Velvet Revolution. I stood on the same street that 28 years prior peaceful protesters began a nonviolent transfer of power to end Communism in what is now known as the Czech Republic.
The capital of the kingdom of Bohemia and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. This city has been graced with many a day. Prague has been a main player in central Europe and has seen it all. When you look at the city you can tell the age.
I have always found that you can learn about a people when you eat and drink what they do. I firmly believe this and will always use it as my guiding light when learning about other places. That being said, I drank a lot in Prague. Really a lot. More than usual. More than I should. Of course, I was just learning about the people. The Czech Republic people drink the most beer per capita in the world. And they do this with good reason. The beer is good.
Without further ado, here are some of my stops that I took to experience the food and drink this place has to offer. Our first trip was in the company of Lucas from Urban Adventures (Beer and Tapas tour).
Stop 1 – Pivovar Basta
Drink:This spot was like many locations around Prague, limited choices but all great beers. They had a total of 8 taps of beer which ranged from their own making to one or two guest beers as well .
Eat: Breads with spreads. So good it rhymes. I was asked to try this spread of duck and lard. Thinking there was a “lost in translation” moment with the explanation, I braved the food without a second guess. To my surprise, it truly was pieces of duck meat along with copious amounts of lard. The small troupe following along waited with bated breath as I tried the drinking snack. It was delicious. However, the star of the show was the smoked pork.
Stop 2 – Zly Casy
Drink – This spot is more towards the microbrewery and craft brewery scene as a whole. They had a whopping 28 beers on tap and many more in bottles. I like to think of them as my little World of Beer from Prague. One interesting thing was the hundreds of empty bottles that hung around everywhere. The bar was huge and spread out of 3 floors.
Eat – More breads with spreads. Pâté is an typical drinking snack that goes with lots and lots of bread. One thing I have learned is that it’s not the ABV % here that gets you (4-5%) but it’s the quantity (0.5L at a time!) Here we had duck with lard and one with cranberries. Before you go…EWWWWW…. I would definitely try it out.
Stop 3 – Cafe microbrewery
Drink – Although it was a cafe, this was a great spot to grab the 3 beers they had on draft. One thing that stood out during the trip was that Czech people care less about the ABV and more about the degrees of the beer. The degree refers to the amount of sugar in the wort prior to fermentation.
Eat – Cheese! Not just any cheese. Nakladany Hermelin or “Pickled Cheese” is a soft camembert style cheese that is soaked in oil with herbs and onions. Needless to say this did not lat long.
Stop 3 – U Sumavy
Drink – Like most establishments this had a few beers available to choose from. However, from a recommendation from Lucas I went with the Swine Beer! Cerna Svine is a dark lager that has 6 different malts in it. Great beer to end the night with…well I think I also had a Budweiser as well…the Czech one the the US haha.
Eat – With a dark smooth beer came dessert. Pancakes with a plum jam and sour cream. I am always surprised about the sour cream but everytime I have it mixed with a pancake and a sweet jam I am reminded that I enjoy it every time.
Well after pancakes and beer it was time to say goodbye to Lucas and the other weary travelers we had come to know on this tour. Be on the look out for part two of our Czech beer adventure.
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