Showing posts with label prazsky most na valsu. Show all posts
Showing posts with label prazsky most na valsu. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

5 Worst Craft Beers I Have Ever Had

Over on Zythophile today, Martyn has written about the worst 5 beers he has ever had, and so in the spirit of blatant theft of ideas, I decided to jump on the bandwagon and do likewise. I did actually have a post in my head already, but that can wait for Friday.

In compiling my list, one thing I really wanted to avoid was to slag off beer from the multinationals purely on the basis of them being big mean nasty companies, and so to add a little twist to Martyn's theme I am adding the word "craft", the 5 worst craft beers I have ever had. In order to avoid confusion, my definition of craft is anything not made by a multinational, and also this list is in not particular order.

Pra?sky most u Val?? tmavé

It is very rare that I pour beer down the sink, though it has become more common of late. During one of Mrs Velkyal and I's epic walks through the streets of Prague's beautiful Old Town we stumbled upon a little brewpub. Their pale lager was acceptable, but as we were just having a quick pit stop before continuing our walk along the Vltava and eventually up into Vinohrady, I didn't have a pint of the dark and so bought a bottle for later. When later arrived that evening I settled down to try the dark, it stank. Not just figuratively but literally, it stank of detergent and tasted distinctly of metal, a truly awful beer. In fairness though, the last time I went to the brewpub, with Evan Rail, it was a damned sight better.

Samuel Adams Noble Pils

Another victim of the dreaded Velkyal Pilsner Fundamentalism. Strangely acrid and with flavours all over the place, definitely not a Bohemian Pilsner as I would recognise it. I bought a six pack of it when it first hit the shelves last year, and despite the promising start in the aroma department, it tasted like burnt toast and then became flabby as it warmed up. I am not sure if "flabby" is an accepted term in beer tasting circles, but I am sure you know what I mean. Toward the end it became dull and lifeless, like so many other American made pilsners. In some vain effort to believe that perhaps it would be better this year, I tried it on draft one night in February, and no I won't be doing that again.

Great Divide Belgica

Some things I simply do not understand, astrophysics, the enduring appeal of EastEnders, baseball and the idea of Belgian IPA. I am not a big fan of American IPA in general, liking my beer to have balance rather than subjecting my tongue to grievous bodily harm, and likewise I am not overly keen on the funky weirdness that seems to be par for the course for a "Belgian" style anything. Put them together and you have a beer which I found simply too grim to drink.

Ybor Gold Light

I don't have a picture of this one, but the awfulness of the beer itself has etched itself on to my memory. None of the Ybor Gold beers are even mediocre, but the Light is particularly foul. I am not one of those people to degrade all "Light" beers, having something of a growing soft spot for Sam Adams Light, but Ybor Gold Light is thin, watery, insipid and just plain crap. So crap in fact that sat by the pool in Daytona Beach two summers ago, even my father-in-law, who tends to buy Milwaukee's Best when on holiday, refused to drink more than a mouthful of his bottle.

South Street Brewery Liberation Lager

I wonder on occasion if I am, in reality, a sucker for punishment. I keep wanting to believe that things can't be as bad as my initial impression and so I go and try beers again that disappointed me, usually with the same outcome. South Street is right opposite my office, it opens just at knocking off time, it's beautiful inside, and I very, very rarely darken the door. Their ales are decent enough, and in fact they do a good solid stout, but Liberation Lager is pretty much undrinkable, it starts out ok but about a third of the way down the glass it just goes to shit, lifeless, tasting like wet cardboard and completely unfinishable.

So there we go, craft beer can suck, and there are times when a Michleob or Pilsner Urquell is simply streets ahead of the "competition".

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Rumours are True

On Beer Culture last week, Evan mentioned that the beer at Pra?sky Most u Vals? had improved quite dramatically. To be perfectly frank, as I wrote here, it really couldn't get much worse. I am not usually one for pouring beer down the sink, but when I last tried the dark that's exactly where it went.

At something of a loose lunch time end, I sent Evan a message to see if he fancied a quick pint over lunch and we agreed to meet at Pra?sky Most to try again. Sure enough the beers are betetr than last year, particularly the dark, which is a nice dry schwarzbier style. Simply put, it is good to see brewpubs not sitting on their laurels and trying to improve their beers.

We decided however not to have lunch there, opting instead on the spur of the moment to drop into one of Ron Pattinson's favourite Prague haunts - U Rotundy, a proper rough as nuts Czech pub, which sells Staropramen. We ended up having lunch for about 100k? each, and on the beer front I decided to have the Staropramen ?erné, which while not being a patch on the Budvar or Kout versions, really wasn't that bad at all.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Bridge to Nowhere

I spent about 5 hours on Saturday just walking around various parts of Prague. I am lucky in many ways in that I live right in the heart of the city, just a five minute walk from Vaclávské Náměstí, so I get to indulge my love of bumbling with a camera almost every weekend. Our intention was just to stroll around and take some pictures of random bits of pieces, after an hour or so of which we stumbled upon the new brewpub Pra?sky most na Val?? and being in need of a sit down, we ventured in to try their beer. As you can see from the picture at the head of this article, they also sell a couple of other brewers’ beer, in this case Maly Rohozec and B?ezňák. On the door was a note saying that they had special prices for their own beer, 30k? for a half litre and 22k? for a 0.3l - their normal prices are 45k? and 30k? respectively.

We decided to try out the svetly le?ák first, myself with a full half litre and Mrs Velkyal with a little one. Before describing the beer I want to say that I loved the décor of the place, the chairs are solid, and heavy, wood, and the lampshades look like a stylized version of the Charles Bridge, with a statue on the top. In short, the interior is fantastic. I held high hopes for the beer.
When eventually the beer came, the place was virtually empty yet the service was tardy, it was a light honey colour with a nice rocky head, which stayed for the duration of the drink. There were distinct smells of clove and flowers when I shoved my nose into the glass, Mrs Velkyal commented that it smelt metallic. When actually drinking the beer, the first taste was that of lemon, and a bitterness which caught the back of the throat, lingering through the aftertaste. The dominant taste though was distinctly tinny and it has a very slight body. While it is not a bad beer it is definitely not up there with the best microbrew lagers that the Czech Republic has to offer, though it is streets ahead of megaswill such as Gambrinus. In many ways it is the BBC Radio 2 of Czech beer, nothing offensive, but nothing memorable either.

I had noticed on the bar a bottle of dark lager, so I assumed that the second tap they had would be their own tmávé, however on asking it turned out to be the Rohozec Skalák dark lager, so I ordered a half litre of that, as Mrs Velkyal was still nursing her little one. When it arrived, again with the tardy service requiring that I went to the bar to order, it was a fabulous dark ruby with a tan head. On the nose there was again a touch of tinniness, though not as pronounced as with the light lager, and hints of sweet caramel. The caramel in the nose was reinforced with a nice toffee sweetness which also had the faintest trace of coffee. This beer has a nice body and is clean in the mouth, making it a nice easy dark lager to drink.

When I went to pay I decided to pick up a bottle of the house dark lager to try when we eventually made it home, at 35k? for a bottle of beer I was hoping for something really good.

Mrs Velkyal and I continued our wanderings, going up to the Vinohrady area of Prague following up a tip from Pivní Filosof that there is a shop selling Chodovar beers – one of my favourites in the Czech Republic. Sure enough we found the shop, which also sells a good selection of whiskies, rums, tequilas, wines from around the world and tucked on a corner of the sales counter were bottles of Chodovar 13° lager, their excellent tmávé and their wonderful skální le?ák. So we bought a couple of bottles of Argentine malbec, another passion that Pivní Filosof and I share, and two bottles each of the 13° and skální le?ák, with that done we headed home.

Once home I decided to pop open the dark lager from Pra?sky most na Val?? and complete my tasting. One of my bad habits is reading beer labels, and I must admit that reading the ingredient list for this one made me a touch nervous – why would a beer need ascorbic acid in it? For a dark beer it is rather light in colour, and the somewhat minimal head soon disappeared. The smell of this beer was overwhelmingly detergent, that sounds as disgusting as it smelt – Mrs Velkyal suggested that it was the glass, but I always wash, rinse and dry my beer glasses thoroughly. The beer itself tasted like burnt toast and had very little body and was syrupy and soapy, in keeping with the light lager there was again a metallic taste, except this time it was more noticeable and was clearly copper. It was so bad that I did something I have never done before, after about 5 sips of the beer I gave up and poured it down the sink – it was quite simply the worst beer I have had in the Czech Republic, yes even worse than Klá?ter. Really the only good thing about the beer was the label.

I can honestly say that Pra?sky most na Val?? will not become a regular haunt. The light lager is ok, but not worth paying 30k? for, the Rohozec is more expensive and while a decent pint, I can buy a bottle for less at Pivovarsky klub. Plus I have a problem with a brewpub selling another brewer’s wares, it suggests a lack of confidence in their own product, and in the case of their dark lager, that lack is well placed.

Beyond January

Dry January is over, but my beer fast continues. Well, it continues until Friday. As a general rule I only drink at the weekend, thus my win...