Self-service pub is toast of Czech village

GMT 15:15 2015 Thursday ,28 May

Arab Today, arab today Self-service pub is toast of Czech village

Martin Povysil draws a beer at his mechanic
Uhřínovice - AFP

A self-service pub offering local beer has become a hit in a tiny Czech village where touring cyclists mingle with locals to help themselves to the country's favourite tipple.

"Ordinary pubs have no chance to survive in a village like this," says local homebrewer Martin Povysil, who installed the beer machine -- resembling a coffee or bank machine, but with a tap -- on the outside wall of the community centre in Uhrinovice.

"Normal pubs open in the evenings and at weekends but they are mostly closed during the day, leaving your tourist or cyclist dry," Povysil said, sitting at one of three wooden picnic tables set up at the open-air pub.

All beer lovers need to do is grab a cup from the storage rack, insert a coin and run their ID through a scanner to prove they are over the drinking age of 18 to help themselves to a cool, crisp pint.

He believes his beer tap is one of a kind.

"This beer machine is unique, I've seen something like this in Japan and the USA on the Internet, but this version is completely different," Povysil told AFP.
It all started in 2013 when Povysil, a 50-year-old bespectacled, pony-tailed former salesman for a medium-sized Czech brewery, started to make his own beer in his summer house in Uhrinovice, a village of 75 people.

He launched the beer machine the same year.

Cyclists passing through the village in central Czech Republic -- a country where people drank a world-leading 144 litres of beer per head in 2013 -- can also pour themselves lemonade for the same price as beer, set at 20 Czech koruna (73 euro cents, 80 US cents) a pint.

The machine made by a technician from a nearby city cost almost 50,000 koruna, says Povysil, who sells a 30-litre keg on a rainy week but three 50-litre kegs per week during the hot summer months.

"I have never counted the return on investment, it's haphazard, depending on the weather and people's tastes," said Povysil, who now relies on his microbrewery for a living.

"The locals love it, they enjoy the beer, and the machine makes us a community."


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