czech republic

Boozing with the Prague-based bloggers

Meeting up with Velky Al (he’s very tall), Evan Rail (his surname is Cornish), and Pivni Filosof (he’s very philosophical) was a real treat for us. For one thing, after six days on the road, we were getting bloody sick of each other, so the civilised company was very welcome. And, for another, they took us on a VIP tour of a couple of bars we’d never have found and never have set foot in otherwise.

All of the beers were excellent, but we were most impressed with the Kout na Sumave beers in U Slovanske Lipy. Boak loved the desitka, with its powerful hop flavour, while Bailey’s favourite was the dark lager.

We had a bit much to drink and weren’t taking notes, so that’s about it as far as an account of the night goes. You can read all about it here and here, though.

Thanks, chaps!

czech republic

Memories of Prague

The Staropramen brewery in Prague
The Staropramen brewery in Prague

We’re off on a tour of Germany and the Czech Republic next week, which has got us thinking about the last time we were in Prague. That was in the days before our beer obsession but we nonetheless ended up in a hotel overlooking the Staropramen brewery.

The view from our window was of an elevated conveyor belt carrying bottles of beer to the packing plant. It passed within inches and ran all day and night. Sleeping was nearly impossible with the constant sound of lorries idling, machinery chugging and bottles clinking.

Fortunately, they stopped work at the weekend and the belt fell silent, so we managed to get some kip.

Photo by Olgite, from Flickr Creative Commons. Thanks, Olgite — nice pics!

We’re testing to make sure things are working normally around here. The post we put up the other day about Meantime London Pale Ale will reappear tomorrow if things are back to normal.

buying beer czech republic

Boheme 1795

boheme1795.jpgI’m always intrigued by the “own-brand” Czech and German lagers that you see in supermarkets and corner-shops in the UK. Some are rank, but others are real hidden gems. Most are sold in the UK under pseudonyms, but it’s easy enough to trace their true origins online.

So, why wouldn’t I grab six bottles of Tesco’s new Czech lager, “Boheme 1795”, for £4?

It looks, at first sight, like a cheap knock-off of Budvar — white and red label, green bottles, and so on — but turns out to be the real deal: the original Budweiser. The German-owned Mateske brewery was the first to make beer in Budweis in 1795, and made the first pilsner there in 1802.

In the Czech Republic, it’s sold as a Budweiser/Budvar (any beer from České Budějovice is entitled to the name) but in the UK, Tesco have chickened out, to avoid trouble with Anheuser-Busch.

What does it taste like? Better than I expected — drier and more bitter than Budvar, a similar appealing golden colour — but not mindblowing.

But at 66p a bottle, or 50p a bottle if you buy a case of 20 for £10, it’s great value, and definitely more than drinkable.