Showing posts with label u slovanske lipy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label u slovanske lipy. Show all posts

Monday, December 30, 2019

Fuggled Review of the Year - Drinking Dens

Moving on from the beers of the year to the places in which I drank them, and with an utter absence of ceremony, I give you...

  • Beer Run - Charlottesville
  • Port City Brewing - Alexandria
  • South Street Brewery - Charlottesville
Honorable Mention:

Kardinal Hall - Charlottesville

Rest of USA
  • Barley House - Cleveland, OH
  • Olde Mecklenburg Brewing - Charlotte, NC
  • Fraunces Tavern - New York City, NY
Honorable Mentions:

Scholz Biergarten - Austin, TX; Gordon Biersch Brewing - Atlanta, GA; Bar America - San Antonio, TX; Hofbr?uhaus Cleveland - Cleveland, OH

Rest of World
  • U Slovanské lipy - Prague, CZ
  • Hostomická nalévárna - Prague, CZ
  • Brauerei Spezial - Bamberg, DE
Honorable Mentions:

Schlenkerla - Bamberg, DE; Airbr?u - Munich, DE; Brauhaus Ernst August - Hannover, DE; Pivovarsky klub - Prague, CZ; Cromarty Arms, Cromarty, Scotland

Given that this was the first time I had visited many of these cities, it is no wonder that there are so many new pubs on this list. I own the fact that I am an abysmal beer tourist, I simply don't plan my trips around breweries, tap rooms, and pubs, I find out where I am going and then arrange the booze around that. One thing that is clear though is that I definitely have a soft spot for places in the US that harken back to central Europe. My final three boozers though for 2019 are:
  • Beer Run - Charlottesville
  • Olde Mecklenburg Brewing - Charlotte, NC
  • Hostomická nalévárna - Prague, CZ
This is actually a much harder decision than choosing the various beers of the year. Beer Run is basically my local and I love a couple of hours just sat at the bar talking with the staff. Since Mrs V and I started stopping at the 8 acre biergarten that is Olde Mecklenburg, our trips to South Carolina have a genuine thing to look forward to with the driving, the thought of a couple of jars of quality Germanic lager in a proper beer garden after 5 hours of driving is a delight. My one afternoon with Evan in Hostomická nalévárna back in October will probably be my favourite individual session for many a year, it was simply perfect. However, I don't feel I can base my decision on a single visit, and so the Fuggled Drinking Den of 2019 is Olde Mecklenburg Brewing, a more perfect place to drink great pilsner, superb altbier, or cracking hefeweizen is hard to imagine.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Prague - The Old

So much seems to have happened in Prague's brewing scene in the ten years since I left that I had a dilemma given my limited time in the city recently, whether to visit my old haunts or try some of the new places I had heard so much about?

Some decisions, like going to Pivovarsky klub, were so ridiculously simple as to be barely worth thinking about. Almost as easy a decision was revisiting U Slovanské lipy, at one time my second choice to PK as my favourite place in the city to drink, back when they were basically the only place in Prague that sold Kout na ?umavě's range of magnificent lagers.

U Slovanské lipy is no longer the dingy boozer it once was, though it does maintain the feel of a proper Czech pub rather than some craft beer emporium. It has a rotating selection of beers, has been renovated in a more Art Deco style, and is now part of a group of businesses including ?ernokostelecky pivovár.

In an effort to see as many folks as possible while I was in the city, I arranged a get together at U Slovanské lipy, and naturally got there a little early to check things out for myself, and perhaps revel in a little nostalgia...

In many ways despite the renovation and changes, it was still the U Slovanské lipy I had loved in the noughties, no airs and graces, no pointless fripperies, and the majority of patrons were locals rather than tourists, perfect. The big thing that had changed though was the prices. Where I had been used to paying only 20k? for a half litre of Kout's magisterial 10° pale lager, the nearest equivalent available, Albrecht 10° from Zámecky pivovar Frydlant, was about double that. Yeah, it was odd having sticker shock in a Czech pub, but a quick conversion in my brain telling me the beer was $2 a pop for superb lager soon put that into context.

Albrecht 10° has an ABV of 4% and is simply a dream of a beer. I didn't take any notes as that really wasn't the point of the evening, but I think I drank at least 8 or 9 half litres of the stuff, it was lovely, in many ways the perfect session beer. Admittedly I initially chose the beer not for it's sessionability but for the name, Albrecht being one of the many nicknames I give my younger son, Albert.

As I sat waiting for my friends, I delighted in some people watching and was reminded of one of the things I love about beer culture in Central Europe, it's inclusiveness. Beer, and going to the pub, is simply intrinsic to life, and so there was a group of women at one table, all drinking Albrecht, and having a grand old time, because that is what Czechs do, drink beer.

We had a great night, and after U Slovanské lipy my friend, and amazing barmaid, Klara took me to another couple of places on the other side of the tunnel, in Karlín, and we finished up drinking some kind almond spirit thing. Contented I wandered back to my hotel, glad for not having to bother with a car and the attendant considerations that brings, and looking forward to some new things in that most wonderful city.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Picture Time

Just a few pictures I took on my mobile phone recently

U Slovanské lipy - probably my favourite Prague boozer.

Kwak - nice glass, nothing special in it to be honest.

Zvíkov Raspberry beer - I wonder why brewers bother with this stuff sometimes, not awful just dull

My favourite kind of Kocour glass - an empty one, with a fresh one on the way.

Friday, March 13, 2009

10, 12, 14, 18 Kout Gold

I commented to Evan last night in U Slovanské lípy that there is an interesting circularity in the fact that I drink there regularly, because it is right opposite the first pub in Prague that I drank in regularly. The other pub is called Planeta ?i?kov, and back in 1999 they sold Lobkowicz for about 20k? - back then the princely sum of 34p, today it is about 95p. Planeta eventually joined the massed ranks of "just another Staropramen pub", so I haven't been in for a while now. The circularity comes from the fact that a 10° lager from Pivovar Kout na ?umavě costs 20k?, so yes it is still possible after ten years, to go out in Prague with a 200k? note in your pocket and have 10 pints of superb lager.

My first trip to U Slovanské lípy was because Pivní Filosof had told me about the place, and immediately I knew this would become a regular haunt, and so far everyone I have bought to the place has loved it as well. U Slovanské lipy is quite simply a "proper boozer" to coin phrase from when I was there with him last week. There is no fancy furniture, solid wooden tables, cork panelling on the walls and a tile floor are order of the day. There is no ridiculous art work, some photos of the pub during, I assume, the Prague Uprising in the Second World War, back when it was a Velkopopovicky Kozel pub and there was a barricade right outside the door - I wonder if those manning the barricade would pop in for a quick pint? There are no flashing lights, no gaming machines, no gimmicks, this is a proper Czech pub - I love it!

You can't really tell from the pictures, but the clientele most of the time are normal people, everyday Jans and Janas, mostly Jans admittedly, enjoying excellent beer in very relaxed surroundings. The staff are again very good, enthusiastic, friendly and oh so patient with foreigners and their garbled efforts at Czech - and one of the girls has already achieved cult status in my world. At PK I quite often have no idea what I want, so I ask them to just bring me something and usually they do a good job. At U Slovanské lipy, as I dithered and ummed and ahhed about what to choose (ok there are only four beers but they are all superb), she just looked at me and said, "I'll bring you a 12°" - and it was the perfect decision.

I am sure it is possible to wax lyrical about U Slovanské lípy, just I am sure that these are the kinds of places I will miss very much when I move to the States at the end of June. Simply put, here is a pub worth it's weight in gold - proper gold that is rather than the pretentious blinged up pubs that dominate the centre of the city, definitely one worth getting out and finding.

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...