Friday, December 23, 2011

Prague's oldest new brewpub

December brought me back to Prague for the third time this year. Strolling around the Czech capital was strange, as the calender said it was Winter and there was no snow to be seen. The Christmas markets can be found all over the city, and the Old Town Square is very beautiful this time of year with the Christmas tree and various decoration.

As I was walking through Vodičkova street, I suddenly found myself in front of a brewpub. Novoměstský pivovar was the first brewpub to be opened in Prague after the Velvet Revolution, and it is supposed to be very popular among tourists. I had never been to this pub, so I felt I needed to visit it.

It was lunch time, and all tables in the cavernous restaurant were occupied. I asked to sit down with a group of Czechs who probably were work colleagues. I ordered a klobasa and a Novoměstský kvasnicový světlý ležák to go with the sausage. It was also possible to order a dark beer brewed on the premises, but that will have to wait for a later visit. Beers can also be bought to be taken away in bottles or growlers.

The světlý ležák was a pale, cloudy beer with some carbonation and a medium sized head. It had a grassy aroma with a touch of sweetness. In the mouth I felt yeast, grass and some citrus. The finish was boring and nearly tasteless, but with a feeling of cardboard. Novoměstský kvasnicový světlý ležák is a fine lager beer, but in the Czech Republic this is an average pale lager. I only need to mention Pilsner Urquell, Kout na Šumavě, Budvar and Černá Hora. These four Czech breweries make pale lagers with very distinct and different taste profiles that are much better than the beer from Novoměstský pivovar.

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