Exploring the Microbrewery Value Chain in the CZ

The microbrewery industry in the Czech Republic is a dynamic and thriving sector that plays a pivotal role in the nation's rich brewing heritage. The week-long itinerary included visits to key players in the industry, interviews with stakeholders, and the culmination of gathered data into a comprehensive value chain flow chart.

One-week activities were supported by online hybrid preparation and secondary data collections coordinated by teachers from 3 different institutions – the PEF/CZU students: students of Poznan University of Life Sciences, Faculty of Economics and ISTOM, French School of International Agro-development. Students of all institutions were involved in the international event organised between 11 and 15 December 2023.

The week began with an extensive introduction and the finalization of organizational details. Survey strategy has been finalised and unified to be used during planned interviews. The Participants were briefed on the objectives of the exploration, emphasizing the importance of understanding the microbrewery value chain in the Czech Republic.

On Tuesday one group of participants had a trip to Pilsen, where they toured the Pilsner Urquell malting house. The second group conducted interviews around Nymburk, focusing on malting houses and breweries. Within the free time students had on Tuesday, smaller group of 5 people visited multiple breweries in Prague or around Prague.

On Wednesday, all participants visited the Louny Brewery and Žatec, a city on UNESCO world heritage list. Students met with multiple companies involved in hops growing and trade. On Thursday it was dedicated to wrapping up data collection and managing information gathered from interviews. Additionally, a barley producer, a crucial link in the value chain, provided valuable insights into the cultivation and supply of barley to the market.

One Friday, one group met a hop grower, to deepen insight into the hop production. At the same time the others used the opportunity to finalise value chain flow chart, incorporating insights from all visits, interviews and secondary sources.

To integrate the team from 3 different countries (they still shall work online during the January), all students were invited to the Restaurant Beer&Kitchen, providing an informal setting for participants to network and reflect on the week's discoveries.

The week-long exploration of the microbrewery value chain in the Czech Republic proved to be an enriching and insightful experience. The knowledge gained from visits, interviews, and data collection has contributed to a deeper understanding of the intricate web that constitutes the microbrewery industry in the country, providing needed pedagogical complexity and practical training.  

The programme combined online and field aspect of the teaching process. At the end of the ISTOM winter semester (January), Students will present the finalised study to researchers from CZU, PULS and professional public.


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