Saturday, November 14, 2009

Beers and bears

U Medvídků is one of the restaurants that get a mention in all guide books on Prague. The name means the little bears and it is both a hotel and a restaurant. The restaurant is nice, the courses are tasty and typically Czech and the beers that are served are very good. In addition to this the service is excellent and the prices are at a good level in Prague.

I visited U Medvídků for the first time in October together with my friend Pivní Filosof. The Prague based beer blogger guided me upstairs to a very special part of U Medvídků, the combined minibrewery and restaurant.

Just being in the room was fantastic. There are so many beer related things to look at. I had a really nice time just enjoying the eyecandy all over U Medvídků while being there.

You could find brewing instruments, tap towers, bottles, glasses and brewery placards. You name it, and it is probable there!

Pivní Filosof and I spent some hours in U Medvídků talking about beers and life in general. It was a great afternoon, and it was made greater by some of the wonderful beers brewed at U Medvídků.

First out was Oldgott Barique. This is a 13° amber beer. It was delicious, and I really enjoyed it.

Next beer was the new lager from the U Medvídků brewery called 1466. This cloudy beer was another excellent brew. It was a little bit stronger than Oldgott Barique, but very enjoyable.

Then we tried the strongest beer from U Medvídků, X33. This was a fullbodied delight nearly black in colour. The taste was wonderful. It was full of plums and delicious sweetness. It was just magnificent and something to be enjoyed in small sips. That is also due to the strength. This is a beer with slightly more than 12% alcohol.

I also had some food while at U Medvídků. First out was the garlic soup. It was strong in taste and very good. To be recommended!

I also tried the goulasch with two kinds of dumplings. It was also to my liking, and the gravy was extremely tasty.

A few days after my meeting with Pivní Filosof I went back to U Medvídků to check out the beer hall downstairs. I found a table in a very crowded room and ordered an Oldgott Barique. I was very disappointed when it arrived in a bottle. I felt even more let down after tasting the bottled beer. It was way superior from draught, so my advice would be to take the trip upstairs if you want to drink Oldgott Barique. It is best from tap.

U Medvídků also specialises in beers from Budvar. I had a half litre of their excellent pale lager and enjoyed every bit of it. What would I prefer, then? Budvar or 1466. I guess that depends on the day. I feel Budvar is the better session beer of the two, but 1466 is more interesting to drink and enjoy. They also sell other Budvar beers at U Medvídků, and the full range including dark lager and kvasnicove can be found at the Budweiser Budvar bar on the ground floor. The opening times are also great at the bar. While the rest of U Medvídků closes at 11PM, the Budvar bar closes at 3AM.

I had two fabulous days at U Medvídků. The food was good, the beers were good and life was good. I also spent some time in the in-house beer shop where you can buy bottled U Medvídků beers, glasses, Budvar merchandise and also many beers from several Czech breweries. In short: A great place!

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