Friday, 16 September 2016

Prague 2016 - Day One & Two

After I visited Prague last year, I vowed that I would visit every single year and thus far I've stuck true to my word.

Sammie had decided to buy us a holiday to Prague for my birthday, which was nice of her, so it was last week we set off.

We had a fairly late flight on Monday, meaning that we didn't land in Prague until 10:30pm, but we made sure to get to the airport with enough time to have a couple of pints of Brooklyn Lager. When we landed we were picked up by our taxi - the driver being surprised that I knew the Czech for Good Evening - and dropped at our hotel.

After check in, we popped to tesco to grab some snacks and some beers before heading out to a bar. I had a bottle of Primator India Pale Ale which having loved their Weizen, was also delicious, whilst Sammie had a bottle of Herold Black Lager, which was nice and roasty.

We then headed to Hells Bells, a metal bar on Na Belide in Smichov, which is hidden below ground in a crypt. It was a typically ideal dirty dive bar, metal memorabilia everywhere, including a giant Eddie flag on the ceiling. The beer selection was made up of four Staropramen beers and their own Hells Bells 14 Degree IPA made by local brewery Bad Flash. We started with a pint of Staropramen 11 Degree Lager which is much much much nicer than the stuff we get over here, because it's generally a better beer and it's only brewed two blocks away! We hadn't noticed their own beer until that point so we decided to go for that next - fresh, citrusy hops, served in their own branded straight pint glass. It was delicious. We wanted another here but the angry metal man behind the bar evidently just wanted to head home so we left. We saw that Pivnice U Mejly across the road was opened, so we stopped and had another few pints of Staropramen 11 degree - the atmosphere here was brilliant. Local barflies, propping up against the bar, all chatting, smoking, drinking beer and doing shots of Jagerneister, the man behind the bar also partaking.

We then headed back to the hotel for a couple of beers and called it a night.

The next morning, we got up, had a bite to eat and then headed to the zoo, getting lost along the way. The zoo involved animals, hotdogs (presumably not made from zoo animals) and a few pints of Kozel 11 Degree which again, is better than the shit we get in the U.K.

After the zoo we headed to Prague Beer Museum on Dlouha which I've head good things about, but we weren't fans. 30 beers on draught seems good, but the beer tasted old and dusty, as if the lines hadn't been cleaned properly. I had a Vysoky Chlumek Flying Cloud IPA which tasted like an old American import - sweet, malty and devoid of hops. Sammie had Kocour Cherry Lager which was alright but sweet and left a weird film in the mouth.

Next stop was the fairly new Craft House which is right in the town centre. Very clean, bright and open space with 25 draught beers and a nice Czech bottle selection. Seats were comfortable, and there was a mixed clientele. I had Permon Easy Hopper Citra which was an in your face yet subtle session IPA with lashings of tropical fruits whilst Sammie had Fabrica RARA Smocze Oczy, a juicy American Pale Ale at 5.2%.

Next we moved into a favourite of mine, Beer Geek Bar, which Sammie was really impressed with. We love the way they have the changing beers on LCD displays above the bar, so they can change at any moment. I really wanted some Matuska Raptor, but there was none so I settled for the juice monster that is Matuska Apollo Galaxy; Galaxy is one of my favourite hops and its peachiness did not disappoint. Sammie had a Ginger Lager by Faltus which I didn't mind for a ginger beer as it wasn't burning my throat. We had another in here... mine was Raven Farmhand Saison which contained all of the funk you'd want from a saison with lashings of mango and blood orange whilst Sammie settled for Podlesi Podlesky Mikes 13 a chocolatey black lager.

Our next stop was another craft beer bar, Illegal Beer, where we had to walk down a street lined with the kind of strip clubs that mug off tourists, in order to get there. Sammie had Raven White IPA which she ended up spilling across the table with her wild drunken hand gestures as she explained something - it was a very solid White IPA and I wish I could have found it again that trip. I had Lobec IPA which was nice but very subtle.

We then headed back to Andel and went to Bernard Pub, another of my favourites in Prague. Bernard make so many awesome lagers. I started with the Unfiltered 10 Degree which was very light and I sunk it within around 5 minutes whilst Sammie slowly drank her Amber Lager; I don't usually like Amber beers but this was something I could get on with. I then moved on to the 12 Degree Lager which is one of the finest lagers in all the land, and I believe I had another one.

After this, Sammie decided to head back to the hotel whilst I tried to get some Tankovna Urquell but to no avail as most places were closing, so I popped into U Buldoka for a regular Pilsner Urquell on tap, which was nice and satisfying. U Buldoka was a very nice bar, a nice atmosphere and buzz going on, friendly staff, football memorabilia and a wall full of football scarves. I sunk my pint then figured I'd have a quick one in Pivnice U Mejly again before heading back to the hotel to join Sammie for some bottles and cans.

We went to bed, later than we intended to for the next day was an early train to Budvar...

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