31 May 2022

Prague Bars

By admin

As usual with any trip I had the Untappd app to help with bar information, but for Prague I had an even better source of information. The Beer Guide Prague website and app is a sister of Beer Guide London and proved invaluable. Fred, the guy behind it and all of the other apps in the series, knows his stuff, despite living in California. At the time of writing this he is currently in Prague doing yet more research to ensure that the guide is as up to date and accurate as possible. If you are going to spend any time drinking in Prague then it is a must have. (And I’m not on commission!)

On the first afternoon we headed towards the Vinohrady district of the city as this was where the bar that was top of my list to visit was located, Vinohradský Pivovar. Beers from this brewery have recently become available in the UK and I have been very impressed by them so it seemed only right that I sample them at source. It is an impressive tap room with the brewery located in the basement. If you sit upstairs in the main bar area you can see it through some windows, but there is also a large downstairs seating area with better views of the kit. They did a tasting flight of all of the available draught beers, all of which were as good as a I expected them to be, as was the food that we had for lunch. This place is highly recommended.

From here it was a pleasant 15 minute stroll through back streets to get to BeerGeek Bar. It just so happened that these first two bars also happened to be Untappd verified venues which meant I already knew that this place had a lot of beers on, and I wasn’t disappointed. They have up to 32 beers on tap although there were less than this on our visit, and half of those were beers remaining from a tap takeover by French brewers Piggy Brewery. Luckily they do five beer flights so I happily contented myself with two of them, and some more snacks. You’ve got to have bar snacks! The bar itself is in a cellar and has a lot of seating in various different areas. I would say that this is another absolute must visit when in Prague, and it’s handy that these first two are conveniently close together.

After a very pleasant couple of hours in here we retraced our steps to check out a bar that had been closed when we passed it earlier in the day. Černá svině was in Fred’s guide, but with no additional information, he had been tipped off about it and had added it, but hadn’t yet been able to visit to check it out himself. His information was good and this was a great little bar with eight beers on tap and a couple of fridges of packaged beer. When you enter you are in a cosy bar area with limited seating, but it opens out to a large hall behind with plenty of bench seating. We were starting to flag after our early start so we just had a couple before heading back to the hotel.

Once Mrs MusingAnorak was safely ensconced in the hotel room I succumbed to the urge to check out the closest Guide entry to the hotel, just five minutes away, Minirest. From the outside it looks a bit like a convenience store, and once inside it had the feeling of a station buffet, but the beer list was good and it had a friendly, dive bar, vibe to it. I liked it so much that it became my evening ritual to drop Mrs MusingAnorak at the hotel and then head out for a couple of night caps. On my three visits the beers kept changing, always a good sign. And despite visiting three times I completely neglected to take a picture of the outside!

The first bar visited on day two was Klášterní Pivovar Strahov, a brewpub sited in an old monastery. As you enter the courtyard area there is a larger restaurant building on the right and a smaller bar, housing the brewing kit, to the left. We opted, obviously for the smaller bar, and as brewing was taking place the smell was wonderful. We passed a very pleasant couple of hours here working our way through all of the available and ordering, possibly, too many bar snacks…

After spending the rest of the afternoon exploring we made our way to another part of the Vinohrady district where the first bar of the evening was Dno Pytle. This place struck me as a cross between somebody’s front room and a junk shop, in a good dive bar kind of way. When we arrived we were the only customers and sat there drinking our beers whilst the owner held forth with the staff very loudly. It was a relief when he left and we could enjoy the rest of our beers in a more peaceful environment!

It was a massive two minute walk to the next bar, four doors down. Listed in the guide as Vinohradský Burger Bar it has actually rebranded itself to take in to account the fact that it is the main outlet for beers from Pivovarská Uhříněves, although burgers are still the main food offering here. There appeared to be half a dozen of their beers on tap but in reality only three were available, so of course we tried all three, and possibly some more snacks.

We retraced our steps back along Vinohradská to get to our next bar, Pivní Bar Blanická. Upon arrival it looked very firmly closed, with a shut steel door and resigned ourselves to having to find somewhere else, but for some reason I thought I’d take a closer look and as I got nearer to the door I could hear voices, many voices, drinking voices. I tried the door and it swung open revealing the stairs down to this cellar bar that had a very 60s/70s vibe to it. The welcome from the barman wasn’t the warmest, but the beer selection was good. My trip to the gents revealed one of the best signs I have ever been faced with on entering a toilet…

We headed back to the hotel when we finished here, and then I made my now customary trip to Minirest.

After some more sightseeing on our final day it was time for some refreshment and the guide threw up a little gem in the form of Roesel – beer & food. Tucked away down a little alley this cafe/bar was very busy with the lunchtime crowd grabbing something to eat. Everybody was very friendly and tables were readily shared with strangers so we were able to sit down to enjoy two beers from the three draught beers on offer, there were also some well stocked fridges. This is not the sort of place you would find by accident and shows the value of good information.

We wandered some more and found our way back towards the river where we stopped at a brewpub, Pivovar Vojanův Dvůr for lunch and beers. This is a large place with wood panelled interiors and a large conservatory that was very popular. It is a sister establishment to U Tří Růží but does brew it’s own beers on site. We settled down in the main bar area to work through the four beers on offer and enjoy some very good deep fried chicken.

It was after leaving here that we got ourselves confused trying to find the next bar, as detailed in my main Czech post. Suffice to say the beers we had at Beer Museum Prague were not the best, but they were all ticks and in sufficiently small measures that not too much capacity was lost!

Once we had escaped from the museum we got our bearings and this time successfully managed to locate Prague Beer Museum. The names are similar and confusing. Right?! This is the original bar of what has expanded in to a small chain across the city. A long bar area is dominated by an impressive array of 30 taps, although not all were in use, as explained in apologetic notices on the tables. Lack of tourists meant that they had temporarily reduced the range, but there was still plenty to choose from, and they did 5 beer flights. My biggest gripe was that the menus only gave the beer name and it took a bit of detective work with Untappd to work out the breweries that I was sampling.

Darkness had fallen and we took a tram out to the Nusle district where my target pub was one that I hoped would be a highlight, Zlý Časy. The information I had was that this was a multiroom, multi level bar with three separate bars and a total of 48 beers on tap. When we got there we found that the front bar had temporarily been converted to a bottle shop while work was undertaken on the actual bottle shop next door, and the downstairs bar was closed, no doubt a lingering effect of COVID. It was still busy and we were lucky to find one small table available in the back room. The beer list was good, but it was very much a case of thinking it could have been so much better.

Looking at the guide I saw that there was another brewpub a couple of streets away, and it would have been rude not to check it out. After initially going in to the restaurant of the same name next door we found our way in to Pivovar Bašta. Very much a locals bar with plenty of seating we settled in to sample the four house beers that were on offer. The food smelled really good, apparently coming from the restaurant we had briefly entered, and we couldn’t resist ordering a selection of snacks which turned out to taste as good as they smelled.

And that was it. Our time was up. We headed back to the hotel and I then popped out for one last visit to Minirest. We had barely scratched the surface of what is available beer wise in the city, and I can’t stress enough just how useful Fred’s guide is. You can fire it up wherever you are and can be sure that it will be able to give you somewhere decent to drink nearby, whilst avoiding the need to visit tourist bars and drink mainstream beers. Na zdraví!