another one opened last week, a huge one, just on the outskirts of town and it's already full every night. Most pubs do sell Czech beer - usually Budvar, and then you have Velkopopovicky Kozel and then Krusovice - there's a Krusovice theme pub here."

In Prague, you rarely find a Slovak beer - it could be a bit of a coals to Newcastle-type scenario. Slovak beer drinkers do have a choice of brews - which is the most popular with Slovaks - Czech beer or the local product?

"The problem is Czech beer is slightly more expensive, so people would usually go for a Slovak beer which is cheaper by maybe five or six crowns. I think I would prefer Czech beer usually but I'd always go for a Slovak beer, probably because of the price difference."

And finally, on the broader subject of beer and Czech-Slovak relations since the split, Czech Premier Milos Zeman offended a lot of people in Slovakia earlier in the year by saying less than complementary things about one particular local brew.

"Yeah, he came here six months ago and I think he tried...I think it was Topvar beer, I'm not entirely, no it was Poprad beer from North Slovakia - he said it wasn't fit to use even as toothpaste, which is actually a fair comment, cause it's not the best Slovak beer around."

Poprad beer? Toothpaste? I don't get the connection either - but then again, I'm not the prime minister. That's all from Economic Report for this week.