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Czech monastery relaunches lost beer recipe

A monastery in Prague has revived a recipe for an IPA once favoured by British soldiers in India, which has proved a hit with the locals.

The Strahov Monastery brewery which makes 60,000 litres of the IPA every year.

Strahov Monastery, an ancient monastery founded in 1142, has brewed beer since 1400 for its monks.

It recently rediscovered an IPA recipe which was originally brewed for British soldiers to keep their spirits up during Britain’s rule of India, as reported the Times of India, deciding to relaunch it.

Called SV Norbert India Pale Ale, it’s served in the monastery’s bar and is proving popular with locals in Prague and tourists who visit Strahov to learn about the history of brewing and to view its historic libraries.

The brewery manager, Marek Kocvera said: “This beer was originally prepared for long distance transport, so it should stay in good condition during the journey from England to India. That’s why it was quite strong (6-7% alcohol) and well hopped. Hops contain natural antibacterial matters and they help to preserve beer. Because the soldiers added large quantities of hops in this beer, it is a lot more bitter that other varieties and very aromatic. The colour ranges between gold to dark copper. The aroma is very fruity — from citruses to berries. It is strong but refreshing beer.”

He also added that although the brewery had been serving small quantities of the beer since 2009, it took a while for the strong flavour to catch on. Since last year however, the brewery has seen “a big boom in sales” with 60,000 litres being produced every year.

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