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Patented Musings

A couple of months ago, some of the beer personalities I follow on Facebook shared and urged to sign this petition against Patents on Beer and Barley. The text raised a couple red flags that made me doubt the claims of the initiators the petition and prompted me to look further.

The first that thing bothered me was the use of “greedy corporations” to describe Heineken and Carlsberg (H&C), the owners of the patents. Regardless of what you or I may think about these companies and other large corporations, I’ve come to associate this language with people who will not appeal to rational and fact-based arguments to get the public on their side, but to our emotions and the natural confirmation bias and cognitive dissonance. That wouldn’t have been such a problem if the whole text of the petition wasn’t so disingenuous. They say:
Barley, brewing and beer are all old and well known traditions, which anybody can use. Nevertheless the European Patent Office (EPO) has granted patents to Hein…
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A Family Trip to South Bohemia (II)

We drove straight to Český Krumlov after the missus, happy with the way her meeting had turned out, picked us up in Prachatice and we arrived at the hotel shortly before five.

After checking-in and checking our e-mails, we headed to the centre walking up the lane that went past the hotel. It led us to one of the back entrances of the palace gardens, which was very convenient since the way would go all downhill from there (in the most literal sense).

The gardens are gorgeous, and were quite empty. It wouldn’t be until we were getting to the buildings of the palace proper that we started seeing more tourists. It wasn’t as bad as I had feared, fortunately. Perhaps the day-tripping herds were already back on their buses.

It was in the palace complex where the first beer in Krumlov was had, more specifically, at Občerstvení na Vyhlídce, a kiosk on one of the lookouts to the city. It was Eggenberg 10°. Very good, it wasn’t, but it did the job. What I would like to know for sure is if it …

Regarding Today's Date

I care about IPA Day as much as I care about any other Marketing Driven Day or Month, which is even less than I care about the results of the Costa Rican Basketball League, but since we're on the topic, there's something I want to tell Czech micro (and not so micro) brewers (which I'm sure applies in other countries, too):

If for whatever reason you aren't able to procure good-quality, fresh enough hops, don't fucking bother to brew a beer that is supposed to be hop-forward. Sod the fashion and have a go at the dozens of other styles that aren't hop-forward. Everyone without a Pokemon mentality who enjoys drinking good beer instead of going after the latest novelty so they can get another badge in Untappd will be grateful.

That's it.

Na Zdraví!

A Family Trip to South Bohemia (I)

My old man visited us earlier this month. Even before he had booked the tickets, he said he wanted to go see the Treetop Walkway in Lipno.

Finding accommodation wasn’t easy due to the season and the rather short notice. We wanted to stay near the attraction, but most hotels were either fully booked or too expensive. We searched a until we found one in Český Krumlov, which was somewhat further than planned, but we didn’t mind. Our last visit to Krumlov had been six years before and we were looking forward to seeing that charming city again.

The hotel, Penzion Vodotrysk, turned out to good. It’s hidden a couple of hundred metres from a busy road, past a fishpond surrounded by trees, ten minutes by foot to the centre of town. The building looks like it has seen far better days, but the facilities were clean, it was quiet, the staff was very friendly, the breakfast was all right, and the rooms, though without much in terms of luxury, were spacious and comfortable. It was also excellent v…

A Saturday Stroll

My daughter’s school had its end of the year celebration the other Saturday. The event consists of every class performing a short theatre play. After gladly (and proudly) fulfilling my parental duties, I didn’t want to spend the rest of the day inside a school building and I decided I would leave during the first break.

Since my wife and daughter wanted to stay, I would have to get home by my own means. I could have got to the bus without much hassle, but it was around midday and I was starving. I didn’t fancy any fast food and the neighbourhood of my daughter’s school is not precisely famous for the abundance and quality of its gastronomic offer. The nearest place I could think of where I would get a proper sit-down meal was Hostinec Nad Šarkou, home of Libocký Pivovar.

The day’s menu was just what I was needing: unpretentious and unsophisticated Czech pub grub. I ordered telecí řízek s bramborovým salátem. It was fairly large portion of very good food. The schnitzel was perfectly d…

Catching up with an Old Friend

Láďa Veselý is a true Master Brewer with forty years’ experience in the trade. After spending some time in Japan, he became the first Brew Master at Pivovar U Medvíků. That’s where I met him ten years ago, during one of my first visits to that brewpub, at the beginning of my beer philosophising career.

I can’t remember exactly how our first meeting went. I think I asked him something about the beer I was drinking and Láďa was eager not only to answer my questions, but also to hear my opinion about his product.

Back then I had more time and fewer responsibilities and I would drop by about once a month to have a chat with him, and sometimes taste one of his new beers. We slowly became friends. Once, I took two Brazilians that were helping put together a brewery in Brazil that would make Czech-inspired beers, or so they claimed. After a couple of rounds, they said they wanted to hire Láďa to show their brewer the ropes and he agreed on the condition that I would go with him as an inter…

Back to the Roots Reviews: Loď Pivovar

Contrary to my policy of letting a new brewery lager for at least six months before giving them a go, I went to the (at the moment) newest microbrewery in Prague, Loď Pivovar. A few people who know beer insisted I should give it a chance and the other day, not having anything better to do, I decided to follow their advice.

It opened last February, but it would take them another month or so to have their own beers on tap (a common occurrence at not few brewpubs lately). But I think I first heard about this brewery back in 2015—it was supposed to open in autumn that year, if I recall correctly—then it went off the radar and I thought that it was another one of those projects that reality punches in the face. It wasn’t. Word got out again some time last year, that the boat would arrive in Prague in autumn, and then in December… For what I’ve heard, they ran into technical issues, apparently, something to do with water treatment (as you may imagine, boats can’t dump untreated waste water …