15 Jun 2011

A beery family afternoon

I almost didn't go. In the morning, the day was lovely, sunny, but not too warm, great to spend the afternoon sitting at a nice place and drinking some nice beer. However, by the time we were returning from our weekly shopping at Dejvice's farmers' market, things were getting shitty. Dark, heavy clouds were pushing away the lovely, cotton made ones and confirmed what the forecast had said the day before, rain the whole day. Bugger.

We fed our daughter and my mood was getting worse, I really wanted to go, but not under the rain. My wife, a wise woman, convinced me and we got ready to go catch the next bus.

On the way to Černý Vůl it started to rain, a few drops at first. By the time we got to the stop Černý Vůl - Hospoda (after Chýně - Pivovarský Dvůr, this must be the best name in the world for a bus stop) those drops were already falling in gangs. We dressed our daughter with a jacket and her new wellington boots, my wife put on a jacket herself and we started the almost 2km trek to our destination. I, proper man that I am, hadn't brought a jacket, only t-shirt, shorts and sandals for me, "Badass" is my second name (or "Smartass", depends on whom you ask).

It started to rain harder on the way (a slow walk, of course), but fortunately, it wasn't pouring the way it gets you wet to the bones. It wasn't that bad when we were arriving to our destination. My mood had already improved, too. It's nice to walk under the rain on a summer day.

There it is, a few hours after it wsa opened (or should I say re-opened?). The weather has surely scared many, but despite of that, there are still quite a few people around. Even before walking through the gates I can feel that unique atmosphere that I so much like, the mix of a beer garden and a pivní slavnosty.

Near the entrance there is a stand (to call it some way) selling beer, sausages and other snacks. Desítka, they have. There is a bit of a queue and rain drops are falling again. Hoping to find some shelter, from the end of the queue, I look into a room. There are taps, the proper ones, the nice ones, not the mobile ones, and almost nobody waiting to be served.

Smiling like a boy walking into a toy shop with enough money in his pockets, and almost without telling anything to the missus, I go in. She follows me (knows me very well, that woman) and is glad to have to possibility to take jackets off and put them to dry a bit on a chair.

In the short distance between the door and the taps I look around, trying to make sense of this almost empty room with whitewashed walls. Could it have been part of the maltings? What is certain is that it's old, it dates from the XVIII century, or that's what the engravings at the foot of one of the columns said. When I am at the tap waiting for my turn, I reach the conclusion that this would be the promised pub. Not that I needed any sort of Sherlock like deducting powers, the taps and the big espresso machine made it all too clear.

My turn comes, I don't want to drink from a plastic cup, I want a proper "půl litr", which for 50CZK I can take home if I want. They have 12º here! Is there a better way to start things off? Beautiful, dream gold, head white like from a Persil ad, cloudy and lively, smelling like flowers and grass after a summer storm, tasted like an angel's kiss, a světlý ležák by the book, but at the same time, with its own personality. Delicious, Kout level delicious. The first sip had easily made up for the slow walk under the rain.

My daughter is also happy. Running around the room, jumping, laughing and making the few people there laugh as well. My wife takes her first sip of the beer and her big eyes get even bigger and say together with her lips "dobrý, to je!".

Drops are still falling, but, wielding my půl litr like a medal of honour, I go out to explore a bit. It's so nice to be able to drink a beer in the yard of the brewery where it was conceived and born. In a building that looks like a barn, but that now housed a stage, they are playing some music, part of a theatre play for kids. I go to fetch my family (and a new pint), but we arrive late, the play was almost finished. It doesn't matter, there were seats there and we wait until the rain decided it is finally time to go somewhere else.

I go to get another pint and something sweet for my sweet ladies. This 12º is nicer with every glass. Terrific. Someone calls me by my pseudonym, shakes my hand and asks how I like the beer, "vynikající, nádhera", I answer.

When I get back, the rain has stopped, my wife has found somewhere to sit, a row of old, wooden, cinema chairs right on the barn's wall. We stay there watching our daughter throwing stones into a puddle with other kids. How easily do kids have fun! Just like me, beer in hand, sitting outdoors watching people on a day that is only getting better. I am feeling as happy as my daughter with each stone that splashed into the puddle.

I'm done with my 12º and fancy giving the 10º a try. I'm lucky, few people. Tasty, grainy, but smooth and with a nice Saazy touch to make it interesting. I'd love to drink it filtered, I tell myself, but I like it very much as it is.

It's time to get something to eat before it's too late. A sausage, quite big, greasy and a little spicy. Sitting in that cinema chair I enjoy it a lot, it's just what I needed. When I'm finishing it I hear another voice calling my pseudonym. This time, I know the owner, it's been ages since I last saw him. He's also with his family and he's also very happy with the place and, specially, with the beers, and he's how knows about this more than me.

We go together for a refill, talking beery things. We keep talking beery things for the rest of the afternoon, having a couple more pints before it's time for me and my family to get back on the trek to take the bus back home.

Wonderful afteroon! Beer, family, friends, sun, rain and everything in the already reopened Únětický Pivovar, great place.

Na Zdraví!

PS: I'm not all that sure of the opening hours of the brewery's výčep. According to this web page, there should be a tap room, where you can also get snacks, but it doesn't say when it opens. This other page gives a list of pubs where the Únětice beer can be found. Anyway, if you feel like going there, the trip is really worth it, you can get with buses 355 or 359, both leaving from Dejvická, getting off at Únětice, Na Parcelách. The brewery's GPS coordinates are 50°8'57.303"N, 14°21'15.554"E. If the tap room isn't open, the beers can be bought at the other pubs in the village. I recommend walking down Tychý Udolí to Roztoky on the way back.

PD2: I hope you'll be able to forgive the lack of pictures, but I couldn't be arsed with taking the camera. If you want to see what the place (and the event) look like, you can do it on this page

Choose a Hotel in Prague in the city centre.

2 comments:

  1. Damn, I misread pudlle for poodle...

    Great style, keep up with good work.

    ReplyDelete
  2. hmmm... throwing rocks to a poodle, after a few pints, that could be fun, too...

    ReplyDelete