Well it’s finally here…the moment you’ve all been waiting for…the second installment of Czech Please: Charlie’s Adventures in Prague, where I talk about beer. Oh, hang on, I always talk about beer. Well, if The Crafty Beeress wasn’t a big enough sign then I don’t know what is.
Prague is a beautiful city with a wonderful history, but one of the draws for us was also its wonderful beer. Don’t get me wrong, we definitely made the most of our time there, but come the evenings I was heading to those brewpubs like a sniffer dog.
U Medviku is one of those brew pubs, which boasts not only the smallest brewery in Prague, but also XBEER-33, the ‘strongest beer in the world’. I find this quite hard to believe, but didn’t actually do any digging into its authenticity. They are also known for OLDGOTT, a bottom fermented half-dark lager which is a little more drinkable at only 5.2%.
The below is me enjoying a dark, cherry beer that they happened to have on at the time. I’m allergic to cherries which might explain the crazed look in my eyes. Anyway, I was sitting in a mash tun which was novelty enough for me.
The next day we went to the Pilsner Urquell brewery, a trip I had been waiting for and was very VERY excited about. Before going in for the tour we popped in to their canteen for some lunch and ordered a couple of Masters. I know I know, we were there for Pilsner Urquell, but by that point I was almost pilsnered out and craving something darker!
Hook me up to a Masters drip and leave me to it: how had I not tried this before?! At first sip I thought it might be slightly too sweet for me, but a burnt caramel bitterness subtly crept in leading to a perfectly balanced finish. Fresh, crisp and not at all heavy, it went perfectly with my 289th sausage of the weekend.
The tour itself I might talk about in another post, but unfortunately I wasn’t blown away. I’ve been so fortunate to meet Vacla Berka, Brew Master, and thought it was a shame (and also hilarious) that he was dubbed over in the video. I think one of the perils of being interested in beer is that I strive to find out more about it. I read magazines and blogs, I go to talks and tours to discover more about the brewing process, so when I go to a tour that is aimed at beginners I inevitably feel as though they’re not giving me enough information. I need to know more, more, more! I know this isn’t fair and the fault of them (although I’d cut down the amount of time spent in the bottling plant….)
Of course that didn’t stop me enjoying a pint of brewery fresh, unpasteurised and unfiltered Pilsner Urquell straight out of the barrel. I’ve talked about Pilsner Urquell before on here so I won’t bore you too much, but the fact remains that the quality of it just shines through; I’ll take that tank fresh beer before a hoptastic IPA any day (and believe me, it’s hard for me to say that!)
It would have be easy enough to drink pilsner all weekend, but after a few days I fancied something a little different. We spent the evening in a jazz bar and it happened to have Fenix on the menu, so I thought I’d give it a go.
A golden hazy orange with a fluffy white head, it looked delightful in the glass and smelled even better. The bitterness of the orange peel really came through which, for me, is always a positive. The coriander came through as a subtle aftertaste; another positive as I’m not a fan of anything too herbal. Very pleasant, but not a session beer.
Oh, and there was a painting of a Barbra Streisand Tiger with boobs.
I really can’t get enough of Prague. I never want to be one of those people that return to the same place over and over again, but when it’s this good how can you not?