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Showing posts from October, 2013

Welcome ambition

“Passion”, “following a dream” are words you often hear associated with new brewing enterprises, but you hardly ever hear “ambition” mentioned. I wonder why. It might be because many an alternative brewer would like us to believe that they aren't “commercial”, that they don't make beer for money, but for flavour or other bollocks along those lines; as if wanting to get rich working was something to be frowned upon. To me, however, ambition is, to some extent, much more important than passion. Someone ambitious is more likely to know what they are doing and what they are getting into, to have a plan, and to know what is necessary to do in order to succeed. In the local beer ecosystem, at least as far as Prague and its immediate surroundings is concerned, that would be making beer of good quality, having a good brand and knowing how to sell it, and I believe Zemský Akciový Pivovar meets that criteria quite well. I first saw Zemské Pivo in one of the 48 taps at Zlý Časy . W

Time to relax

It'd be unfair to say the day's been crap. It hasn't. It's been one of those average days that leaves a funny taste, almost like biting on a lemon pip while eating an otherwise forgettable salad. Fortunately, it's coming to an end. Dinner's been eaten, and enjoyed by the family, and now it's time to slowly disconnect my brain while watching some telly. Or at least that's what I would do if there was anything I'd like to watch. My wife has chosen one of those formulaic romantic films that I find so boring, but my wife likes watching until she falls asleep. I want to relax, not get bored. Getting bored in front of the telly has the opposite effect, more so when my mood is far from the ideal. So I choose to go upstairs to watch something, read something or listen to something on my PC Listen to something, that's what I'll do! And I believe doing it in the company of a beer is a really neat idea. What can I listen? Some early Tom Waits?

Got anything to do on Nov. 2?

When we did the beer dinner at Céleste more than two years ago , the plan was to repeat the experience in the near future. Life got on the way, unfortunately, and it wasn't possible, until now. There are a few changes this time. It will not be a weekday dinner, but a Saturday lunch; instead of one beer per course, three of them will be paired with two. As last time, I was in charge of choosing a bunch of beers, though now it was a bit more challenging as I had to work around a menu that had been already defined. But it was still a lot of fun, especially the part where, together with the chef, we went through each of the courses in order to put together the pairings (once again, the biggest surprise was how well the smoked beer went with the fish!). Beer (or any beverage) and food pairings are for me a culinary game whose only (loose) rule is that the beverage should not overwhelm the food; other than that, anything goes. Having the first three courses paired with two beers i

Friday Craft Musings

So the boys at BrewDog are making a serious attempt at a corporate takeover of “Craft Beer”, a public domain brand. According to this press release (sorry, companies don't write blogs) they want to put an official, industry definition: ... firstly to protect craft brewers and what we are building; secondly to guide consumers in this new and emerging category in the UK; thirdly to ensure that true craft brewers can charge a fair and sustainable price for their masterpieces; and fourthly to enable craft beers to grow as strongly in the UK as they have in America. And the definition they propose is the following: A European Craft Brewery: 1) Is Small. Brews less than 500,000 HL annually. *see point 3 below 2) Is Authentic. a) brews all their beers at original gravity b) does not use rice, corn or any other adjuncts to lessen flavour and reduce costs  3) Is Honest. a) All ingredients are clearly listed on the label of all of their beers. b) The place where the beer is

The tale of the dodgy pint and the hidden gem

Going to new places, I love that. I love the excitement of walking through a door for the first time, always hoping to find the next great pub or café; or at least getting to know someone with an interesting story to tell. Unfortunately, I don't have as much disposable time or income as I used to, and whatever I have I prefer to spend on the comfort of certainty rather than the adventure of the unknown. Work, however, sometimes takes me to uncharted territories, or rather, territories that haven't been charted for a long time, an opportunity I always embrace. Last Wednesday I finished with a class near the park Klamovka, in Prague 5, and had more than 1 hour to kill before I had to go see a new client in Petřiny, great excuse to pay a visit to Zahradní Restaurace Klamovka . It was one of those gorgeously sunny, early autumn days, but it was a bit too chilly to sit outside in the shade; a pity, as Klamovka has one of the nicest beer gardens in town. I would have to drink in