23 Jul 2015

The Proper Glass


There are still fools out there who insist that each beer style has its proper glass. They're liars! All of them, without exception.

The proper glass to properly taste any beer is this
Anything else is a compromise.

Na Zdraví!

15 Jul 2015

A Beer Run in Příbram


My wife is from Příbram, she goes often to visit her dad and some chores for him—he's old and not in the best health. I don't. I don't like that town at all, and I limit my visits to two a year, which is two more than I would like. Last Saturday was one of those visits. We went to celebrate my father-in-law's birthday together with the rest of my family-in-law.

This time, though, I had a plan. After a so-so lunch at a restaurant with a waiter who committed unspeakable acts against beer, and eating the cake, I told my wife I'd go for a walk—to Pivovar Podlesí, just outside town, and about 3.5 km from the old man's house.

It was a fairly warm day, but the walk, though far from pretty, wasn't hard, and I was standing in front of the brewpub half an hour later.

Pivovar Podlesí opened in late 2013. I'd only had one of their beers, an IPA, that had been surprisingly good, especially for a new brewery, but I hadn't heard much about the rest of what they brew (and the IPA wasn't on duty that day). It could be said that I didn't quite know what to expect. But there I was, glad to have escaped the family meeting, at least for a while, and thirsty as fuck.
The lively garden in the front looked nice, and tempting, but I want to have a good view to the bar whenever I go to a new pub, so I sat inside.

The brewhouse is next to the entrance to the pub, on the left, behind a partition with a window overlooking the taproom, diagonal to the bar proper. There's another, bigger, room in the back that didn't look bad, but was totally empty. I had to take a table there; in the taproom one of the tables was reserved for the štamgasty and there was notebook open on the other, and the bar didn't have stools. It didn't matter, from where I was sitting I could still see what the tapster was doing.
As appropriate, I opened the session with the house's desítka, Brdonoš. Lovely piece of work that was! Granted, after walking 3,5 km in a warm afternoon pretty much anything called pivo would have tasted good, and the first third of my pint almost vanished down my throat. But I can still tell you that it was perfect, without a hint of caramelised malts—just like a proper desítka should be, if you ask me.
With that beer alone, Pivovar Podlesí had already earned my respect. I wouldn't have minded sticking to it for the rest of the afternoon, but I wanted to see what the other three on tap were like.

Climbing the Plato ladder was Podlesní Ležák. It looked the same as the one before; if I hadn't been looking at the tapster I would've believed that they'd screwed my order. It did have a bit of a fuller mouth feel, though, and it was dull, at first. It took the beer a few sips to feel comfortable in my company, and by the second half of the půl litr I was really lovin' it! (another example of why I don't believe tasting samples are enough to properly appreciate a beer, any beer). It had the same features as its smaller sibling, but two degrees more assertive. A fantastic beer! (an impression that was reinforced by the PET bottle I took home).
Mikeš, a Tmavá 13º was the next in line, and the one I liked the least. The way it managed to walk a fine line between sweet and roasty was interesting and fun, but I prefer my dark beer with more flesh on their bones and this one was too much on the thin side for me. Very well made, to be fair, but not entirely to my taste.
The last beer on the list was Summer Fresh, a 10º Ale. I hesitated a little. Czech Ejly are a mixed, often disappointing, bunch, and I only had time for one more pint. Then I remembered that IPA, perhaps I could order a small glass? Oh fuck it! I told myself. With beers like this, anything less than half litre is a waste of time. And if it turns out not to be good, tough luck.

Fortunately for me and everyone involved, my fears turned out to be in vain. The beer was marvellous; a proper, and very delicious Ale, with the hops (Citra perhaps?) speaking in a perfectly clear voice (no need to shout when you have something interesting to say), politely leaving some room to the malts to say their bit. And at 32CZK a half litre!
Overall, I was massively impressed by Pivovar Podlesí, and did the walk back in a very good mood (having 2l of beer under my belt may have helped). I won't say I'm looking forward to my next visit to Příbram, but it's good to know that this brewpub is there when that happens, and I will definitely be in the lookout for their beers here in Prague.

Na Zdraví!

Pivovar Podlesí
49.6898747N, 13.9820456E
Podlesí 139 – Příbram
info@pivovarpodlesi.cz - +420 604 254 574
Mon-Thu, Sun: 10:30-22, Fri-Sat: 10:30-24