Friday, April 2, 2010

Among pilsner camels

After visiting Pilsner Urquell, my next adventure in Plzeň led me to the suburb of Černice. To get there, I needed to take trolley bus number 13. The nearest bus stop was called Sumavska, so I had a short walk there along the U Prazdroje street.

U Prazdroje street is named after the Pilsner Urquell brewery's Czech name, Plzeňský Prazdroj, and it means literally "at the source". I liked walking with the brewery site on my left, so I decided to walk to the next bus stop on the street, Gambrinus - named after the other well known beer brand from Plzeň. That was a good choice, as there were many beer related posters to take a look at near the road. In addition to this, it was interesting looking at the modern brewery buildings from the outside.

After a short wait, trolley bus 13 came. I entered the bus, and had in a way a ten minute sightseeing through the city centre before the bus led us southwards to Černice in another 10 minutes. On the bus stop Gen. Lišky it was time to leave the bus, and I was suddenly on the countryside. I walked through a residential area with many new houses before my goal was in front of me: Purkmistr brewery and hotel.

I entered the on-site restaurant, sat down and ordered a half litre of their pale lager, ležák. As I waited for the beer, I looked around in the room. I liked it. On the walls there were bricks, the bar was nicely decorated and the brewing equipment was a nice touch.

The waitress brought my beer, and I was very excited. The beer was a little bit cloudy, but otherwise golden with a large head. There was no carbonation at all, and it the nose I felt nice yeast notes. The beer was very good with a fruity touch. There were some notes of citrus, and they danced with hints of yeast until a nice, somewhat bitter finish. A lovely beer, and it was well worth the bus ride tasting it.

I was hungry, so I ordered a portion of beer goulasch. It was very nice with a great sauce, and the beef was nice and tender. I liked it a lot, and it was so filling that I was not able to eat it all.

It was time for another beer, and this time I tried one of the five other Purkmistr beers on tap, the polotmave or half dark lager. Also this beer was served with no carbonation and a small head. It was a good beer with aromas of yeast and burntness. In the mouth the burnt notes took lead with hints of sweetness. I felt some chocolate before a bitter aftertaste took the lead. This was a nice beer, but in afterthought I should have taken another golden lager. That was a much better beer.

It was time to move on, as I had more plans during my visit to Plzeň. On the way out I decided to take a look at the hotel reception, as Purkmistr's website promises a lot of merchandise for sale.

Bingo! They had beer glasses, jams, spreads, sausages and different Purkmistr beers for sale. I bought a handful of beer bottles and a branded glass to go. My plan was to enjoy a bottle of ležák on the train back to Prague.

I left Purkmistr with a smile promising myself that I would be back at this nice restaurant with the great beers. But first I had to find the bus stop again. Another brewpub was waiting for me in the city centre of Plzeň.

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