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Prague's best according to experts

IN, a lifestyle magazine that comes out with the Wednesday Edition of Hospodářské Noviny, one of the most important newspapers in the Czech Rep., has published a list with the 10 best places to have a beer in Prague.

This ranking was put together with the help of a jury of 15 personalities. Each one of them was asked to send their own Top 10, which should consider the condition and quality of the beers, regardless of brands, price or business model, as well as other reasons why they like them, with the food being left out of the equation.

Based on those lists, Tomáš Wehle, the author of the article, ordered the ranking assigning points to each hospoda with the following system: 6 points for each first place, 5 for each second, 4 for each third, 3 for each fourth, 2 for each fifth, and 1 for each sixth to tenth places.

I don't usually give much relevance to most Top X lists, but this one is a bit different because I was one of the members of the jury. I can't even begin to explain you what an honour it is for me to have collaborated with this ranking to see my name among those of people of the caliber of Jan Šurán (one of the most respected and influential Brew Masters in the country), Ladislav Jákl (the controversial Secretary of the President of the Czech Republic and a renown beer connoisseur), Evan Rail, Martin Kuciel (author of, the most read Czech food blog) or Pavel Mauer (author and publisher of the most influential restaurant guide here).

But enogh chest beating already. This is what the ranking looks like:

1-   Zlý Časy 51 p
2-   Zubatý Pes 33 p
3-   První Pivní Tramway 29p
4-5 Pivovar U Bulovky 21p
4-5 Lokál Dlouhá 21p
6-   Pivovarský Klub 19p
7-   U Jelínků 18p
8-9 U Hrocha 13p
8-9 Lokál U Bílé kuželky 13p
10- U Pinkasů 12p

Personal preferences aside, I don't think anyone can be surprised by Zlý Časy's first place. I was a bit surprised, though, by the position of Zubatý Pes, not because it's undeserved, Mike is doing a great job with that pub, but because it opened only a couple of months ago in a less than ideal location. Another interesting point is that only one Pilsner Urquell pub has made it to the top five, while there are four among the bottom five, an indication, perhaps of what the current trend is, a trend that I hope will keep on growing.

And what do you think? What other hospody would you include on this list?

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  1. An interesting list, more so for the legendary pubs that are not that list! No U Fleku? U Medvidku? U Zlateho Tygra?

    You can tell a pub scene is excellent when you can leave places like that off the list.

    Damn it I miss Prague.

  2. Good point! I was really surprised when I saw that Tygra wasn't on the list, not so much U Fleku, though, it's got a (rather well deserved) dodgy reputation and I don't know anyone who goes there. And there are also a few of the newer places that should have made it, but that are probably not so well known yet, Kulový Blesk and U Slovanské Lípy, just to mention two.

  3. I thisk Zly Casy is a truely deserved no! but as i have not been to all the places mentiond I can't fully comment.
    One Pub I did enjoy downing a few ins was U Veverky,great beer and great service,type of place I wish was a short walk from where I live.

  4. U Veverky is definitely my favourite PU pub. It's a great place all round (not on my personal Top 10, though).

  5. I think it´s a bit of a strange ranking. I find it difficult to compare multi-tap pubs like Zly Casy and Zubaty Pes with PU traditional pubs, and also with microbreweries like U bulovky (and the absent, but for me excellent, Basta - U bansethu). They are basically 3 totally different type of establishments. I personally prefer microbreweries, for example. Maybe next year they should make different categories...

  6. U Rotundy, unless it's changed recently.

  7. It hasn't, fortunately, it's the same dive (pity I don't like Staropramen, though).

  8. It's definitely hard to compare places that emphasis variety to places with centuries of history and just one beer.. It's worth mentioning in this regard that the article itself says the sole criterion was to be how the beer is treated, i.e. how well it's taken care of, poured, etc., though I can't imagine it being easy to keep the other factors out of your head.

  9. We were also asked to consider other things that make us like those places, which is, I believe, quite important. Technical factors aside, a beer will taste better at a place where you fell more comfortable.

  10. Looking at the list of people judgung the beer holes, I could guess who is going to win and which places will be taken by Aliance PIV:)

  11. You are just jealous they didn't ask you...;)

  12. Well, I could have guessed that comment too:)

  13. I would be happy to be considered for the judging panel next year,completely independant and looking at it from a foreigners angle and from a slightly different drinking culture.
    An all expenses paid trip to try out all the shortlisted pubs would be for me a real challenge but one I am willing to take up in the cuase of impartiallity and fairness.:)

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  15. Pretty nice list. I don't really know pubs in 6-10th place much, but the top 5 is excellent.

    I am also quite surprised by Zubaty pes. I thought it's just a place a few people know about and a bit under the radar.

    My missing places are Kulovy Blesk (!), U Bansethu and Sokolovna.

  16. Agree with you on Kulový Blesk 100%. I think it's a bit under the radar, unfortunately.

    I don't know about U Bansethu, though. The PU pub is very good, but I don't think their Urquell is better than in a number of other places. The brewpub, on the other hand, I love the place, and when their beers are in good shape, they can be wonderful, but they still have consistency issues that U Bulovky, or Strahov, don't have.

  17. Forgive my incredulity - how on 's green earth is it possible not to "know much" about U Pinkasu?????

  18. to PF - Kulovy Blesk might be under radar, but not that much. It is super difficult nowadays to find a place there without reservation. Crazy.

    By U Bansethu, I meant the brewpub Sousedsky pivovar ( I haven't been in the PU pub, but I think they are connected somehow.

    to AL - I am very ashamed now, but I've really never been at U Pinkasu. Sorry, I will try to redeem myself as soon as possible...

  19. Hi

    It's been far too long since my last trip to Prague, so I'm really looking forward to spending four days in this beautiful city in January, sampling the greatest beer in the world. My favourite haunts around the centre which do not appear,perhaps surprisingly, in the top 10 listed are: Branik Formanka, U Zlateho Tygra (best pub in the world imo),U Cerneho Vola, and U Dvou Locek. I will bear in mind the numerous pubs recommended on your excellent site for my next trip.

  20. After living in Prague for almost 10 years I have to say Kulovy Blesk is the best place to drink beer in Prague year round. Even better in the summer except for the street noise. It always has a smaller selection than Zlý Casy but better choices and better food! U Bulovky made the best 12 degree ležák in the past but now young boys are making it so it's not even close to what Mr. Richter used to make. I find the results the same at many Prague minipivovary nowadays because of Mr. Richter's past supreme standards. The past year it seems to me many Czech mini-pivovary have gotten very inconsistent. I've lost count how many times I've been disappointed, even at Pivovar Antoš outside of Prague. For fresh tankovna Pilsner I recommend U Jagušky near Palmovka as their food is very good too. To hell with Prague 1 and those overpriced Pilsner tourist traps! After winter ends I recommend the beer gardens of U Bašta and Pivo a Parek. In winter, thank God for U Rokytky, Na Palme and Hrom do Police where I am never disappointed. Oh and one more place, Vinný Raj, where I can always find the freshest Opat in Prague. Na zdraví. JKAnPRG


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