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Showing posts from February, 2015

Well, would you look at that

To be perfectly honest, I don't think I would bother to go to Haštalský dědek if it wasn't the only pub in Prague where I can redeem the vouchers Heineken sends me for their seasonal beers. It's not that there's something particularly wrong with it (though, being greeted by a soundtrack composed by a Czech pop radio isn't particularly right, either), but, like many other restaurants and bars in hotels, it feels like a mandatory feature, and not something that could, or should, stand on its own feet—something you can almost breathe. But there I was the other day, holding a voucher for two pints of Krušovice Kazbek Ležák . I wasn't really planning to go, but my schedule changed almost at the last moment and I told myself “why not?”, I was, after all, a bit curious about this new beer. Perhaps, curiosity notwithstanding, my expectations weren't very high, but I really liked this single-hop pale lager! I loved how they used this newish Czech hop cultivar (w

A happy reunion

It's something that must've happened to everyone. You're friends with someone, close friends, even. You've known them for years, and have spent a lot of time together, but then life starts drifting you apart. There's no apparent reason for it; you're both still living in the same city and neither has done anything could have made the other angry. In fact, you probably can't even tell when things changed because you didn't notice until they've become just another status update on Facebook, and you can't remember when was the last time you went for a beer together. That's pretty much what happened to me with Primátor Weizenbier , one of my favourite beers at some point, and the first Weizen I developed a relationship with (and my relationship with wheat beers could have hardly had worse start). I loved that beer, and I drank it often, but for some reason or another, I can't really tell you why, it fell off my usual rotation. I thought ab

The Session #96 - Festivals

A few years ago I may have responded to the topic of this month's Session, hosted by the English version of Birraire , in a different way. But now festivals are something that don't excite me anymore. Crowds and queuing aren't very much my thing, and I don't like the sort of consumerism they promote, especially the bigger ones that brag about having hundreds, if not thousands of different beers. It's not that I have something against them, mind you, like with romantic films, I'm simply not their audience. Those very, very few that I attend, I like them more for the atmosphere and the people I know I'll find there than for the beers; after all, good, interesting beers is something I can find any day, without hardly any effort. In other words, a festival is to me not much more than a glorified beer garden. This is, by the way, the reason why I adamantly refuse to pay an admission ticket for a festival, be it overt or covert. Pubs and beer gardens won'

Hostinec U Tunelu - Love at first sight

Love at first pint, that's something that's happened to me quite a few times. I think you know what I mean, you walk into a pub for the first time, without really knowing what to expect, but when you're sipping your first beer, you realise you've come to the right place. Love at first sight with a pub, however, that's something I don't remember ever happening to me until I stumbled upon Hostinec U Tunelu  a couple of months back. I had been in Lower Žižkov that afternoon, doing some research for the upcoming second edition of the Pisshead's Pub Guide*. After finishing at U Slovanské Lípy, instead of taking the bus or walking to Florenc, I decided to go to Karlín through the tunnel and then catch the tram to Dejvice in Sokolovská. And there I found it, as its name implies, right by the exit of the tunnel. It had only recently replaced a namesake pub I had never felt compelled to patronise. Gone were the Gambrinus signs that covered the large windows;