I’ll start first with one of the oldest, and one which is some way from the city centre. Pivovar u Bulovky otherwise known as the Richter Brewery Pub, was founded in 2004, by František Richter; a man well experienced in the Bavarian brewery scene. It quickly established a reputation for the quality of its house-brewed beers. Tucked away down a quiet side-street, just a short walk from tram stop Bulovka, Pivovar u Bulovky is well worth seeking out.
|Pivovar u Bulovky|
This, coupled with the quality of its beer, means it can get very busy. Over-seeing the bar are the polished-copper brewing vessels which are used to brew a variety of different beers. These often include top-fermented styles, such as Porter, Alt, Stout or Weizenbock, but the pub staple - Richter Ležák light lager, is available every day.
We ate at Pivovar u Bulovky on both visits, but be aware that the pub has no English menus. It does have German ones though so if, like me, your Deutsch is up to scratch you will be ok. On more recent visits to Prague I’ve missed going to this excellent brew-pub; mainly because I was staying on the opposite side of the city.
|New kid on the block|
Inside is a large restaurant, with the bar, and the brewing kit to the right, as one enters. There is also a beer garden behind the pub, but we didn’t venture out into it. The house-brewed beers are sold under the Czech Lion brand, and include an 11° unfiltered and filtered pale lager, a 13° amber lager and a pilsner. The beers are heavily malt accented and not overly bitter, but are nevertheless very pleasant and quite quaffable. I stuck with the 11° unfiltered pale, whilst Matt opted for the pilsner. Our meal of roast beef with white bread dumplings was also very good.
|Opened for business last year|
After WWII and the nationalisation of businesses which followed the communist takeover, brewing ceased and the building fell into disrepair. The block suffered a large scale fire in 2000, which destroyed everything apart from the aforementioned fermenting room, where the current brewery is housed. The head brewer at Vinohradský Pivovar is none other than František Richter; founder of Pivovar U Bulovky, described above.
|Interior- Vinohradský Pivovar|
A set of steps led down from the street to a whitewashed vaulted room, which echoed with the customers’ conversation. We found a table opposite the rounded tunnel like windows which give drinkers a view into the brewery. Each is labelled explaining exactly what part of the brewery one is looking at. There is another floor below, which I only became aware of when I nipped down to the gents. Here there is more dining space, plus another set of taps, sturdy wood tables and chairs plus places for standing guests.
|Look at that head|
According to the Prague Beer Garden website(Vinohradský’s own site is in Czech only), the house beers are an 11° and 12° light lager plus a 13° amber lager. The 12° lager has a more caramel touch to its malty body, while the 11° is a fresher, classic light lager. Ales, bocks and other seasonal brews also feature on the pub’s rapidly changing beer menu.
|And through the Oval Window.......|
The final pub featured in this round up, was not only the one we visited on our last night in Prague, before departing for Český Krumlov, but it was also within walking distance of our hotel. This isn’t the first time that we’ve found an absolute gem of a pub in the immediate vicinity of where we’ve been staying, but it always strikes me as ironic to find these places, virtually on the doorstep, after days of riding around various cities in search of that elusive perfect pub selling the perfect beer.
|A proper Czech pub meal|
I didn’t take any photos of the pub interior, but from memory it was a nice pub with several wood-clad rooms, fitted out with some large tables. One of these rooms was reserved for a meeting or perhaps a party of some description. Because of this we were lucky to get a seat, but as is common on the continent, some of the local budges up and made room for us on the end of their table.
|Traditional ceramic coasters - at Sousedský Pivovar Bašta|
The in-house brewery, which is contained in a side room, produces a range of four beers of which three are generally on at any one time. There are also a number of specials on sale from time to time. We gave both the Svĕtlý ležák light and the Polotmavý ležák amber a go, and they were both really tasty; the former going especially well with the roast chicken.
Although we caught the tram to the pub, it was only one stop away from the stop by our hotel. As we had just missed one after leaving Sousedský Pivovar Bašta, we decided to walk back through the rain, after what had been an excellent, but totally unexpected final evening in Prague.