Archive for May 29th, 2008

I’m going to Prague next month. Oh, you’ll sure say. You mean going back to Prague? As a beer hound you must have been there before?

Yes, I’ve been there, but that was way back. 1988. I won’t bore you with the endless hours of haggling with our totalitarian hosts, nor with the long discussion we had with a chain smoking playwright just out of prison, as I try to stay clear of this type of discussions on the blog. But I exchanged a few dollars for local currency in a bar, and enjoyed a fair number of good beers in bars like U Fleku and the Golden Tiger.

I have enjoyed some of the Czech beers entering the European market in more recent years, too, but not in a systematic way. I am really looking forward to trying some of the unpasteurized beers on their home turf, and I have already enlisted the help of Evan  to advise me on how to go straight for the best pubs and avoid the tourist traps.

It was therefore quite convenient for me to have a look inside the Czech Inn in Dublin the other week, as The Beer Nut had mentioned that they had several interesting beers on tap.

This is a pub that seems to cater for a mixed crowd, offering an alternative to the endless pints of stout. There is probably a market of Central European expats making a core market, as the buzz of conversation I picked up during my afternoon visit seemed to confirm. (Hardly statistical evidence, but what do you expect from a blog?)

I did not see any food menus inside, but out front there were signs promising sturdy Austro-Hungarian fare like dumplings and goulash. I went for the beer list instead, which celebrates their two year anniversary by extra beers on tap in addition to the regular list of Czech and Slovak beers.

The Konrad Premium beer is a bit stronger than the ordinary Bohemian pilsner at 5.4%. It is biscuity, with lots of cereal flavour. Rather sweet, but there are enough hops to make a well composed beer.

Kvasar from the Cerna Hora brewery is brewed with honey. This has a very full flavour, with the honey clearly evident, giving an extra dimension to the beer without making it cloyingly sweet. It is similar to some of the best beers I tried in Latvia earlier this year. This beer would be wonderful for cooking, I would love to poach some salmon in this brew and make a sauce of it afterwards.

A medium body, a very quaffable beer. There are even hops in the background making sure the honey does not steal the show totally.

The scene? Rather 1980s retro, lists of cocktails at 8 Euro a glass, very quiet and civilized in the afternoon. But, this being Temple Bar, I imagine it is more suited to a younger crowd around midnight. By then I was safely tucked up.

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