I arrive at the spanking new airport terminal in Prague in the early afternoon, and I soon find myself on the bus towards the centre. No regards for speed limits here, a Swedish fellow passenger mutters that the driver is speeding like he has stolen the bus. Luckily I managed to get a seat. It is sweltering hot, and I am lucky that the bus stops right in front of my hotel. Time for a quick shower before I go down to the lobby to meet Max, my local guide and fellow beer blogger.
Max is not a Czech native, but an Argentinian who has settled here. It is extremely useful to have a guide with an in-depth knowledge of the local beer scene, who knows the language and, at the same time, speaks better English than I do.
And, even better, know his way around. Sure, I’ve got Evan‘s Good Beer Guide to Prague and the Czech Republic and a good map, but it is so much easier for once just to follow, down into the Metro, some stops down the line, up a flight of stairs, around a corner, run a few meters to catch a tram. No time wasted reading maps and figuring out ticket systems. This means that within half a hour or so we find ourselves in the cool vaulted cellar of Zlý Časy.
This pub had a sort of mini festival on, with rotating beers seldom seen in Prague. A few blackboards show us what’s currently on offer. This is not a place for thimble-sized samplers, so we soon have full half litre glasses in front of us, Střibro Argent having the honor of opening the ball. And what a beer for a day with 30 degrees in the shade – hazy amber, unfiltered. A hint of yeast, a little pleasant sourness, strong flowery aroma. Long lasting crisp and dry aftertaste.
We continue with a Pukrmistr Lezak (apologies for wrong or missing accents here, two days was a bit short for picking up the nuances!). This dark gold beer has a medium body, some caramel malt and aromatic hops. Well balanced and very pleasant.
One more? Sure, and some barbecue as well. Nicely grilled ribs, served with a basket of bread – no time wasted on raw or cooked greens here. The beer is a Beroun 11°. Hazy, with a crisp dryness and a herbal finish. The micro that makes this is located in a junkyard, but the beer is certainly no junk.
OK, then. One for the road. Kout NA Sumave 12°. Dark gold. Grainy, chewy, malty. Caramel, then a lovely bitter twist in the tail that lasts long after we have emerged into the brutal sunshine again. What next?