And if we are speaking about a place we've never been before, uncertainty should be added to all of the above. A cellar hasn't got a front or windows, there's nothing that can gives us at least an idea of what awaits us. Just a door, an impassive piece of wood that won't reveal what's hiding behind it challenging us to overcome our fears and discover it ourselves.
U Kacíře - The Heretic*, is one of those pubs. It's not too deep, only a dozen or so steps below Manésova. If you take the challenge of the door you find an inviting place, well lit and with warm colours. To the right there's the non-smoking room, to the left, the smoking room, both are separated by the bar, which has a sort of U shape cut in the middle by the wall that separates the non-smokers. Nice.
|Foto (c) U Kacíře|
As usual when I go for a pint alone, and specially if it's at a new place, I take a seat at the bar. It helps me get an idea of how well the staff treats the beers and there's always the chance to start a conversation with them or with any other patron that happens to be perched there.
The bloke at the bar is pretty busy and won't say much, but this Kout is wonderfully done. It's not only that what shows the respect this man has for his beers (within the possibilities, all the 30l kegs are below the bar). Mi Kout must be the first he's tapping today, the pub opens at four and it's only quarter past or so. He pours about half a pint that goes straight into the drain. The ritual will be repeated with some of the other beers as more people come. Trubáč, the beer that is left in the pipes from the day before, something that should never make it to the patron's glass, but quite often does. Not at U Kacíře it seems. Good.
There are other nine beers besides this monument to the national beverage I'm enjoying now. Kout 12º (filtered), three from Žatec and the rest, an assortment from K Brewery. Nowadays, this mix won't rise many eyebrows, it's almost par for the course, I would say. But this Kout 10º (already in its second pint) tastes so sinfully delicious, and Žatec Tmavé isn't too shabby, either, straightforward, subtle, some chocolate and a pinch of roast and as well served as the other.
A familiar face walks in. A woman who used to work at Zlý Časy and is now using all she learnt at Nusle's beer temple here in Vinohrady. I stay a půl litr longer than I had planned. I'm starting to feel almost like at home, as happy as a pig in a pub. We talk about this and that and I'm glad to hear the place is doing quite well considering it opened only two months ago. The good job these people are doing should be enough to guarantee success, I hope I'm right.
If you happen to be in the neighbourhood (and also if you don't, this pub is right next to the Jiřího z Poděbrad Metro station) drop by at U Kacíře and see it for yourselves.
Pivní Šenk U Kacíře
Manésova 87 - Prague-Vinohrady
+420 252 545 454
Mon-Fri: 16-?? Sat-Sun 17-??
*Yeah, I know, the title of this post is kind of crappy, I couldn't come out with anything better. On the other hand, only a few years ago a pub with 10 taps, all with different beers, would have been almost a heresy, an apostasy to the pivní status quo. Fortunately, those days are gone.
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