Friday, June 24, 2011

Back to Pegas

The best brewpub in Brno is Pegas. That is what the guide books I have been reading say, and I can not tell anything else. Pegas is the only brewpub I have visited in the Moravian city.

Pegas is both a hotel, a brewery and a beer hall. As a beer hall it is perfect with a great interior. As a brewery I am really impressed. The beers brewed at Pegas have a great reputation, and the ones I have tasted have been very good.

I visited Pegas two years ago and I had a wonderful time. This revisit to Pegas was just as fun. First I tried the pale lager, Světlý Ležák. It was still great. This is a cloudy beer with nearly no carbonation and a large head. In the nose yeast take the lead. In the mouth this is a wonderful beer with traces of yeast, lemon and hops before a fruity finish. This is an extraordinary beer that is to be recommended!

But there are more beers available at Pegas. On the table the beer menu said that I could also have a dark lager, a wheat beer and Pegas Gold. The latter is a stronger pale lager. I chose none of them.On a poster I found Pegas also offered another beer called Pegas Březňák. I tried that beer instead.

Pegas Březňák was another cloudy pale lager. In the glass it had nearly no carbonation and a medium sized head. The beer was fruity before a semi bitter finish. It was lovely, but I preferred the ordinary Světlý Ležák at Pegas.

If you go to Brno, Pegas is a must. This is a wonderful brewpub with excellent beers and a nice atmosphere. It is to be recommended!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A large one

One of the more known Czech beer brands is the Heineken owned Březňák. These days the Březňák brewery is among the Czech breweries selling beers in large PET bottles. I found a Březňák 2 litre PET bottle, and of course it was checked out.

Velky Březňák is two litres of Březňák's světlé výčepní in a large plastic bottle. The beer has 4.1% alcohol and is a pale lager. In the glass there is nearly no carbonation nor head. In the nose I feel some grains, while in the mouth there is malts, bread and some butter. The finish is watery with some hops and a touch of toffee.

This effort from Březňák is a fine lager beer that is very suitable as a session beer. In all this is a decent beer.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Two pubs in Brno

It is evening, and it is time to take a walk through the city centre of Brno checking out some of the pubs there. Brno has loads of pubs, so it is difficult to choose where to go. Czech lagers are among the better ones in the world, and it is tempting to sit down where they sell Pilsner Urquell or Budweiser Budvar. But no. I want to have something else.

In the Beethovenova street I see a sign promoting the club and restaurant Freeland. It says that Freeland sells beer from the Dalešice brewery. I tried a kvasnicove from Dalešice two years ago and liked it a lot, so I decide to stop there.

Freeland is supposed to be a trendy place, and inside there is a group of teenagers dancing and having fun. I trek towards the bar to see which beers are available.

There are four taps at Freeland. In addition to a Dalešice pale lager, you can buy draught beers from the Starobrno and Svijany breweries. There is also draugted Kofola, a Czech cola. I choose the Dalešice beer.

Dalešice's 11° pale lager is served with a large head and hardly any carbonation. There are nearly no aromas from the beer, but in the mouth I feel strawberries and some malt. The beer feels a little bit watery as well. I like the beer, but the Dalešice kvasnicove was a better beer.

From Freeland I once again enter the streets of Brno. In Vachova street I find another interesting place. Strakonický Dudák offers beers from the Strakonice brewery. That is interesting, so I walk inside.

At the bar there are several taps, and in addition to the Strakonice beers Strakonický Dudák also sells beers from Chotěboř and Měšťanský pivovar v Poličce. I choose the Polička beer and enjoy the 12° pale lager Záviš. I have tried it from bottle earlier, and it is an enjoyable beer.

After my half litre of Záviš I leave Strakonický Dudák thinking that it is a great place. There are better pubs in Brno, but a visitor could do worse than visiting Strakonický Dudák.

Friday, June 17, 2011

More Černá Hora beers

Being in Brno it is easy to take a pub crawl drinking quality beers from Czech breweries. There are many exciting breweries in the Czech Republic, and some of them are available in bars and pubs in Brno.

It is no secret that I am fond of the beers from the Černá Hora brewery. As I was walking past the tiny Pasáž Typos mall near Náměstí Svobody on an evening walk, I for some reason decided to enter. Inside I found a little pub advertising Černá Hora beers. I had to sit down there.

The little pub had no name, but the waitress called it Pivnice when I wanted to try the free wi-fi offered there. That was great. I could update myself on news and e-mails and drink a wonderful beer.

I went for a Moravské Sklepní. This excellent pale lager was served with a large head and nearly no carbonation. In the nose I felt a tiny hint of malts, but otherwise nothing. As usual that changed when I tasted the beer. Moravské Sklepní is delicious with tastes of malts, yeast and a tiny touch of lemon before a partly hoppy finish. A great beer!

I also had a glass of Kvasar. This is Černá Hora's honey beer, and it is very good. Moravské Sklepní is the better beer, but that did not matter. Both beers are fabulous. I would like to sit here for the rest of the evening, but there was no time. Other Brno pubs needed to be visited.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

And on to Brno

There are several places for a visitor to Vienna to take a day trip. Sopron in Hungary is less than 90 minutes away by train. The same goes for Bratislava in Slovakia and Brno in the Czech Republic. I had been on a trip to Brno before, and I knew what to expect. I therefore chose to revisit the Moravian city.

LinkI like to travel by train, and taking the train to Brno from Vienna was no problem at all. There are several trains a day, and the one I took was an express train to Prague that had Brno as one of its stops.

There are several train stations in Vienna. My Prague bound train went from the Meidling station. On the way through the city, the train passed the site of the old Südbahnhof. The Austrians are building a new main railway station for Vienna there, and right now it is nothing but a large construction site.

The hilly landscape between Vienna and the Czech border is beautiful. You see several small villages, and there is also some farm land.

Across the border the train stopped at Břeclav. I decided to walk into the station building to see if there was any beer available. One of the newsagents' was open, but for some reason it did not sell beer. The other was closed, but of course I could see through the window that various beer cans were available. I went back to the train without beer.

After a short while, the train arrived at Brno. Brno's railway station is a beautiful building. The same can be said about the city itself. It has a compact city centre, and it is easy to walk from the train station to many sights.

One of the most known buildings in Brno is the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul. The church can be found on the Czech 10 korona coins, and it can be seen from more or less everywhere in the city centre.

Náměstí Svobody is the main square of Brno. It is a short walk from the railway station, but lazy beer tourists can of course take the tram. The trams are the only traffic in the square, as it otherwise is a pedestrian area. That is great, as the square is a nice place without cars and buses.

One of the newest sights on Náměstí Svobody is Brnensky Orloj. This is a clock, believe it or not. From what I heard during my stay in Brno, the work is called the Brno dildo by locals.

When I got to Náměstí Svobody I was thirsty. I knew where to go. Černohorský sklep is based on the square, and it is possible to drink the very good beers from the Černá Hora brewery. It was sunny and warm weather, so a beer in the sun was a must.

I sat down and ordered a Moravské Sklepní pale lager. This is an unfiltered lager beer that I have enjoyed several times earlier. It went down quickly, and I enjoyed every drop of it. Then I had a glass of Kvasar. Kvasar is Černá Hora's honey beer. This is another lovely beer, but in the end it became sweeter than I preferred. I should have chosen another glass of Moravské Sklepní.

I then chose to go inside. The whole line-up of Černá Hora beers were available, and I found out that I would try the dark lager, Granát.

Granát was a nearly black beer with a large, solid head and a minimum of carbonation. There was a touch of coffee in the nose, while the taste was dominated by cold coffee and a touch of sweetness before a semi bitter finish. Once again I had found a lovely beer from Černá Hora, and I knew that there would be more possibilities to try more from the Moravian brewery during the next 24 hours.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Vienna's best brewpub?

Of all the brewpubs I visited in Vienna, I liked Salm Bräu the best. The brewpub is placed near Belvedere, and taking tram number 71 to the Unteres Belvedere tram stop will get you more or less next to Salm Bräu.

The fun thing is that it was not the beer that made me enter the brewpub. Salm Bräu was recommended for good dinner dishes with large portions. I had some spareribs, and they were excellent. The portion was so large that I had problems eating all of it.

Salm Bräu brews several beers. On my visit i could drink Pils, Helles, Märzen, Böhmisch G´mischt and Weizen. As always in Vienna, I started with the helles. This was a cloudy beer with some carbonation and a medium sized head. There was not much aroma from the beer. In the mouth I felt malts, yeast and biscuit before a watery finish with a touch of hops. As I was sitting outside in the beer garden drinking this beer, it felt perfect as the sun was shining.

I also had a go at Salm Bräu's pils. This beer had nearly no carbonation and a medium sized head. I felt a touch of grass in the nose, while the taste was a little bit more bitter than the helles. The finish was hoppy. I also liked this beer a lot, but that day the helles was my favourite.

There was also time to try the wheat beer. The weizen was a cloudy beer with some carbonation. It had some banana in the nose, and the banana was also leading in the mouth with some bread and a sweet touch of tutti frutti bubble gum. This was another nice beer.

I had a great time at Salm Bräu, and I can recommend the brewpub for both the beers and the spareribs. A little piece of advice: There is a happy hour on weekdays between 3PM and 5PM and at Saturdays between 12AM and 4PM. All beers are then at half price. That is a bargain!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Another great brewpub in Vienna

Vienna has several great brewpubs. One of them is Siebensternbräu in Vienna's 7th district. It is easy to find. Take tram number 49 to Stiftgasse. From there it is a short walk to the brewpub in Siebensterngasse 19.

When you enter the pub, the first thing to see is a vending automat. Here you can buy bottles of Siebensternbräu's various beers to take away. Inside, Siebensternbräu is a large beer hall with prominent beer kettles next to the large bar. I sat down at a table looking at a beer coaster. It had a clever design presenting the brewpub's seven standard beers. These are Wiener Helles, India Pale Ale, Chilli Beer, Märzen, Prager Dunkles (dark lager), Hanf Bier (hemp beer) and Bamberger Rauchbier (smoked beer). In addition to these beers, the food menu offered a seasonal special. At my visit this was Oster Bock, an Easter beer.

Being in Vienna, the Helles was the right place to start. This was a cloudy, pale lager with nearly no carbonation and a large head. The nose was yeasty with a touch of malts. The taste was sweet with some bread before a slightly bitter finish with more yeast. This was quite different from the ordinary Austrian helles beers I had tried in Vienna, and it felt more like a Czech kvasnicove.

For some reason I have no pictures of the next two beers I tasted at Siebensternbräu. Oster Bock was one of them. This was a golden beer with some carbonation and a medium sized head. The taste was sweet with some malts before a touch of vodka dominated the aftertaste. This bock beer was ok, but it was not a favourite.

The Bamberger Rauchbier was a very nice dark beer. It had a large head and some carbonation. In the nose I felt smoked bacon. In the mouth there was malts, smoke and more bacon. I liked this beer a lot, and it is probably the best smoked beer I have ever tasted.

The last beer I tried at Siebensternbräu was the Märzen. This was a cloudy copper coloured beer with a large head and nearly no carbonation. I felt a solid dose of yeast in the nose. In the mouth this beer had a malty touch together with some caramel and some burnt notes. This beer felt like a hefe version of a Bavarian lager. It was tasty, but I felt that the Rauchbier was the best beer I tried at this brewpub.

Siebensternbräu is a brewpub to be recommended to visitors to Vienna. The beers were very good, and I also enjoyed being in the pub. It is one of the best places for a beer tourist in Vienna.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Finally 1516

I had visited the 1516 Brewing Company brewpub in Vienna on a busy evening, so I decided to be back later. At lunchtime another day I had some time. After taking a tram to Schwarzenbergplatz, I walked to the pub in Schwarzenbergstraße.

I could only have one beer at the 1516 Brewing Company, so I read some beer reviews on the internet before coming to brewpub. There was praise to find about the Victory Hop Devil India Pale Ale, so I decided to have that beer. This is a whole leaf hopped beer that has won prices, so I was happy to find it on the menu.

In the glass this is a cloudy beer with some carbonation and a large head. I felt some grapefruit in the nose, while the beer tasted of more grapefruit and some malts before a bitter and hoppy finish.

Victory Hop Devil India Pale Ale was a wonderful beer, and it was a shame that there was not more time for me to try other beers from the 1516 Brewing Company's menu. But perhaps if I get back to Vienna?