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Showing posts from April, 2011

What a great feeling!

I got the other day the copies of my book that I had ordered.
I wrote every word of this book, I took all the pictures, I designed it myself. In other words, I know this bugger inside out and upside down almost by heart, but still, having it in my hands on paper is a wonderful feeling. I was also very glad to see that the printed version looks better than I had expected, even though it's in black and white.

Buy it and see for yourselves.

Na Zdraví!

5 stars Hotels in Prague with 75% discount.

Equality! Justice!

This is a question that had been going around my mind for some time and about which I would have probably forgotten, had it not been for two separate pieces that appeared recently in the Czech press (what would my life be without the news aggregator of Pivní.Info).

The first one, originally published in Rozhlas.cz, talks about a proposal by two senators to modify the beer tax system. Their idea is to base it on the ABV % instead of the wort's density. Quite sensible, but I'd like to know the details before giving an opinion. Anyway, what I wanted to talk about isn't that, but what one of the senators and Stanislav Bernard are quoted saying by the end of the piece, wine tax, or actually, the lack thereof.

The second piece goes straight to the point. It appeared originally in lidovky.cz and it's signed by Ladislav Jakl, local beer personality, rocker and in his free time, Secretary of the President of the Czech Republic (yes, the same one that loves fancy pens). There Jakl…

Some beery observations

Researching for my book meant going around town visiting a lot of places. Besides finding that most of them have good service, the experience left me with a couple of things that gave me food for thought.

1) I was surprised by how many times I was asked how I liked the beer I was drinking. Save for one excepction, it always happened at places that had recently changed suppliers or added an alternative beer to their offer. Often my answer (that I was liking it) made the server glad and in some cases, it even generated a conversation about beer. Something that I don't remember ever happening before.

2) I really like unfiltered beers (as long as they are fresh) and it's even better to see that more industrial breweries are now offering some of their products in both versions. However, I've started to "rediscover" the joy of drinking filtered světle výčepní or ležáky. Sometimes their clean texture, drinkability and crispness is what does the job. And since I'm on…

Czech Beer Festival 2011 - News

Once again, I was fortunate to get invited to the press conference of the Český Pivní Festival (Czech Beer Festival) that was held yesterday at the Sheraton Hotel Prague.

There's not much to comment about the conference, only that the food that was served afterwards was really good and that, because of the weather, we had to eat it at the hotel's Lobby bar (which has the atmosphere of a bus stop), but there is plenty of news about the event itself.

The bad news first: The price of the tolar has been raised to 44CZK (from 40CZK of the previous two editions). For those who have just arrived, the tolar is a proper coin and it's the only thing that can be used to buy drinks, food and souvenirs. I like the system, won't comment on the price.

The dates: 12-28 May. Place: PVA Letňany (a couple of hundred metres from the namesake metro station). I still don't like the venue, but I guess that there aren't better options for an event of this scale.

Tuplák: For the first …

A cultural question

About a month and a half ago I had the chance, and the honour, to meet Tim Webb. It was luck, really. I had agreed with a friend to have lunch at Zlý Časy and there I ran into Evan Rail, who was waiting for other people to have lunch with at the same place.

Who is Tim Webb? Perhaps some of you are asking. He is the author of, among other books, The Good Beer Guide - Belgium. In other words, a guy who knows the Belgian beer landscape and industry like few others.

After the meal I had a chat with him. There were two things that I wanted to have confirmed about the Belgian beers and who better than Tim to look for an answer.

They are somehow related, one was something that I had long suspected: many, if not most, Belgian small brewers survive thanks to exports and/or beer tourism - which is basically the same; the other thing was something I had once heard: 80% of the beer sold in Belgium is of the Jupiler and Stella kind. Both were confirmed.

Many times I have read and heard that Belgi…

Out at last!

Perhaps, those of you who don't follow my Facebook Page have been wondering about my long silence here. The answer is simple, I was working really hard finishing My Book, "Prague: A Pisshead's Pub Guide", which I was finally able to do yesterday (Sunday).
I must say I'm really pleased with the result, 117 pages of pub crawls, recommendations for cafés that serve good beer, early boozers, places to go for those who don't mind traveling a bit, articles about local beer culture and plenty of "beer porn", as my friend and top beer writer Stephen Beaumont calls it, all with a very personal touch. In a nutshell, a must have book for anyone who is planning a trip to Prague and wants to have good beer at good places. And if you aren't planning to come to Prague, you'll still have fun reading this, I promise you that.

So, go, buy it, it's already available. And it doesn't matter if you aren't a beer geek, you'll like it just the same.