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Showing posts from April, 2012

Sad news from Žižkov

U Slovanské Lípy , at least in its current form, will cease to exist as of this Saturday 5/5. I've known about this for a few weeks already. I had seen it mentioned in , but before saying anything here I thought I would ask Michal. He confirmed the news, but also asked me to keep it quiet at  least until they had sorted things out with the new people who'd run the place, which, I've been announced, has already been done. The reason is, basically, tiredness. Michal told me that it hadn't been an easy decision, but the fact was that they were not up to it anymore and that he chose to keep doing the hostel upstairs, which also gives him plenty of work, but in more civilised hours. I can't blame him. I know very well how hard it is to make a pub or restaurant work, the sacrifice and the constant worries that a tiny mistake can  royally fuck everything up. So I wish him, his team and his family, all the best for the future and also to make public my utmo

Prescriptivists vs Descriptivists

The other day, published a great article about Grammar mistakes that aren't actually so . In the Closing thoughts there was this bit: "(There is) a war between prescriptivist grammarians and descriptivist grammarians (...) I'll briefly describe both sides, probably unfairly: Prescriptivists document the rules of grammar, and sometimes, when no one's looking, make them up entirely. They also feel the need to enforce the rules of grammar, and in particular advocate that these rules and definitions shouldn't change. They argue this for a variety of reasons, but those usually boil down to "Otherwise, civilization will evaporate into an orgy of orgy-themed game shows and fad diets that consist entirely of eating each other's flesh." Descriptivists also document the rules of grammar, but don't particularly care when they're violated, because fuck rules, man. And if the rules ever do change, descriptivists simply shrug and write

A couple of things I've heard

Zlý Časy is getting bigger and will have 12 x 2 more taps. Hanz told me the other day that he was finishing the details to take over the dive upstairs (you know, the one with Staropramen, where some people ended up thinking they were going to the cult pub). The entrance will change, the space will be enlarged by knocking down a wall or two and a set of 12 taps will be installed. The other 12 taps will go to what is today the patio, which will be refurbished so it can also be used in winter. The new 24 taps will work like Pivovarsky Klub's, both sets will have the same 12 beers. This means that work in the upcoming Pivovar Trilobit in Kobylisy (Hanz's other project) have been put on hold at least until the works in Nusle are finished. Hanz was telling me all this, in great detail and with a lot of enthusiasm, while I was sipping the new Jubiler Mild Stout , from Pivovar Výškov . This beer, with its taxonomically confused name, reminded me of a couple of English Stouts I

A Must Read

"... brewers learned they could charge more for strong beer, considerably more than additional ingredients and labor would cost" I wonder if that isn't one of the reasons behind the extreme and other similar beers. Actually, the quote above is incomplete, it starts with "As far back as the sixteenth century..." and was taken from Brew Like a Monk , a wonderful book by Stan Hieronymus , and it's only one of the many passages I could quote here. Brew Like a Monk is a study of Trappist and Abbey beers and those they inspired in Belgium and the US. Is a book for audience with a more than basic knowledge of the brewing process, there is a lot of technical stuff (for example, there is a section that discusses the effect of the fermenter's geometry) and those who aren't familiar with it, at least in theory, will end up getting lost. Now, those of you who fulfill that "requirement" should not miss it! The bulk of the contents are the stori

Another way to see the "revolution"

Last week I discussed why I think "revolution" is too big a word for "craft beer" . Some people didn't agree and Jeff, of Beervana fame, left a comment saying why he believes that, at least in the US, there is a revolution going. Although he supported this with solid arguments and data, I'm still not convinced, but, as someone said elsewhere, it's all a matter of semantics, really. The following day, while I was reading this excellent article about the correlation between the fall of the Roman Empire and the rise of Islam, for some reason I remembered what I had read in Brew North , a history of brewing in Canada, and I thought that there might be another way to look at this phenomenon. As we all know, the fall of the Western Roman Empire wasn't something that happened from one day to the other. It was a long process that started in the fourth century, if not before, and was the result of many factors. I won't pretend expertise on the subj

Selected Readings: March

Another month gone, and another month that left some interesting stuff to read and think. We open the roundup with Boak&Bailey urging everyone to give yeasts the respect they deserve . There are brewers today that proudly announce what sort of hops they've used and (considerably fewer) others that every now and again tell us about the malts, but hardly anyone says anything about yeasts. Could it be that their names many times resemble post codes? This English couple completely changes the subject with this sort of open letter to the owners of a restaurant who put a lot of care into every detail until they come to the beer selection, that is. Change a few names and cultural references and they could easily be speaking about Prague, where most restaurant critics still don't give much of a toss about beer and the high priests of the local gastronomy want to sell us pseudo-Belgian crap as something "gourmet", which brings me to Alan's nagging . Most of the