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Showing posts from January, 2008

More anniversaries

The other day I spoke to you about the very good Jubiler 16.80% from Vyškov. Well, they weren't the only Moravians who decided to make a beer in honour to the year of the establishment of their pivovar. Because it was established in 1530, Černá Hora's beer is a bit less strong. It is fermented at 15.30°balling and ending at 6.3%ABV. The ideas might be similar, but the beers are incredibly different. When pouring the 1530 we see a beer with a very intense golden colour, almost orange; crowned with an almost ephimerous head, which might make some feel a bit uneasy. All fears dissappear when we get the glass closer to us. The nose is full of syrup and fresh fruit, with mild citrus notes; very summery aromas. The flavours are somehow expected, almost silky syrup, now joined by intense herbal notes. The finish is again syrup and fruit and leaves a pleasantly acid aftertaste that makes us drink more. In a way, it reminded me of Březňák's amazing Dopple-Dopple Bock , but not so i

The bear learns new tricks

Right before Christmas I stopped at U Medvídku to say hello to my friends there and to have a pint or two, of course. I was told then that they were lagering a new beer, a dark 16° that would be ready right after New Year's day. I asked Mr. Veselý about it and I would say that for an answer I got a bit of an early present. He went to the lagering room, brought a bottle and told the waiter to bring two small glasses. He wanted me to try an experiment he had done with this new beer. He wouldn't tell me what it was, but wanted to see if I could taste anything different in that beer. What I could taste was a beer that had similar characteristics to the OldGott but hoppier. It was not ready yet then, but it was possible to feel how good and interesting it would be. However, I could not feel anything particularly different. It turned out that Mr. Veselý had filled a few bottles with this beer after having put some prune in them. Once he told me so, I was able to put my finger on a f

Bear Magic

U Medvídku is a historic hospoda in the centre of Prague . It is one of those places very popular among Czechs as much as tourists. It has good prices for OK food and good service and very good Budvar on tap. It is a nice spot for session drinking. But that is not actually the best of the it. That is on the first floor. After walking through the massive rooms of the beer hall you come to a stairway that will lead you to a microbrewery, an a very special one at that. I like going there in the afternoons. Usually then there aren't too many people, and sometimes I am all alone. Something I like a lot, specially when Laďa, one of the waiters is there, he plays very good music instead of the usual Eurotrash radio that you can hear pretty much everywhere else, and we always have a good chat. They brew two beers regularly (maybe they will be three, more on that later), OldGott Barique and X33. And you can see while they are making them because the tables are right at the brewery proper. O

What a team!!

It has already become a habit for the third Tuesday of every month, attending a beer tasting in the cellar of Pivovarský Klub. This time, the beers that were presented were those from Náchod. I arrived a bit early to be able to secure my favorite place at the bar, and reserve one for Evan, who was on his way. I said hello to the people from the klub, took a seat and was offered the welcome drink. This time, instead of the usual bottled lager, it was a brand new beer that had arrived in Prague for the first time, Pikard tmavý, from the new brewpub Zamecký Minipivovar Ostrava. This microbrewery is located at the Zábřeh chateau and was opened in september last year. This dark, unfiltered beer was brewed with three kinds of malt and some of the hops were replaced by calamus. The result is a pretty interesting beer, with a sweet coffee and tropical fruit nose. We still feel the coffee when drinking it, now joined by mild caramel and herbal notes, the finish is short, but leaves nicely acid

Some serious beer hunting in Prague

Most people come to Prague to wander in those magic little streets and to see the many historical monuments that make this a very special city. There are others, however, that make it here to drink the world famous Czech beer right at its source. There are thousands of pubs, restaurants and cafés, some better than others, but all seem to offer the same three or four brands. I want to help you discover a bit more about Czech beer with a guide that will take you around much of the town, and will make you have some unforgettable beer experiences. Or so I hope. I have divided this guide in five days. Those of you not lucky enough to be able to stay in Prague that long, will sure find a way to taste as much as possible in the time you have. Day 1: Starting with the basics . Yes, they are known all over the world, but you will never be able to enjoy Pilsner Urquell or Budvar as here in the Czech Republic. So, before going too deep into the fascinating world of České Pivo, you should star

Those lucky Germans

Versión en español Pivovar Velké Březno and the region where it is located, Ustecký Kraj, have an interesting and troubled history. This region in the northwest of the Czech Republic used to be also called Sudenteland. The alleged persecution that the German ethnic majority suffered from the Czechs where used as an excuse for Nazi Germany to annex Czeckoslovaquia (not without the cowardly permission from France and the UK). During the brutal German occupation things didn't change much for the brewery, it was owned by Germans. In fact, they went pretty well, since it supplied beer to the Afrika Korps. Once the war was over and the German population deported, the brewery became state property. And would remain so until the fall of the Communist regime. Nowadays the brewery is part of the Drinks Union group, that also owns three more breweries (Zlatopramen, Louny and Kutná Hora) as well as a couple of brands of spirits. In the last few years some of the beers of the group have enjoy

Almost in paradise....

Versión en español After a long three month wait the day of our visit to Chodová Plána finally arrived. The reason for going to such a boring corner of the Czech Republic was the beer spa run by Chodovar , the local brewery. After two hours by car, we made it to the hotel U Sladka. A nice building that looks recently renovated. Wanting to make the weekend a bit more special, my love and I had booked the romantic package called Pivní lázně z lásky (beer spa with love) that included accommodation for two nights with breakfast, beer spa, massage, brewery tour and a bottle of sekt with chocolates waiting for us in the room. We liked what we saw when we got to the room. It was spacious with big windows to the courtyard and clean and modern looking furniture, which fortunately was not in the "Breznev Chic" style so common in many Czech hotels. On the double bed there were rose petals (artificial, but still a nice touch) and on a little table, chocolates and candles. The bathroom ha


Versión en español Ferdinanda is located about a 100m Vaclavák, yet it is more for locals than four tourists (though they are more than welcome). Until recently, even going to the loo would test your knowledge of Czech. Instead of having the usual and internationally understood icons, they just had an I for the boys room and a Y for the girls room; Ferdinandi being the male plural and Ferdinandy being the female. That presented most foreigners (and not few Czechs after a few beers) with a bit of a problem. Unfortunately, that has been corrected, the usual icons are on the doors and the fun is gone. The place has two floors with a pretty big non smoking room upstairs. It is in a turn of the century building, so the ceilings are high and the windows big. The furniture is of light colour hardwood, almost rustic. What catches your attention, however, are the accessories, metal buckets and funnels for lamps, rakes for coat hangers, small metal dustpans for ashtrays and hammers with a thick

A reason to celebrate

Versión es español I will never forget the first time I drank Jubiler. I was having lunch with a friend and we decided to go to Pivní Galerie. It was a few days before Christmas and he needed to buy a couple of beer presents. When we arrived there we went straight to the back to see which two beers they had on tap that day. Jubiler was one of them. I didn't know it, so I had to see what it was about. It blew my mind, and my friend's as well. We had a couple more and we started to feel the effects. When asking what its Balling graduation was, we were very surprised when told that it was 17! Actually, it is a bit less, 16.80. Which is not by chance, 1680 is the year when Pivovar Vyškov was established and the beer was brewed in 2005 to celebrate the breweries 425th anniversary. According to what I heard, Jubiler was only going to be brewed for the occasion, but such was its success among beer fans that, thanks to all the gods, the brewery decided to add it to their regular lineup

Richter Brewery Pub

Versión en español Richter Brewery Pub or Pivovar u Bulovky is not a place that you will find by chance while having a leisurely stroll. It is rahter far from the centre. The easiest and fastest way to get there is taking Metro B to Palmovka and from there another few more minutes by tram (10, 24, 25) to the stop Bulovka, then you will still have to walk another 100m or so. A friend who had been there at a concert recommended it. I had never been in the area (and, honestly, was not missing much), so I had to do a bit of research on the internet to find it (my friend didn't remember the exact location). I finally decided to go one day and, actually, I walked past without noticing it. This hospoda does not announce itself with much fuss, so if you are a bit distracted you could be standing right at the door and still wonder where it is. It's not a very big place that in a way feels more like a German bierstübe than a classic Czech hospoda. The walls and the bar are paneled with d