16 Apr 2010

The Tap Race: Out of Control

It was only nine months ago that I first wrote about the "Tap Race", when I told you about my visit to U Prince Miroslava and their 13 draught beers.

Three months later, Zlý Časy would take the lead with 16 taps and it all seemed things were going to stay like that.

No, no way. A couple of months ago I heard that U Radnice, which after several name changes is now called Svět Piva had 18 taps. But with the experience of my last two visits still fresh in my mind, going to see them was not one of my priorities.

It didn't matter, because they weren't the leader anymore, and who wants to be friends with someone on the second place?. A couple of weeks ago, U Prince Miroslava installed a beautiful rack of 20 taps!

The guys in Žižkov, though, would not be discouraged, so they added three more taps, and that's it, they surely told themselves, we've got the longest one now, nobody can match us.

HA! HA! Laughed Hanz in Nusle while pouring the first pint from one the 8 new taps that started working  this week. Elevating Zlý Časy's total to 24 and reclaiming the lead in this race. For how long? Who knows.

It's getting more and more difficult to choose.

Back to Žižkov. Curiosity got the best of me and so I went to U Radnice (can't bring myself to use the new name, which, who knows, might change again soon) and ended up pleasantly surprised. The LCD TV and all the Sparta Praha memorabilia had disappeared, the offer of bottled beers had widened, the service had improved (not by much, but at least I didn't feel like throwing an ashtray at anyone, besides, the waitress was pretty cute) and, most important, all the beers I tasted were in good condition (which doesn't mean I liked them all, the Stout from Velký Rybník was, frankly, crap). I was also surprised by their price policy. Usually a malé pivo (0.3l) will cost around 3/5 of a velké pivo (0.5l), not here though. There was a 5CZK difference between the two measures for all the beers, regardless of their price. Quite cunning now that I think of it. Because I didn't want to get pissed I did what many people usually do, buy small beers, which are proportionally more expensive.

Anyway, if you want to visit this place, better do it before it gets warmer outside. For what I've heard, the temperatures in cellar where they keep the kegs can get a bit too high in summer.

Na Zdraví!

Choose your preferred Prague hotels and get free transport.

8 comments:

  1. Taken The Sparta Praha Memorabilia out !. Good Enough reason, not to Go !. Especially if it Gets Warm !.

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  2. I would be more impressed if they had 10 taps with a different style on each tap, 20 taps dominated by pale lager (and yes I know that pale lager is the dominant beer of the Czech Republic, but some imagination would be nice - Zly Casy excepted because Hanz does mix things up quite a bit), is hardly the most inspiring site on the planet.

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  3. At U Radnice the other day it was quite a mixed bag of beers, two taps had Belgians, there were several darks and ambers. I would say pale lagers were a minority, actually, or close to.

    U Prince could work a bit more on their variety, though they always seem to have Primátor Stout, Weizen and quite often EPA.

    Hanz had a nice range the other day, three darks, three wheats, a couple of ambers, one Belgian and the rest, ranging from 10 to 18ºPlato, filtered and unfiltered. (not to mention that dodgy cask)

    Still, lager is, and will always be, king. As long as they are good, I'll be happy...

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  4. I am in danger of being spoilt for choice over here. When I go to Columbia in South Carolina, the Flying Saucer has almost every style imaginable on tap. They could do with lessons in putting a decent head on Budvar though!

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  5. Plus: One new, nice waitress / best beer range in the city / some good prices / no tv / great decor.

    Minus: small beer prices are crazy / rest of staff are awful / no music and no atmosphere

    A real battle in progress with Zly Casy.

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  6. Good point on the atmosphere... When I was there there were playing music, from a jukebox kind of thing. There would be a song or two, then silence...

    And the cute waitress, didn't want to test her, but I bet she doesn't know, neither cares much about the beers.

    ZC to me is still tops, great atmosphere, an owner that really cares about what he's selling (and that includes their selection of bottled beers, best in town, hands down) and the staff is usually pretty good (unless you get Chuky on a bad day, that is)

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  7. I was only at U Radnice once and my main memories are that the beer wasn't so hot and the prices were way out of proportion. Can't even remember now how much it was, but something like 35 or 40 kc for a badly poured beer from a regional brewery (meaning kegs generally sell for less) in what is otherwise a sub-standard čtyřka? I could see stopping by there if I lived next door, but I don't.

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  8. I know what you mean, and that had been pretty much my experience, but the other day what they had listed was in pretty good condition (regardless of whether I liked it or not) and prices where about the same as in Zlý Časy

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