Welcome to Benesov to Zeliv - A blog about Prague and the Czech Republic's beer culture.

From the tasty brews at the Ferdinand brewery in Benesov to the only genuine monk made beers in Zeliv, most of the country's best beers can be found in the capital. Combined with a whole new brew pub scene, rotating tap bars and top notch food, i reckon it's the best place in Europe to drink beer.

I'm not a big on tasting notes, history and the like, there are plenty of blogs around dealing with that and to be honest i'm not quite knowledgable enough about that yet.
I love Czech pubs, food, the easygoing nature of the places and people and fortunately the beer scene is improving day by day, so it's a pretty exciting time to write about beer.

This blog is really a companion for an exhaustive website im compiling about Prague beer and a hoped for pub crawl of the city, coming soon.

Na Zdravi

Monday, 14 December 2009

New kid on the blog.

While i was away in England, regular checks of the net made me aware of 1 place in particular that would be first on my hitlist of places to visit back in Prague.
Kulovy Blesk ( ball of lightning )promised upto 9 beers on tap and my visits thus far have not disappointed.
On my first visit at lunch ( usually the best time to go to any good beer pub ) there were indeed 9 beers on the go including ones you wouldn't find anywhere else bar Zly Casy and Merenda. Nymburk beers are permanent with even the unfiltered version sometimes on the go. I opted for Kocour's English Pale Ale and it was as superb as i remembered, surpassing any pale ale i actually had in the UK, hoppy , but without the horrible aftertaste English beers tend to have, mixed with flowery notes and a smooth, fruity taste that typifies Kocour's excellent beers.
Lunch was a pork roll, stuffed with bacon and mushrooms, superb and they even let me change the ubiqitous fries, for huge, chunky wedges, classy. I then had an ever reliable beer from Opat and was pleased with the bill. The kocour was only 35kc, comparing to other places where i would expect to pay 45kc. Small beers are also priced in accordance, unlike the other 2 places mentioned previously.
As for the place itself, well it feels a bit cramped, due to the underground feel and the various side rooms and probably not the best place to go alone. The decor is great, all the classic Czech films have posters spread across the walls and it's this kind of effort in making the place different i love about Czech pubs.
Subsequent visits haven't disappointed on the beer front, ranging from the suberb Opat 17 special, Matuska's full range and Kocour beers almost everytime i go, to a good range of standards from Nymburk to Kacov and Primator. Kocour is now 40kc in line with other places. Service is usually fine if they can see you in the nooks and crannies and the food is always decent.
The only flipsides are the necessity to always pre book the tables unless you come in the afternoon. Why a good beer pub can't have a few tables for regulars i don't know, but that's Czech for you. The prices are also not listed, so you have to keep asking and look like a tight arse.
Despite this, i will definately be a regular, i reckon it's the best of the 3 uber rotating tap bars in Prague and that's a real recommendation.
Kulovy Blesk is at Sokolska 13, Prague 2.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

A dream afternoon

Imagine if we could combine our love of quality beer, with a saturday afternoon game of footy and some top notch pub food. Well imagine no longer my friends. While i was beavering away in the UK trying to make money, my mole( step forward Scottish Iain ) in CZ was busy making the discovery of the year.
Armed with insider info, i went with the missus and a mate to Predni Kopanina FC, lurking in the 4th tier of the Czech football league, having been in the 5th the season before. Getting there was pretty easy with a bus from outside Dejvicka metro getting us there half an hour before kick off.
15 mins later we arrive at Kopanina on the edge of Prague and a nice, classic village it is. Surprisingly there is a 14th century church, which was in excellent nick and even a historic lime tree!
Second pleasure was 35kc entry with a free programme and a tombola ticket! The missus was even luckier, her ticket was only 20kc, a footy club that cares about family and the ladies, are we really in CZ. A professional sounding DJ was on the decks and a small TV camera filming events was not what i expected, better than most premier league games.
Then the restaurant slap bang in the grounds, we didnt take a meal, but the menu had the lot at good prices and was worth coming even earlier for, particularly as one of my favourite beers in the world awaited. Yep, they have Chyne Polotmavy( half-dark ) on tap for 22kc, i almost wet myself!!

This was what the hangover from a big Friday night needed, they even had draught Kofola( superior coke ). The beer was as good as i remember from visiting the nearby brewery, even from a plastic glass, superb, smooth and going down rather too quickly.
The restaurant even has live coverage of the match beamed onto a screen, amazing, just what the missus needed in the increasingly cold weather.
Then the football, well it wasn't Man United, but standing next to the pitch with planes from the nearby airport whizzing overhead, ball boys crossing wheat fields to retrieve the ball, no hassles, quality beer and about 125 locals close by, i would rather head down Ke Goniu than Old Trafford any day.
One down at half time and a missed penalty required a smoked sausage from the refreshment stall, very nice it was too at 35kc with lashings of horseradish and mustard, it went pretty well with the beer. We didnt win the tombola, but apparently if you win the star prize of 1000g of raw meat, you have to share it with the team afterwards!!!
A few more pints and a stirring comeback ( Kopanina won 2-1 ) later, it was time to catch the bus back to Prague. Rest assured i will be at the final home game of the season.

FC Kopanina play at Ke Goniu 123, Prague 6
Next match = 7/11/09 @ 14.00
Bus schedule @ jizdnirady.idnes.cz/praha/spojeni/ ( from Dejvicka to Predni Kopanina )