Thursday, December 8, 2022

Arrived in Bamberg

We had arranged a car service to take us from Prague to Bamberg as the train connections aren't very good. One can take a FlixBus to Nürnberg and then a train but this was much simpler. We used the same service to pick us up at the Prague Airport. We've used since 2009 and can recommend them. Tell them Fred said "hi."

Some nice winter scenes along the way...

We arrived Brauerei Spezial and soon had our room keys. We dropped our bags and headed back down.

I've waited a long time for this beer.

Their Bock was on so it was only polite to try it.

It was good but I found it a bit to sweet to want to many of them. For those interested it cost €1 more than the the Lagerbier.

So I went back to the Lagerbier. Again again and again.

Soon it was dinner time and Schäuferla was on the menu. 'Nuf said.

It took a while but my mission was accomplished. My friend Frank has a neighbor with a puppy and Uncle Frank will be popular tonight.

A few more beers were consumed and we decided to walk down to the Christmas Market. In the back corner there is a stand that sells hot Liefmans Glühkriek.  It is a tradition when we visit Bamberg in December to have one. I"m not one to break with tradition.

With that I called it a night to rest up for a big day tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Last Day in Prague (Dec 6)

 Ha! Fooled you with the title, didn't I.

We took the scenic route down to Nusle and Pivovar Bašta for lunch and beers.

The waiter was very friendly and suggested we start off with the Světlý Ležák, so we did.

A nice beer, clean and refreshing. They had four of their beers on tap, plus Kasteel Rouge.

The food menu was in Czech and he offered to translate but saw we all had our phones out and said to ask him if we had questions, Google Translate did a good job except there was one dish where something was smoked but we had no idea of what was smoked. Turned out to be pork, which would have been my guess.

They are famous for the duck so I ordered the 1/4 duck stuffed with potato pancakes and sauerkraut. 

I didn't recognize the word on the last beer on the list and it turns out it was their Christmas Lager. Their regular lager with gingerbread. Sounded interesting so I ordered one but out of an abundance of caution, made it a small.

It was quite enjoyable but .3l was the perfect serving size.

We finished up and walk over to a tram stop and waited for a tram. Regular (beer) visitors to Prague will know where we are going when they see this...

První Pivní Tramway is at the literal end of trams 11 and 14. the Spořilov tram station.

It was just after two (their posted opening time) but there was a sign on the door that said "open 15:30" so we would have to wait about an hour and a half. This happened to me once before and when I came back at the time they still weren't opened. They also post the beer menu on a chalk board outside. There wasn't anything listed that I was all that excited about. So we decided to move on and discuss coming back.

I dug out my handy Prague Beer Guide app and searched for pubs along tram line 14 and came up with Mrtvá Ryba, a student pub near Charles University.

It is not well marked from both the street and once you enter the courtyard.

It was fairly full but two young scholars offered to switch tables as they were sitting at a large table. "Are you professors?" one asked.  Not a bad question as we were at least double and in some cases triple the ages of the other patrons. "No,' I replied, "just beer tourists." They were amazed that anybody but students knew about "their" pub.

I ordered the Kamenice 12º -- they have a lot of Kamenice beers.

The "professors" getting their beers...

My brother had the Koubek 11º Ale (brewed by Kamenice) and it was good too, clean and crisp and nicely hoppy.

We lingered over I our beers and decided not to go back to the tramway but to adjourn for the afternoon and meet again for your final session at the Hostomice taproom. There was Christmas markets to visit.

We had reserved a table but it was a bit of a tight squeeze. We all order the Fabian 10º to start off. Man, is this a good beer, and at Kč 37 (less than US$2) it is a good deal. Works out to 1.25 Staropramens and I'd rather drink one Fabian 10º than 1.25 Staropramen Smichov 11º

I had a big lunch but I needed a bite to eat, so I ordered Utopenec -- pickled sausage with onions and bread. Just what I needed.

I moved onto the 12º while some jumped directly to the bock. The 12º seemed really malty at first after the 10º but was delicious.

Then came the 16º bock. I like it, but one is enough. A couple had had the OSSEG bock the night before and thought that was better.

We had one final toast of Becherovka to say farewell.

Mission completed, off to Bamberg in the morning.

Day 5 in Prague (Dec 5)

We got a bit of an earlier start, took the tram down to Vodičkova and a short walk and were at Jelinkova
plzeňská pivnice, my favorite place to drink Pilsener Urquell.

The front room has the tap and and standing bar and around the back is a room with a half dozen tables.

A local friend said they had the reputation for the freshest Urquell in town. There are times when I seem to be super sensitive to diacetyl and the tankovna Pilsener Urquell at places like Lokál were practicably undrinkable. But at Jelinkova I've never had that problem.

They keep track of the bill the old fashioned way, on. a strip of paper. Much easier when you only serve one beer.

We. were all enjoying it so much, we had a mother. Much like the first (only this time I took a picture before I drank some)

There is no hot food at Jenikova, only the traditional cold bar snacks, so we went back and hopped on the tram and soon were at U Šumavy.

As in Jelinkova the front room has the taps and a standing bar. A bit more taps here.

The main lunch room is to the right but it was full. We were directed to the back where they had some larger tables. I ordered the Albrecht 10º

A good selection of beers on tap, which is what I expect here.

We all ordered lunch. The English menu said this was Baked Pasta -- which it was but it was not what I expected. I was sort of like my Mom's tuna casserole except with chicken. It was good but a bit dry.

Around the corner and across the street is the place now know as Pivovarský dům Benedict.

It was one of the original brewpubs it was bought earlier this year by Břevnovský klášterní pivovar, which sells their beers under the name Benedict.

I ordered the Benedict 12º, which usually is one of my favorite beers in Prague, but this one had a bit more diacetyl han I like. It was drinkable, just not as enjoyable as it usually is.

The beers they were serving were all brewed at Břevnovský and are part of their standard range (except for the Advent beer, which is a seasonal). If Google translate was correct a couple of beers brewed on brewpub system we coming online soon. The press release they posted said season and special beers would be brewed at the brewpub.

A noteL they use the more old fashion notation. My Benedict 12º is listed as Benedict 12%. That causes some confusion as people say "wow, I had the 15% abv IPA in Prague). The 12% refers to the wort before before fermentation as 12% sugar. The more modern was is 12º Plato

We got back on the tram and soon were at Vinohradský Pivovar

This is another of my favorite places in Prague.Their Vinohradská 11º is maybe my favorite beer in Prague not brewed by Hostomice. However I started off with their  Vinohradská 9º výčepní pivo, which just means "draft beer" but due the vagaries of Czech beer laws, you can't call a beer ležák unless it is at least 11º starting gravity. But whatever you call it, it was delicious.

They had 7 beer on tap today

Next I had the Vinohradská 11º. I think I liked it better than the 9º but it was a close run thing. On another day it might have gone the other way...

I had a couple other possible stops planned for next. Two of them had beer lists online and there wasn't much that got people excited, mostly pastry stouts, fruity sours and various forms of IPA's. I had more hope for a third place but as we walked by you could see about 3/4 of their beer list from the window.l Names like "Commander Tom's Magic Juice" (not the real name) didn't generate any interest.

So we headed to OSSEG.

I ordered my usual Philipp 12º and while it was nice, I think it has been better in the past.

We ordered dinner but the food took so long to come we really weren't interested in another beer there. So we decided to call it a night. Some were off to visit Christmas Markets, others to rest our weary feet.

Monday, December 5, 2022

Day 4 in Prague (Dec 4)

We started off the day at the new Automat Matuška, right at the Hradčanská tram and Metro stop.

During the week they open at 11am but on weekends it is noon and we were too early. Not to worry, I had. plan B: Not too far away is Dejvická Nádražka, a pub at the Dejvice train station. It is a very old school station pub.

They serve two beers but one is really the reason to come here, the Staropramen Smichov 11º. Not only is the Staropramen brewery close by, it is probably the cheapest beer in town at Kč 29.5 for a half liter. That is about US$1.28 at today's exchange rates.

It is not best beer of the trip but far from the worst. Eminently enjoyable for one or two mugs. Most of the beers we'd have the rest of the day would be two times that, at least. 

We downed our Smichov 11º and headed back to Automat Matruška for the house Dvanáctka (12º) Světlý Ležák. As I sort of expected, it was served in. a .4L glass. 

It was.a nice beer and I could have had another if we'd had the time. They had 10 beers on tap -- these are most of the beer flavored beers.

There was another board that at first I thought was other drinks, Grape Ale, Strawberry Milkshake but it turns out they had abv% listings, so they must have been beers...

We had a lunch reservation for Pivovar Bubeneč so there was no time for a second Matuška

I almost always start off with the Bubeneč 11º and I wasn't disappointed.

Looking at the beer board, I saw they still had the Ovesný Leźák. I head read about this earlier -- an Oat Lager. 

It was lunch time so I ordered the Goulash. At first I thought the white stiff was cheese and that seemed unusual but it was grated horseradish.

And of course and "Oves" to go with it. There definitely were some different flavors in there. It was good but I don't think I could drink more than a couple.

Somebody at the table had the DDH 12º (Double Dry Hopped) and it too was a very nice beer. Lots of hop flavor but still clean and dry in the finish.

We said goodbye and walked over to Pivní Jistota. I've been here 3 times before and always had a good time and good beer.


I ordered the house IPL 12º -- at less than two Staropramens it was a good deal. Tasty too.

Unlike a lot of places, the tap list wasn't overwhelmed by IPAs and pastry stouts.

It was.a tough decision but we decided to move on after just one. Getting dark at 4pm sort of confuses the time sense and it seemed really late. 

Not far away is Budvarka, a Budweiser Budvar restaurant 

They have the Kvasnicový so I ordered one -- it is a favortite.

The taps at Budvarka. I asked about the Redix and the man said it was the original Budvar but upon further research it is a different beer. 

Added: A knowledgeable reader told me the Redix is made with red malt and is 10º. So probably they had the original on but didn't change the tap handle.  Sorry for the confusion 

I ordered the Redix and it tasted like how I remember the original but it has been at least 3 years since I had one so it hard to tell. It was a tasty beer in any case, and was served in .5l mugs.

After that, we headed back to the hotel but a few of us "accidentally" got off the tram a stop early and had to walk by Pivovarská Nalévárna. It wold be rude not to stop in. So we did.

I started off with the Hostomice Fabian 12º. I usually am torn between the 10º and 12º but I think I've settled on the 12º as my favorite.

The 16º "bock" was still on so I thought I support the effort and have one.

As is usual, it did not disappoint. This would not be out of place in Bamberg doing bock season (better than many) and could be deadly as it goes down easily. But I managed to limit myself to one and stumbled back to the hotel.