We had chosen a hotel a little way out of Prague, as it looked really nice on its website. Unfortunately, it’s been let go a bit. It was clean and the staff were helpful when we could find them, but I wouldn’t recommend it. You are probably better off staying nearer in than Prague 5 as the night buses run better nearer the centre. Having said that it was only 20 mins to the centre of Prague.
Anyway, having left the hotel we headed into town. First stop had to be U Fleku. This wonderful old place has hardly changed, Malcolm tells me, as we sit there enjoying the architecture and their wonderful dark Beer. It’s the longest surviving Micro brewery in Prague and dates from before the Communist era. What has changed though is the price, 59kc for a beer, over £2 for a 4.l. This was probably the most expensive beer all weekend!
From here we decided to try one of the newest microbreweries, the Richter Brewery out in Prague 8. Unfortunately only two of their beers were on, the Helles and the Lezak, both excellent beers. A popular friendly old wood panelled bar, very nice and relaxing. The food looked good and reasonably priced.
After whiling away some time here, we ran for a bus, and headed for Pivovarsky Klub also in Prague 8. This is an amazing little bar and beer takeaway with 6 beers on tap and a good list of bottled Czech beers, plus bottled beers from Belgium, Germany etc; the prices were reasonable as well. Pivovasky Dum Stephan Fledermaus and Pivovar Dalesice were enjoyed followed by Samson Budweiser beer, claimed to be the original original Budweiser!
Marking the above for a revisit if we got time, we headed up the road to U Ceskcho Lva for some unpasteurised Pilsner Urquell, which is regarded as the original Pilsner. Urquell brewery have recently been installing tanks in their better turn over pubs, and sending out polyester film sacks full of unpasteurised beer to put into the tanks, which is then served directly via pump to the customer. The result is a beer far superior to the bottled or kegged pasteurised and filtered versions and allows the lovely peppery nose and fuller flavour of Urquell to come forward.
So this was enjoyed in this lovely cellar bar with its nooks and crannies. From here we tried to go to Novomestsky pivovar, but found it closed for a reason we could not discern.
We then went looking for Beograd, which unfortunately is no longer selling Krusovice beers, having gone over to Urquell and not the tank version, so we decided to give this a miss.
We next searched for Kolibka, supposedly an outlet for Bernard beers. It was either completely closed or it has changed name, as we found the address, but no sign of the bar.
So we headed for Pivovasky Dum. It was very busy and you were required to eat here, but as it was dinner time, we decided to do so. A more modern bar and brewery done in a classic way makes this a lovely brown café. The beer range was unusual, with a range of light and dark beers, and a fruit beer. The “sour cherry” I’m afraid to say was not sour, being made with fruit syrup. Fortunately I only had a small one to try, and managed to choke it down. The other beers tried were good though, and the food was very tasty and good value for money.
Time however had nearly run out on us so we headed for Jamajka at Praha 5 on our way back to the hotel. We had a minor problem finding this one but persevered and were glad we did. This is a real locals bar where visitors are made welcome. We enjoyed some Nymburk beers which were good, and enjoyed listing to the ebb and flow of local Czech residents.
We got the last metro back to the hotel, where we found the bar at the front was still serving, so it was Gambrinus for a night cap before toddling off to bed.
Sunday arrived on a damp note, and after struggling to find our breakfast, we headed out. We were aiming for Chyne, but on arriving at the end of the metro line, we found the buses were two hourly on a Sunday, and we’d just missed one! We therefore changed plans and headed to Pruhonice and U Bezousku, which turned out to be a really nice café bar and restaurant in the centre of the village. Unfortunately only their Bizon was available at 6.5% but it was good and very full bodied with lots of flavour. This village is just outside the Transport pass zone though as is Chyne; the GBG to Prague and the Czech Republic has got this wrong.
From here we headed back into Prague and the new town. First stop was going to be Ferdinanda. This was closed, and the closure looked permanent. We therefore walked around the corner to Bredovsky Dvur for some Urquell tank beer. Lovely wooden panelled bar, again more on eating than drinking, but just drinking wasn’t a problem. You could see the tanks behind the bar and the beer was excellent.
After this we headed for Novomestsky Pivovar again to see if it was open. This time it was. Unfortunately we felt it didn’t live up to its description in the guide. The light and dark beers were ok, but nothing to write home about. We ask if it’s a bar that’s got too big for its boots and living on its reputation.
From here we headed along the road to Krusovice Pivnice for their yeast beer. It was a nice little bar, again majoring on food and slightly pricey but better than a lot.
Time now for Budwiser Budvar and U Medviduka. The brewery is signposted through the bar, which has three floors. We therefore nipped upstairs to the brewery bar first and enjoyed their 5.2% amber/dark beer which was good. After this it was downstairs to the main bar where we found that Budvar have obviously accepted Evan Rails challenge. The Budvar was also in a tank format, and really good it makes the beer too. Unfortunately they haven’t done Budvar Dark yet, for shame!
We thought it was time for a change after this so we hopped on a tram to up behind Prague castle (well worth a look) and ended up at Klasterni Senk. The brew pub is in an old monastery (just down and across from the tram stop). Good food, good beer and the lovely ambience of the old brickwork and a real wood fire plus reasonable prices made this little trip out worth it.
Unfortunately we lingered a little too long and the next brewpub had shut, so we walked down across the lovely ancient stone bridge to the town centre where we struggled to find a decent beer, so caught the metro back to the hotel.
On Monday, we had a slightly late start due to a late breakfast. We couldn’t find any staff. Eventually somebody emerged with apologies because they had a rough night. Too much Pivo perhaps??
Anyway, as the buses were more frequent, we headed out to Chyne and the Pivovarsky Dvur chyne. It\ was 1130 when we got there and the place was jumping. The bar consists of one large room with brewing equipment at one end and two rows of tables with a children’s area in the middle. We were made to feel very welcome, especially by the Mynah bird! and proceeded to try all their beers. There was a light, half dark, a dark and a special light and all the beers were excellent. This place is well worth making the effort to get to. Note though that you want the first bus stop into the village, for the return stop you have to walk around the corner into the village.
We then headed back into town and went back to the castle for Klasterni Pivovar Strahov. Again this was rather expensive at 59kc for .4l but the beer was good, with a dark beer, amber beer and a special wheat beer being offered. The bar itself is small facing across a small courtyard with a restaurant the other side, and the courtyard filled with tables. Very nice relaxing area to drink in and look for the brewery fresco on the back wall of the courtyard.
After this we again walked down the hill, but stopped this time at Baracnicka Rychta. A lovely old building and well worth a stop for the Svijany beers which were reasonably priced. There is old oak panelling in this bar with a lower room that has a stage. Still more of a restaurant than a bar though.
After this we succeeded in finding Pivni Galerie which is mainly a beer shop but has a tiny bar. Rohozec Skalak Tmave Special Pivo and Bohemia Regent were the two beers on tap, which were good. This was a typical locals bar with surly service that you come to expect in Prague ! Interestingly there was a tabard on the wall commemorating all the Czech squadrons during World War 2.
From here we pushed on to Svijansky Rytir and some more Svijany beers which are supposed to be unpasturised, and unfiltered. They might be unpasteurised but they are not unfiltered! Beers were good though, on offer being the Knize, Knezra (dark), and Rytir.
After a minor navigation error due to a closed tram line, which caused us to wander past Sparta Prague football stadium, we made our way back to Pivovasky Klub for a Rebel Dark and Saizon which were both good. With time nearly run out on us we stopped in Jamakea again for a night cap and a couple of relaxing beers.
Tuesday dawned and unfortunately its time to go home, but just time for a couple more beers!
We made our way into town to Rehor Samsa, a little bookshop and café bar in a shopping centre for Policske beers, which were Tmave, Svelte, Kvansicove and the Plzenske Lahove, which out of the ones tried were not bad at all.
We wanted some more Urquell tank beer, and thought we’d pop into U Pinkom and promptly baulked, 41kc for a .2l hmmm. Looked a nice bar, but as funds were now limited we walked off to find U Bubenicka and were glad we did it being, much more of a locals bar with brown wood in the brown café style and some very nice, if a tad rude, wall murals. Oh yes, and the Urquell tank, 28.50KC for a .5l!
Sadly this ended our little visit to Prague as it was back to the airport for the return flight.
Had Prague lived up to my expectations? Definitely, though I still prefer Bamberg, but I’ll be going back to the Czech Republic for another visit. Still, must get back to Belgium though… (And I have, but that’s another story).