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Showing posts from March, 2016

Back to the roots reviews: Pivovar Narodní & Pivovar U Dobřenských

As a personal policy, and unless I'm given a good reason to do otherwise, I wait at six months before I decide to give a new brewery my money. My days as a novelty chaser and ticker gone, and I want to have some degree of certainty when I buy a beer; there's plenty of very good stuff on the market to waste time financing crap.

That time has passed (a month or two ago, actually) and, not having any reason to do otherwise, I decided to finally pay visit to Pivovar Narodní and Pivovar U Dobřenských; both, brewpubs making beer happen in Prague's Old Town since last summer.

Pivovar Narodní actually opened its doors in spring, basically next door to the National Theatre, but it would take them another couple of months to fire up the mash tun. They weren't particularly open about that fact, and the beers they sold were from Kácov; whether it was something contract-made or relabelled is not clear. The brewing gear, by the way, is originally from the now closed brewpub in Průho…

The Tram Beer Challenge (5): Nákladové nádraží Žižkov - Perunova - I.P. Pavlova

Well, fuck!

I knew fate would eventually bring me to a stop I've been before. I was only hoping it wouldn't be so soon; and to Perunova of all places! (and I'm still burping U Kozla's cellar)

The problem here, and one I didn't take into account my first time around, is that the tram stops are very close together, even the ones in Vinohradská, which restraints me even more (in fact, I cocked up when I went to Restaurace Orion, but it's too late to bother about that now).

The nearest place is a rock bar that only sells Pilsner Urquell in 0.4l measures. I'd rather drink a full portion of Staropramen, which is what I will have to do, I reckon, at U Michála.

It looks like the kind of pub I would probably avoid even if it was the only one in town. Not only because of the brand they sell, it's simply unattractive an uninviting. It's quite small, with a Spartan decoration; almost as if they'd just moved and they were still waiting for some boxes to be…

Pivní Quinceañera

Černokostelecký Pivovár is inviting everyone to their 15th anniversary party next Saturday 19/3, and, if you are around, you shouldn't miss it. Seriously.
What these people have done is nothing short of amazing. 15 years ago they took over the ruins of a brewery that had been shut down by the Communists in the 1980s, and they've been carefully, slowly and painstakingly restoring it ever since.

Unlike most of the other “phoenix breweries”, Černokostelecký Pivovár is one of the few where the brewhouse wasn't scrapped after it was shut down. And the best about it? It could be said it's the heart of the restoration works and it should soon (this year, maybe, Vodouch?) come back to life. Now, bear in mind that this is not your puny, automated, computerised gear that you can see at pretty much every microbrewery. No, this is a 160 hl wood or coal fired bugger with two 80 hl coolships under the roof, and they will use it all for making beer. Even cynic cunt like me must ackno…

A Postscript

Fuck me sideways! How could I have forgotten about it when I wrote yesterday's post! It only hit my mind like a bitch slap from a primary school bully in the evening, when I was making dinner, and it's the best evidence to support my argument that in the Czech beer discourse, minipivovar = Craft Beer.

Do you remember last year's Gambrinus marketing stunt? With the fake Pivovar Patron, what Gambrinus wanted to prove (or at least so they claim) was that, stripped of prejudice, their beers were every bit as good as those from minipivovary.

I reviewed media coverage of the campaign and I wasn't able to find a single mention of řemeslné pivo(var), not even in blogs and fora; minipivovar, in contrast, appears in every article and post. I also watched the official video of the “big reveal” where actorsrandom consumers say that Patron tastes like something from a malý pivovar.

This is clear proof that, even for marketing illusionists, mini/maly pivovar means a lot more than…

The redundancy of "Řemeselné pivo(var)"

As someone who makes a living out of languages and loves to have fun with them, I facepalmed when I read the press release of Česká a Moravská Pivní Koruna. Not because of who was awarded (disclaimer: in January, the organisers asked me to nominate 10 minipivovaru, which I did, and then invited me to be part of the jury that would choose the winners, which I wasn't, so I don't know what criteria was applied; in any case it's irrelevant), but because of what they were awarded for: being the best Craft Pivovary in the country.

Craft Pivovar? What the lagering fuck is that?

I'd heard it mentioned in certain beer circles and I always dismissed it as “bollocks people say”. This is the first time, however, that I've seen it printed in an “official fashion”, but it doesn't make it any less stupid; quite the contrary, in fact. It is also further proof of how silly and redundant the ”řemeselné pivovar” denomination is, and has always been.

Last week, when I commented th…