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Hectic, but Beertastic day

I knew very well that last Wednesday was going to be a long day, but I never imagined it would be so hectic.

The only thing I had planned for that day was the Beer Dinner at Celéste that evening. Things started to change at the weekend when my great friend Gunnar wrote me saying he would be a few days in Prague. The only day I knew I was going to have any time was actually Wednesday, so we agreed to meet in the afternoon to at least have a couple of beers together.

Monday brought a new change. I had planned to go to the embassy to renew my passport, but it turned out that Monday and Tuesday were national holidays in Argentina and the embassy was closed. No big deal, I would have to go a bit earlier, which would mean that I could meet with Gunnar for a late lunch, too.

When I was on my way to the city I got a desperate call of another good friend, Hanz, owner of Zlý Časy. A surprise visit was on his way and he urgently needed someone who could help him to communicate with this person. I told him I would try to go there as soon as I could, but that it wouldn't be earlier than 2.30. I let Gunnar know about the change in plans, of course, he didn't have a problem with meeting at the Nusle beer temple.

The visitor was none other than Menno Olivier, a.k.a. Mr DeMolen, who had decided to make a stopover in Prague on his way to Moravia, where he was going to take a look at the brewery he had bought there.

Pavel Borowiec, chief editor of Pivo, Bier & Ale was already at there when I arrived, and when we all heard what Menno had just said our jaws almost broke the table. Actually, it was a minor misunderstanding. DeMolen won't brew in the Czech Republic, what they've bought here is the equipment that will be installed in the new facility they are building in Holland.

Anyway, Menno turned out to be a pretty nice guy who not only knows very well how to make beer, but also has the business side of things very clear (which is something that doesn't get the recognition in deserves). He agreed with Hanz to reinforce their partnership in oder to bring more beers from DeMolen and from other breweries Menno works with, and also, the possibility of organising a more formal presentation by the end of the year was also discussed.

Once Menno had left, not before leaving me a really nice present, a bottle of List&Bedrog aged in Bourbon barrels, and inviting me to the festival he organises in September (I would love to go), I was finally able to pay more attention to Gunnar, who also brought me a few goodies from his native Norway, among them, two bottles of the wonderful Norwegian Wood. In exchange of them, he received a selection of Czech beers that I hope he will also like.

As always, I had a great time with my friend. What a thing beer, it has given me the change to meet so many great people. Gunnar and I are two completely different people, different ages, different countries, different walks of life and lives in general, basically, the only thing we have in common is that we both like to drink beer, if it wasn't for that, we would have hardly become such good friends.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to spend with him as much time as I would have liked and had to leave to attend the original appointment I had for that day so, after the good byes and the hopes to see each other soon, I got on my way to Celéste.

I won't lie to you, the event wasn't a success from the attendance point of view. According to the restaurant's manager, that was mostly due to problems with the marketing and the web page. On the other hand, from the culinary point of view it was a big hit. Both the manager and the Chef were very happy with the results.

All the pairings worked wonderfully, the clients not only were very satisfied with them, but in some cases very surprised by them. There was even a French wine geek who ended up amazed by the match of Svijanský Rytíř and the foie gras terrine with pineapple and the one of smoked beer and the fish (which I must add, were both heavenly).

I also had a good time explaining the different pairings and answering the questions of the people and, needless to say, tasting each one of the courses.

As I say above, the people of Celéste ended up very happy and excited by the event and they've decided they want to do it on a regular basis, every three months and already that evening we started talking about working on the next one.

Despite being very tired, and surprisingly sober, few times I got back home so late, but in such good mood.

Na Zdraví!

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