Among the various
piles of crap useful things that we hoard collect, there’s an ever-growing stack of old tourist guidebooks, including a 1958 guide to Prague, from the Czechoslovakian state tourism board. Here’s an abridged version of the section that caught our eye this weekend.
Prague Breweries and Beer-houses
And still our acquaintance with Old Prague would not be complete if we did not visit the places where the citizens of Prague used to go to quaff a tankard of foaming ale or a glass of wine. Innumerable are the beer and wine taverns in Prague. Many of them are of ancient standing. Of the old breweries (of which there were for instance in Dlouhá ulice alone no less than twelve) only two still survive. The older of these is the brewery “u Tomáše”, in the Malá Strana. Today nobody could count how many barrels of excellent black beer have been drunk here since the time of Charles IV, when the Augustinian monks brewed their first hops.
The counterpart to the St Thomas Brewery is the brewery on the New Town side of the river, “U Fleků”, of which we first hear in the 15th century. More perhaps than any other beer-house in Prague, “U Fleků” lives in Czech literature and has become immortal as the bohéme who frequented it at the turn of the century.
We must only add that in Prague there are several modern breweries, of which the largest is the Smíchov Staropramen — which takes us unto Prague of the middle of the 20th century where, in an up-to-date alchemist’s kitchen, hops and malts are converted into beer, the traditional Czech beverage.
And so, let’s raise our bedewed and froth-topped glasses and drink to this city that also provides so well for man’s material wants!