27 Mar 2008

Tax time!

Normally nobody would go with a smile to the tax office to leave their tax return. I'm not an exception. Taxes got me in a bad time, my finances still more than a bit shaken after moving. Fortunately, not far from my tax office there is a place that I had wanted to visit for some time, U Klokočnika. If beer prices at U Rokytky date from 2002-3, those at U Klokočnika are still older.

But it's not just any beer they tap there. I wouldn't go to such a remote place just for a Gambáč, no matter how cheap it can be (well, after having a look at my bank balance, I might consider it). What you can find there are the beers of Pivovar Kácov.

Pivovar Kácov is something between a brewpub and a small industrial brewery. Some of its capacity is used by Pivovarský Klub to brew Štěpán, and by the former brew master of Ferdinand to brew his brand Bohemia Gold. According to the brewery's web page (it's only in Czech, but if you still want to have a look at it, go to www.pivovarkacov.cz), they were established in 1457 and, as many others, went through many hands before ending up with their current owners.

U Klokočnika, a prototypical corner pub, is the only place where you can find Kácov every day. There are few concessions to modernity, the daily menu is handwritten and photocopied. The patrons are mostly workers from the nearby workshops, during lunch, and the local drunkards the rest of the day. The food is solid hospoda. But what I've have eaten, though didn't make me moan in pleasure, wasn't half bad. In fact, the chips are among the best I've had in Prague. I'm not certain, but they looked and tasted home made.

Kácov brews four beers on a regular basis, all available at this hospoda. Desítka and Dvanactká both čisté (clean, as the waiter calls them) or kvasnicové.

I've tasted all of four. I haven't got much to say about 12° čisté, it was just your average golden lager, nothing memorable, nothing bad either. The kvasnicové is a tad more interestng. Deep gold, with the almost expected cloudiness of these kind of beers (thought it must be added that it is unfiltered). The nose is really dry, with grapefruit, mint and cannabis notes. The taste is mild, also on the dry side, with herbs predominating, though I was able to feel some subtle honey touch in the back.

Curiously, the ones I liked the best were the two cheaper beers, the desítky. The "clean" has an aroma that reminded me of citrus and green apples. It also tastes dry, with an intense herbal finish, that leaves a lingering citrusy aftertaste. One of those beers that are great on a hot summer day. It's kvasnicové was my favourite of the lot. It's almost undistinguishable to the eye from it's big sister. We start feeling the difference with the nose. I felt pears and herbs (mostly mint) and the taste is deliciously fruity at first with a surprise bitter charge on the finish, very pleasant. This is a beer that I would love to have in summer on tap on my terrace. Delicious.

Barring the last one, I found all the beers too carbonated, to the point of being a little annoying on the 12°čisté. Also, barring the last one, none shook my world, and still then I prefer Chýně's. Now if we consider the prices I paid for these four beers at this pub, the value for money balance is more than positive. Oh! The prices? Just have a look at the photo below. I don't think you can find anything cheaper in Prague.
I will certainly go back to U Klokočnika, I liked the atmosphere. In summer it must be a very pleasant place to have a few piva with friends sitting at the tables under those for sure leafy trees in front of the pub.

Might seem hard to reach at first sight, but it isn't so. Just take tram 18 to the second to last stop, Na Veselí, and then keep walking 200m until you see it. Can't miss it!

Restaurace U Klokočníka
Na Veselí 702/48
140 00 Praha-Nusle

6 comments:

  1. Nice to see Kácovské pivo in Prague:) I've been to Kácov last week and the prices were even lower-14kc for dvanáctka and 12kc for desítka. (In August 2007 12kc for dvanáctka and 10kc for desítka:)

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  2. I agree with you. I love Káckov desítka, what a nice session beer that is!
    You will also find Kácov on a more or less permanent basis at Zlý Časy.

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  3. I was a devoted Svijany guy until my wife and I discovered U Klokocnika on a Sunday walk.Ide never even heard of Kacov beer before then.I have to agree with the above post that the regular lagar is good,but nothing out of this world. Full on malt though with little hope profile so that in itself is a change from the standard Czech fare. The Yeast beer however( Kvasnicive) is somthing special.Very nice nose on it, citrus with some grassy hops, sweet honey maybe too.Gorgeous full creamy head with super tight bubbles.Cloudy in appearance.Lightly carbonated with Slow moving bubbles to the top of the glass.Nice citrus flavors with honey and mild hops in the background. Thick almost chewy beer with great flavor. You can tell its a Brewmaster running this brewery and NOT an accountant.Second best part of the beer is the price. 18 crowns for half a liter! It doesnt get any better than that. Cheers

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  4. I think the problem with the other beers is on the tap, too much top pressure IMO.
    I'm really looking forward to summer to sit in the place's patio.
    BTW, how did you end up in that middle of nowhere, Prague on a Sunday walk?:)

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  5. This beer sounds like heaven,, :-)) so were else can you get it. I am form P6, but I feel like a trip to P4 anyhow.

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  6. There's a place near Dejvická Metro station called U Švejka, or something similar, that has it, sometimes even in PET bottles for takeaway, it's also a dive and it's at the corner of Yugoslavický Partizanu and Nikoly Tesly.

    The other day, while researching for my book, I came across another one in Letná, near Kino OKO. Zlý Časy also usually has it on tap.

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