I needed to have my computer serviced, which meant that I would have to do without it for a couple of days, which meant that I wouldn’t be able to do much else than fuck all at home. The thing had been acting up for some time already – some issue with the hard drive* – and I’d decided to wait until I finished with a couple of big projects I was working on, always hoping it wouldn’t give up on me.
It didn’t, and the timing could not have been any better. With the covid restrictions on all the fun stuff mostly lifted,, and the weather finally nice, now I had the perfect excuse to take a couple of much needed days off to partake in one of my favourite activities: getting a train or a bus somewhere to go on a long walk in nature, with a brewery as destination. I’ve done several, mostly alone, in the two years since the divorce and they’ve always been great, even on the occasions when the beer at the end of the road wasn’t all that good; it didn’t matter, my mind was clear, I was pleasantly tired and I don’t think there’s a beer shit enough to ruin that sense of accomplishment.
This time I would go from Ustí nad Labem to Litoměřice, a 21 km hike. The distance wasn’t an issue, I’ve done longer walks (the longest was 29 km), what had me a bit concerned was the difficulty, especially considering that, other than walking around in Prague and once doing the 13 km from my place to Únětický pivovar, I hadn’t done much in the almost half year prior, and more than half of the distance to my destination would be uphill – all my walks so far had been on pretty much flat terrain. I was looking forward to it.
It was shortly after 9:30 when I arrived in Ustí. I went around the centre in search of a coffee shop to kill time until 10:30, the opening time of the starting point of the trip proper.
Pivovar Na Rychtě opened in 2010 or 11, and I remember seeing a few good reviews at the time. However, like most other minipivovary that are largely a local affair, it didn’t take long for it to fall to the wayside of the conversation, especially since they’ve never seemed to care too much about trends. The thing is, though, that the few references I had come across since hadn’t been very promising. Regardless, it’d been a while since I’d heard anything, I was hopeful, in a good mood, and since I was around, why the hell not?
I was the first patron in, but it didn’t take long for more people to start pouring in and fill the tables in the covered patio. I sat inside, with a good view to the taps. The room is quite large and rather characterless in a wood-panelled sort of way, as if the designers hadn’t been able to make up their minds whether they wanted a lively beer hall or a Restaurant, so they chose the most boring bits of both, perhaps hoping the clients will compensate for the rest.
The service was friendly and attentive throughout. From the daily menu I picked the option that promised the most readily available calories to fuel the climb and one Ústecká Desítka to get things finally going. The food was unremarkable, the beer wasn’t, and not in a good way. It was watery, gassy, with a faded memory of bitterness and a few drops of ghee so it wouldn’t be too bland. It was followed by Mazel 12°, the house’s světlý ležák, a slightly more robust version of the previous, with a dollop of ghee instead of a few drops, and dry-ghee’ed (or is it cold-ghee’ed?) to give it that je ne sais quoi. So far, not good. Only Vojtěch, a 12° polotmavý, was left to save things – but a small one would have to suffice, because I no longer believed in this brewery. Maybe it was premature of me to say that they didn’t follow trends, Vojtěch turned out to be a kyseláč, albeit of the unintentional kind.
They also had a tmavý ležák from Chýše, but I’d had my fill of crap beer already and had no reason to believe that one would be any good. Besides, I felt it was time for me to get on the road.
To be continued…
*I know I could have changed disk myself, but the computer was still in guarantee.
Pivovar Na Rychtě
Klášterní 75, Ustí nad Labem
email@example.com - +420 475 205 018
Mon-Thu: 10:30-23, Fri: 10:30-24, Sat: 11-24, Sun: 11-21