8 Oct 2010

Progress report

It's been more than half a year since I published a Progress Report about my book. The reason is that, well, there hasn't been much progress since then.

Yeah, I did write many entries and found several new places, but one day I hit a wall. Partly it was because of being too busy or tired, but mostly it was because it came to a point that I didn't know how to continue anymore. Writing one review after another of hospody, etc. from all the corners of Prague had become tedious and, what was still worse, I was afraid that it would also be tedious to read. And I didn't want that.

I had to find an alternative, perhaps I could include some more articles about local beer culture. But that was not enough. I really didn't know what to do. But one night, after going to bed and unsuccessfully trying to fall asleep, I had a revelation. The book would change, and rather radically.

And that is how what was going to be a list of places ordered geographically, became a "Pub Crawl" guide. Now the pubs are going to be grouped by articles that will include at least four or five of them, together with directions, comments about the city and some anecdotes. There will also be lists, but more conceptual, "early boozers", "cafés with good beer", etc.

I sent the first draft of the first crawl to a couple of friends who happen to be top beer writers. The feedback I got from them was very positive and constructive. They gave suggestions, pointed to what could be improved, but the best was that they liked the idea and the style. You can't imagine how thrilled I was by that.

The only inconvenient, though, is that this new format means that I will have to start again almost from scratch. I know my original plan was to have the book ready to publish by the end of this year. This will not happen, obviously. But I'm not discouraged, I believe I will have a better, more original book that will also be more fun to read, and that, to me, is far more important.

To those generous souls who have sent donations, in the following days I will e-mail a polished version of that first crawl. I also want to know your opinions and get your feedback. (If any of you out there want to help finance this project and have a copy of the book once it's ready, just click on the "Donate" button right below my pic).

In the meantime, I'm still wandering around the streets of Prague, always looking for new places that could be included in the book. One day, while walking in Vršovice, I noticed a Bernard sign in a side street. Since I feel I still don't have enough places that offer those fine beers from Humpolec, I went to see what it was about. Finské Centrum, or something like that, it was called, and it was a sauna club. Interesting idea, I thought. It could be nice to have a good, crisp Bernard Světlý Ležák after having stewed in a sauna. The place was closed, so I went to the notice board next to the door to see what the opening times were. What I found was this photo:
Finské Centrum, or whatever its name is, won't be included in the book. No way. If I wanted to, it would mean I would have to visit it, and I don't think I want to do that. I get goosebumps just from thinking about it.

Na Zdraví!

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7 comments:

  1. Patrick(bassstream@gmx.net)9 October 2010 15:27

    Hi^^
    I have to tell you, that I'm a big fan of your blog!!! Thanks for all your good tips, too!!! There are so many (new) Czech beers, breweries, bars and hospudkas that I became to know and love thanks to your introductions. I must say(maybe because we have an apperantly similar taste in beer) that you have a exquisite taste (for beer) and I agree to your judgement in almost all belongs. Big compliment!!! Thanks so much for that and please keep up the good work!!!

    Unfortunately, due to the fact that I'm not living in the Czech Republic I can visit Prague (and Brno) just for a couple of days a year. Besides visiting relatives there's mostly not much time to go around and try many new places and beers. So your blog is a big help to plan beforehand and to choose where to go and which (new) beers to try.

    Anyway, sorry for my long comment. Now to my question to you:

    I'm a big fan of the Kout na Sumave beers(they just taste sensational). Is there any place in Prague(beside the 4-5 places that have it on tap) that sells them bottled? I couldn't find them on the homepages of neither Zly Casy(the bar and beer shop) or Pivni Galerie. But I would love to take a couple of bottles of them home(besides many others;-)).

    Thanks!!!

    Patrick

    P.S. I wish you a lot of success with your book!!!

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  2. Patrick,

    Thanks a lot for the comment and your help!

    As for your question. Unfortunately, Kout does not bottle. What you can do is go to Lipy with an empty and clean bottle with swing top, like Bernard, and have them fill it up. It will be just as good.

    If you can't be arsed with that, though, then you could buy Tambor. You can find their bottles at the Zlý Časy shop.

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  3. Patrick (bassstream@gmx.net)10 October 2010 15:40

    Hi Max,

    Thank you for your fast reply!

    I thought about that, too:-) I mean going with a dzban or empty bottle to get some Kout...

    I'm not sure, if I will make to Zizkov(Lipy)
    this time though, because I don't have much time and I have to do some sight seeing in Pargue with my wife. Do you know any other place that would fill an empty bottle or two? I guess asking for it at Celeste in the Tancici dum would be a little awkward;-) I heard they have Kout at the Kulovy blesk in I.P. Pavlova, although I couldn't find anything on their homepage.

    Tambor is therefore similar in taste to Kout?
    I didn't try this one yet. Thanks for the tip!
    I will sure try to get a bottle or even better
    try a freshly taped one:-) As well as some Matuska, Kocour and and and...
    Hmmm...so many good beers and so little time...

    Well, I will try to convince my wife to join me for a after noon with some other Czech tradicional culture...a trip with the no 11 tram to Sporilov(Prvni Pivni Tramvay; one of my favorite beer places), Pivovar Basta(which I look forward to try) and Zly Casy...well I.P. Pavlova and Kulovy blesk would be on the way back, too:-)

    Anyway, thanks for your help and I'm sure looking forward to the day your book will be published.

    Patrick

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  4. Kulovy blesk rotates their beers- so they could have Kouty there but when I was there a couple of weeks ago they didn't. In terms of central places, there's a cafe in the Lucerna passage (used to be called Kavovarna, not sure if it still is) that has it on tap. The big passage right at the Vaclavske namesti tram stop with Cerny's hanging statue of St Wenceslas on the upside-down horse.

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  5. Mike, thanks for the answer, and the tip (though, I wonder if they won't look at you funny at Kavovarna, if you ask them to fill you up an empty bottle of Bernard).

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  6. Patrick (bassstream@gmx.net)11 October 2010 12:36

    Thanks for the info, Mike.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oy vey! I found that sauna place's website:

    http://www.saunaklubvefinske.cz/

    ReplyDelete