24 Jul 2009

Sometimes anything will do

I don't understand why people rave so much about Summer and have such an issue with Winter. If you gave me to choose between a -15°C day an a +30°C one, I'd pick the former without a nanosecond of hesitation. Hell! I would even pick a -25°C one! It doesn't matter how low the temperatures are, if you put on enough clothes, eventually you'll feel warm. When it's hot, you can get naked if you want, and you will still feel hot.

One of the (many) things I didn't like about Buenos Aires were its summers. Awful! 40°C in the shade were pretty much par for the course, and if you wait for the night to bring some relief, think again because many days temperatures won't go below 30. And this Monsoon like season we've been having in Prague is doing a pretty good job at reminding me of those sticky Porteño summers I have and will never miss.

And there I was, nearby Flora Metro station, on the hottest day of the season, drenched in sweat and thinking how lovely it would be to get on a plane to Greenland, when I decided that the best remedy for the thirst that was scrapping my throat would be a well drafted pint of good Czech beer.

Unfortunately, I didn't have enough time to go to U Sadu, which probably wasn't that bad because I would have sure been tempted to stay there to drink several Weizens, something I'm certain my clients wouldn't have known how to appreciate as much as me. 

Dragging my humanity up Vinohradská I was almost coming to terms with the idea of having to drink Staropramen at that big pub opposite the shopping centre (between Staropramen tanková and likely dodgy Gambrinus, I choose the former) when I remembered U Bergnerů, that is very near.

U Bergnerů is a very down at heel neighbourhood hospoda of the kind where only a couple of minutes are enough to end up stinking like a well aged ashtray and with topless waitresses a couple of evenings a week (so a sign at the door claims), but with a reputation of very well tapped beer. I had never been there and the weather was as good a reason as any to fix that. 

At the entrance there is a small room without chairs and with a couple of tall tables and a fruit machine as pretty much all decoration. On the right there is a small window that gives to the bar from where beers can be ordered.

Velkopopovický Kozel Světlý is almost as far of being my favourite beer as Gambrinus Světlý. U Bergnerů has it tanková and unpasteurised and their reputation is very well deserved. The pint didn't make me tremble in delight, but I still liked it. Its well balanced bitterness did away with my thirst and that half litre served at a right temperature really refreshed me (which shows that beer doesn't have to be "ice cold" to be refreshing) and gave me energy I needed to face my last two hours of work.

Czech beer wisdom says that the quality of a pint depends 50% on who brews it and 50% on who serves it, never more true than at U Bergnerů (though we could also say 45-45 and give the remaining 10% to the weather).

Na Zdraví!

Restaurace U Bergnerů
Slezká 134
Prague 3 - Vinohrady

Choose a Hotel in Prague in the city centre.

2 comments:

  1. I agree totally with the heat vs. cold comment. I have lived in the southern USA my whole life, and every summer going outside is like walking into a hot, damp bathroom. By the way, I was in Prague for 4 days two weeks ago, and your site was VERY helpful in making some pub visits. I was not albe to get to them all, but I told my companions that I had a lot of help in choosing the pubs and food they liked. Na zdravi!

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  2. Glad that my rantings helped you out to impress your friends :)

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