Prague • Fear not, beer lovers! Although the Czech hops harvest is expected to decline by around a quarter this year because of bad weather, there's still plenty of stock to quench the huge thirst both at home and abroad.
Czechs are by far the biggest beer drinkers in the world per capita and the Czech Republic is also one of the top producers of hops the dried seed cones that give beer its bitter taste and aroma. Their hops are highly sought after and exported to about 80 countries, including Japan, China, Germany and Russia.
The Hop Growers Union of the Czech Republic said Friday that preliminary figures show a yield of about 0.95 - 1.00 metric tons per hectare, compared with the average of 1.11 metric tons per hectare. They cited freezing temperatures in February and a drought in spring.