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19th April 2023

Czech Mates: Budvar announces its first ever collaboration lager brewed in the UK

– Budvar announces the first ever lager brewed outside its home country of the Czech Republic, in collaboration with UK craft brewery Thornbridge –

– Czech Mates combines the best of British ingredients and Czech brewing knowhow –

– It will be available to purchase from May 16 from and major UK retailers

Budweiser Budvar, the national brewery of the Czech Republic, has announced today its first ever collaboration lager to be brewed outside its home country. The lager is called Czech Mates and is brewed with Thornbridge, the original UK craft brewery, home to award-winning craft beers and ales. Czech Mates will be available to purchase from May 16 from and major UK retailers.

Bringing together centuries of Czech brewing expertise, the finest British ingredients and cutting-edge technology, Czech Mates is a Czech-style lager that aims to fuel a growing appreciation for quality, traditionally brewed lager across the UK.

Czech Mates is an aromatic, crisp and beautifully balanced 4.8% beer, brewed to the same high standards as all Budweiser Budvar and Thornbridge products, and made at Thornbridge brewery, located in Bakewell in the heart of the Derbyshire Dales.

The traditional Czech brewing method of decoction and long, slow maturing complement the British-grown Maris Otter malt and East Kent Goldings hops, while Budvar’s decades-old yeast strain makes the journey from Budweis to Bakewell to bring it all to life. In addition, the famously soft water of the Peak District, just like that found in České Budějovice (Budweis), is ideal for brewing lager. Given its dedication to quality and authenticity in brewing, Thornbridge made a natural partner for Budvar.

Research shows that the craft lager sector is growing faster than any other, and Czech Mates will set a new benchmark. The word ‘lager’ means to store, and in keeping with Czech brewing standards, Czech Mates will be lagered for six weeks, far longer than most other UK lagers. This, quite simply, makes it taste incredible. As Adam Brož, Budvar’s brewmaster, puts it: ‘Time is a very important feature of the lager. The long maturation brings the smoothness, crisp taste, and very high drinkability.’

The collaboration will be supported by a bold social media campaign based around the slogan ‘Mates Don’t Let Mates Drink Bad Lager’. The message is: with a new collaboration bringing together the 800-plus years of lager-making experience of the Czechs and the creativity of a UK craft beer titan, there is no excuse for drinking substandard lager anymore.

Czech Mates will bring something flavour-packed to the UK craft lager scene, while remaining sessionable and accessible. With its dedication to time consuming processes and fine ingredients, this new product will show the UK just how the Czech Republic became known as the Republic of Beer – and why there’s no reason to drink bad lager in the UK ever again.

Czech Mates is now available for purchase across the country from
and major UK retailers.




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About Budweiser Budvar:

Budweiser Budvar is the national brewery of the Czech Republic, making an iconic lager that’s known the world over yet only ever brewed only in České Budějovice (Budweis) in South Bohemia. Fiercely independent, and proudly cold-conditioning its beer for months, Budvar brews the same way it has since 1895, using the finest whole-cone Saaz hops, Moravian malts and artesian soft water from an Ice Age aquifer underneath the brewery. This has earned Budvar Original ‘Protected Geographical Origin’ status from the EU. Small wonder it’s described as the “last true lager in Europe”.

About Thornbridge:

The Thornbridge story began back in 2005 when the founders Jim Harrison and Simon Webster recruited two young brewers to brew on a secondhand 10-barrel kit in the grounds of Thornbridge Hall. In 2009 a brand new state of the art brewery was built at Riverside, Bakewell, to meet with demand and allow Thornbridge to develop their range of beers. Brewing still takes place today on the original kit which has been moved to the Taproom at Riverside, which allows them to experiment with new brews, create bespoke Hall brews and collaborations. Thornbridge have always brewed the finest quality beer with a passion, recognising that not only quality but consistency and innovation are key to creating amazing and beautifully balanced beer.

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