New beer of Charles University has hit the market
Charles University in cooperation with the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics of Charles University, the Research Institute of Brewing and Malting, Ferdinand Brewery and CUIP introduced a brand new beer called Slušné číslo (Decent number). You can taste it in the university’s canteen facilities – Culina Carolina.
The combination of innovation and the best traditions of Czech brewing is characteristic for the beverages marketed under the common brand “pi”vO. This also applies to the new non-alcoholic “pi “vO, which is the younger sibling of the already established Pěkný čísla (Nice number). It has unique taste characteristics and its production technology was designed from the ground up by the Research Institute of Brewing and Malting in cooperation with the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics at Charles University. It is this that inspired the aforementioned range of new drinks. Slušné číslo is therefore a university non-alcoholic beer from the ground up, which will enrich both the offer of the catering facilities of Charles University – Culina Carolina, and later the regular distribution network.
“Colleagues from Matfyz (Faculty of Mathematics and Physics) have come up with this initiative before and I think that ideas like this should be supported. Personally, I appreciate the fact that another of the series of drinks inspired by the symbolism of Ludolf’s number is innovative and non-alcoholic from the beginning. Thanks to this, it is not a marketing decoration, but a dignified, funny and original presentation of the entire Charles University,” underlines its Rector, Prof. Tomáš Zima.
In the general awareness, the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics of Charles University is certainly not registered as an institution dedicated to the development of new beverages. Nevertheless, it has long collaborated with the Research Institute of Brewing and Malting on new technologies or exact measurements of the properties and quality of beer beverages.
“The development of every innovation is associated with risk. However, I think that finding new ways, both in theoretical and application areas, is one of the main tasks of Charles University and its faculties. The decent number is so innovative that its recipe, created together with the Research Institute of Brewing and Malting, is protected by the Industrial Property Office,” points out the Vice Dean for PR of MFF UK doc. Martin Vlach.
“I’m delighted that we have more numbers to count towards a successful transfer from Matfyz. I myself was very impressed that the legal protection of beer recipes is so underestimated in the Czech Republic, and yet it can greatly help the transfer of even such unusual and tasty results of university research into practice,” says the chairman of the board of Charles University Innovations Prague (CUIP) Otomar Sláma.
The main innovation is the use of the wine yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Unlike conventional brewing strains, they are unable to ferment maltose, the main sugar in the wort. This naturally produces only a limited amount of alcohol and the resulting product therefore does not need to be treated much further. This preserves the characteristic taste of the drink, which is further enhanced by the cold hopping.
“I think that the Slušné číslo (Decent number) and especially the technology of its production is an example of the successful functioning of the so-called faculty partnership programme, through which cooperation with external commercial entities is implemented. The speed with which a complete novelty was able to reach the production practice is undoubtedly comparable to any private company,” underlines doc. Vlach.
However, the production process is not as straightforward as it might seem and is influenced by a number of physical and other parameters that had to be defined theoretically and experimentally confirmed or corrected.
As a result, the decent number has a refreshing taste, a noble hop aroma, a medium body and a clear, sparkling colour. The whole is complemented by cold hopping with the Kazbek and Mosaic varieties, which give a spicy aroma with hints of citrus and tropical fruit. However, the unique qualities given by the innovative technology also require honest processing with no room for haste or substitutes.
The bottom-fermented non-alcoholic beer is produced with precision, honesty and respect by the Pivovar Ferdinand in Benešov, Central Bohemia
“We use classic Czech technology and the highest quality ingredients, including our own threshing malt. We brew our wort in a two-mouth method, we rely on separate bottom fermentation and fermentation in a lager tank. We’ve done all of this while using unconventional wine yeast added directly to the beer during the aging phase. Thanks to them, Slušné číslo is overall balanced and flavour-matched without a dominant taste,” explains the managing director of the Ferdinand Brewery Petr Dařílek.
Distribution of the Decent Number will take place at Culina Carolina’s campus dining locations, where the general public can sample it.
“Charles University is advocating many changes in the catering of its students this year. Not only is it introducing a new brand, Culina Carolina, to represent the changes within the approach to catering in the UK canteens and cafeterias. Culina Carolina FOOD has also incorporated Decent Number into its own products, enriching the brand of food that is produced with university input or on university grounds. And I am very proud that today we are introducing a new non-alcoholic beer, Decent Number, in the newly renovated Canteen in Faculty of law,” said the Bursar of Charles University, JUDr. Tomáš Horáček, delighted with the success.
“We expect that in some time we will also distribute the new university non-alcoholic beer in the retail network, primarily in half-litre bottles, which are optimal in terms of the end price and the preservation of the beverage’s properties,” explains Ing. Dařílek.
When you taste it, you will understand that tradition and innovation are not enemies, but rather allies. Tradition is what it has always been, not what it was yesterday. A Decent number is the best and most drinkable proof of this.