In German, the famous hop used in those original Czech pilsners is called “saaz” hops, but in the Bohemian part of the Czech Republic, where they’re grown, the word is “zatec,” named for the town where they were first grown. According to the town’s history, “the name of Zatec was first mentioned in the Thietmar of Merseburg Chronicle in 1004.” Today the town of Zatec has its own hop museum.
There’s also a brewery in town, Zatecky Pivovar, and they’ve been brewing in the same location for a long, long time.
The history of Czech breweries contains only two breweries with proven a tradition of brewing beer in a single location for more than 700 years — Svitavy (1256) and Žatec (1261). The Society of Žatec Privileged Brewers was established in Žatec in 1261. The two beers called “Samec” and “Kozel” were in high demand in Bohemia and at court, requested by nobility and lords, at the table as well as for festive parties.
Merchant Du Vin, the Seattle importer who also brings Ayinger, Lindemans, Orval, Rochefort, Samuel Smith, Traquair House, and Westmalle, among others, into the U.S., will now be distributing Zatec in the States, as well. According to the press release, product should be in the states some time this June.
From the press release:
The Zatecky Pivovar in Zatec, Czech Republic.