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Showing posts from December, 2011

Wishlist for 2012

In 2012 I want:
To keep on drinking good beer, regardless of where, how or by whom it is brewed (not too hard, I know) A couple more "čtvrtá pípa" pubs, but also more places like U Slovanské Lípy that sell only one "alternative" brand (there are times when all I want is to order "pivo")Aliance PIV to keep on growingPrague Beer Museum to once and for all sort out their problem with the storage of the beers A top of the range restaurant to start offering a solid list of domestic and imported beers that will be announced everywhere and that will not include rubbish like Corona, Guinness Draught or Desperados. The fever for extreme, hop/yeast/wood driven beers to slow down a bit and that "innovative" brewers everywhere will take the challenge of making down to earth beers with moderate % of ABV, but at the same times tasty and interesting.That those brewers who have quality control or consistency problems get their shit together or shut down (they are…

2011 - The finest

Without further ado, here you have what I've liked the most during this year that is almost gone.

Domestic beer, draught: Únětická 12º, I was going to pick Chýně's magnetic Stout, a fantastic brew, no doubt, but Únětice's is not only great, but can also be drunk in more and more places in Prague and around.

Honorable mentions: Besides the aforementioned Stout, Polotmavá 13º from Pivovar Antoš.

Domestic beer, bottle: Primátor Stout.

Honorable mentions: Eggenberg Nakouření Švíhák, Janáček Kounic.

Foreign beer, draught: Mahr's Brau Ungespundet Kellerbier (at the brewery's taproom).

Honorable mentions: Neder Annafestbier, Schlenkerla Märzen (at the brewery's taproom).

Foreign beer, bottled: Pretty difficult here, but, Pliny the Elder (thanks Brian), one of those few beers that are better than their fame.

Honorable mentions: N'ice Chouffe, DeMolen Hel & Verdoemenis, Kraus Hell Lager

Pivovar: Únětický Pivovar. Not only they are making excellent beers, but they are …

It's obvious, but...

Forgive me for stating the obvious, but...

TRAPPIST IS NOT A STYLE

Dear micro brewer, unless you are a member of the said monastic order, your beer isn't "Trappist", nor it is "Trappist style" because, besides the fact that you can't even call it "Trappist", TRAPPIST IS NOT A STYLE.

"Abbey" is not a style, either. In some cases, it is only a little more than a label, like "craft", but in the case of the so called Erkend Belgisch Abdijbier, it referes to breweries that are subject to certain regulations, which, as with the Trappist, do not concern the quality or kind of beer that is brewed. In other words, and quoting my friend "Thirsty Pilgrim": "Westvleteren could make a farty filtered lager and it would still be Trappist beer."

The reason why Abbey and Trappist breweries don't make a Pils is the same reason why Czech industrial breweries don't make a Tripel.

And since I'm in the realm of the clea…

Vaclavák for Czechs?

In the almost 10 years that I've been living in Prague I haven't been into any of the pubs, bars, restaurants or cafés in Wenceslas Square. Those that don't have "tourist trap" written all over, are simply not my kind of places.

The other day, though, I decided to make an exception with Restaurace v Melatrichu, which according to theThe Prague Post wants to be a place that not only caters for tourist, but also for locals. At first sight, this can be confirmed by the prices of beer list (more on it later), with the exception of Pilsner Urquell, all beers are below the 40CZK mark a pint.

There are, however, a couple of things that could set some alarms off. The beers are also sold in tupláky, the only people here who drink from 1l glasses are the most obtuse tourists. On top of it, at the entrance to the restaurant the beer list is posted in Russian. Now, I've got absolutely nothing against Russians, but it is well known that, in average, they are by far the big…

News on the Black Ox

It seems there are some good news about U Černého Vola. One Anonymus left a comment on yesterday's post that brought my attention to some recent developments. After reading about them on the page of the petition, I decided to contact Matouš Hájek, the petition's organiser. Besides saving me some time, I thought he would be able to explain me the situation in a better way. The conlusion, it's probable that U Černého Vola has survived this. But before telling you how and why, let me tell you how this whole thing came to happen.

In his e-mail, Hájek, gave me some details that paint a pretty interesting picture. The story goes like this: Mr. Landergot, who is the current leaseholder, had decided to retire and to devolve the contract to one Mr. Benda, who's a member of the same association as him, Sdružení za zachování hostince U Černého vola (Association to preserve the pub U Černého vola). To do this he had to rescind his contract with Prague 1, the owners of the building…

Save the Black Ox!

U Černého Vola, an institution in the Prague beer scene and one of the finest dives in the city, if not the world, might soon cease to exist.

Unfortunately, this isn't due to the place doing bad or because some bureaucrat so decided. Quite the opposite, actually. The authorities of Prague 1 have said that they would like Vola to stay as it is, but their hands are tied by the law. Prague 1 is the building's landlord and someone has offered to rent the premises for 400,000CZK a year, which is more than the current tenants can afford, and the must accept the highest bid.

Currently, U Černého Vola is run by a non-for profit organisation that donates all revenues to a school for handicapped children. The wannabe tenants are Plzeňský Restaurant, who, if I'm not wrong, have several restaurants in Prague and around.

I'm not going to go all Occupy Wall Street on you here. I believe in Capitalism (the real one, not the travesty governments have allowed bankers and speculators to…

A great idea for a Christmas present

Do you want to buy someone a really special Christmas gift? How about a book, you can never go wrong with a book, specially one that is not only great fun to read, but also practical for anyone planning to come to Prague (or even dreaming about it).

But that's not it. You can get that wonderful, unique, fun (did I say it was fun?) book with a 30% DISCOUNT!!!
Yes, that's right! You can buy "Prague: A Pisshead's Pub Guide"(Certainly, the best guide of Prague written by an Argentine) with a 30% DISCOUNT. But hurry up, you have until tomorrow.

So go to this page, My Author's Page at Lulu.com pick the book the whichever version you want (did you know? Now it's available in e-book format for the I-Pad!) and enter this discount code WINTERSAVE305 during the purchase. Your loved one will love it!

Na Zdravi!

Thoughts after a couple of early pints

I love Kaaba, in Lucemburská. It's a small café in a quiet, tree-lined, side street of Vinohrady with an intimate atmosphere and fantastic soundtrack. Or at least that's how I find it on Tuesday and Thursday mornings when I go for an early pint or two of very well tapped Polička Hradební Tmavé, one of the finest exponents of one of the most underrated Czech beer categories, tmavé výčepní. Much of that atmosphere is generated by the štamgasty, who are a pretty colourful bunch. It's really fantastic to sit down and chat about history, films, music, Argentina, politics and what have you with people like a retired Mariner, an Investigative Journalist or the Chairman of the Czech Monarchist Party while listening to Cream, Tom Waits, Max Raabe or Chet Baker.

This wouldn't be possible without the figure of the owner, a pretty interesting bloke himself, with a theatre background (not acting) and great taste for music, and with whom it's also very interesting to talk.

The o…

Selected Readings: November

For a change, I'm on time this month. It feels good! But enough bollocks, let's go through last month's best beer bits.

Velký Al is not too happy with what he read about Pale Lagers in an article published by American newspaper. The author, one Steve Body, a.k.a. "The Pour Fool", is one of those people who speaks with authority about a topic he doesn't understand, nor is he interested in learning much about, which isn't so much foolish as it is stupid. On the other hand, it's good to know that publishing bollocks about beer isn't exclusive to the Spanish speaking press.

Of all the people involved in the beer industry, from the suppliers of raw materials to the final consumer, nobody has the chance to feel the market better than the owners of specialised bars and shops. That is why when someone like 2D2dspuma offer their (extensive) point of view about what the new brewers should consider when putting together their product portfolio, it's a goo…