Three students from Cyprus take home the art of Czech beer-brewing
On a visit to Cyprus you may come across a craft mini-brewery serving “Pivo” the Czech word for beer. Although it is not a brand you would find in the Czech Republic, the beer is made from Czech ingredients and the three young men producing it learnt the art of brewing good beer during their studies in the Czech Republic.
Christos, Alexis and Thanasis all have great memories of the Czech Republic. The twin brothers and their cousin came to the Czech Republic to study chemistry and IT. But during their boisterous student life in Brno they soon found that the country had far better things to offer than IT know-how. Alexis was the first to make an abrupt U-turn career-wise.
“I dropped my studies mid-way and started taking beer very seriously. I started gathering practical knowledge about the art of beer making. My very first experiments started in the student dormitory. Here – we can’t just talk about beer – you have to try it for yourself.”
His decision to ditch IT for beer soon swayed the other young men in the family. Today Christos, Alexis, their younger brother Angelo and Thanasis run their own craft mini-brewery in Cyprus. And they are proud of using only the best ingredients from the “land of beer” –as they call Czechia – selected malt from Czech malt houses, the best red hops from Žatec and Czech yeast to boost. All three still speak good Czech and maintain close contacts with their Czech friends and suppliers.
“ Mr. Aleš Přinosil makes the best malt you can get, malt with a capital “M”, as I say. And malt is what determines the “soul of the beer” so we want the very best quality.”
Alexis says the name Pivo for their own brand of beer was an obvious choice –although to the Czech eye it may not be immediately discernable written in the Greek alphabet.
“Pivo –when we got back and decided to start the business we agreed to call it “pivo” because beer is linked in our minds to the Czech Republic. We spent our student years there and that’s where we learnt to make beer. Now pivo is right at home in Cyprus and seems like a local word.”
The family brewery aims to cultivate beer consumption on the island and take it to a higher level, offering unfiltered, unpasteurized craft beers. Although they are branching out in the business of craft beer making the skills they learnt in the Czech Republic form the cornerstone of their family business. Visitors from the Czech Republic always get a warm welcome and are urged to sample the Pivo brew. As Thanasis argues Czechs have beer in their DNA and know a good beer right away, without needing a great deal of expertise. Czech Radio’s correspondent in Cyprus Štěpán Macháček gave it the thumbs up.