Thursday, October 20, 2022

Oktober Reise, Day 8: The last day

Yesterday: Prague Brewpubs 

Sunday, October 9. I know I said it was a ten-day trip, and it was if you count the days spent in the air.

There was some shopping to get out of the way before the last couple brewery visits, so we had a breakfast beer to set the tone. We picked up this bottle at U Medvídků yesterday. Their X-Beer 33 claims to be one of the strongest beers in the world, and that may well have been true some years ago, but at 12.5% abv it doesn't stand out quite so much these days. It's a good beer though, richly malty and sweet but not too sweet. The neck label says "Never drink it alone!"

We checked out of the apartment and walked to the nearby Karlova shopping street. We wandered around there for a while, and I got a trdelnik for breakfast at Sweet Dreams. It's like a churro, only much bigger and fluffier. (Wikipedia calls it "a kind of spit cake", which sounds worse than it is.)

Paris and I sat on the steps of the Katedrála sv. Klimenta and ate our trdelnik, and I noticed this souvenir shop across the street at Karlova 14. All those things on display are matryoshka dolls, painted in the colors of sports teams.

The guy said the artist had made 75 sets, and I bought the next-to-last one, so now these matryosharks are proudly displayed in our Hockey Room.

By now, we'd killed enough time so that the day's first brewery would be open, so we took a cab up to Loď Pivovar. Opened in 2017, this is a brewery and restaurant on a boat in the Vltava River.

They brew good beer here. The Legie 10° is an excellent Pilsner, smooth and creamy and bready and nicely bitter. The Republika 12° is a slightly heaver version that's good, but doesn't quite have the Legie's balance. The Remorkér 12° is an unusual fresh-hop Pilsner, with lots of green hop flavor and nice bitterness. And the Bohemia 12° is a single-hop Pilsner, brewed only with Saaz hops.

They also pour a guest beer. Today's is from the gypsy brewer Crazy Clown Beer, and it's a wild one. Oh My F*** Cthulhu is billed as a "Gin & Gose", and it's not something I would normally be interested in. But it was actually pretty tasty, with lots of salt balanced by the malt and a bit of coriander and lemon.

A bit of lunch at Loď set us up for the ten-minute walk to Pivovarská Nalévárna v Soukenické. We thought it was a brewery, but it's really a taproom for Pivovar Hostomice pod Brdy. We arrived fifteen minutes before they opened at 2:00.

The beers were quite good here. Fabián 10° is a bready, sulfury Czech Pilsner. Fabián 12° is a slightly heavier version of the same. Fabián 14° is a very tasty — if a little light — Bock, and their excellent Märzen is Fabián 15° Březnový. Brewed for St Vaclav's Day, it's smooth and sweet, with hints of toast and honey.

Mario and Ana were flying back home to Düsseldorf this evening, so we all took a car out to the airport and said our goodbyes. Paris and I got a hotel room to save some time in the morning. We had some dinner and went to bed.

Our alarm Monday morning went off at 3:30am — that's 8:30pm Sunday night in Minnesota. We made our way to the gate, got on the 6:05am flight, changed planes in Amsterdam, and landed at MSP around 1:30pm, only about 17 hours after waking up.

And I didn't have another beer until Friday.

1 comment:

Richard Stueven said...

Random post-trip thoughts:

This was a pretty ambitious schedule. It might have been better to just do, say, five days in Prague, and only get tickets for one game. That would have meant a lot less hecticity(?) and more time for exploring the town.

I put 62 beers in the notebook during the trip, not counting four at Fat Pants Brewing on the way to the airport.

Paris and I hadn't taken a vacation since 2003; all of our travels since then have been either for her job or for funerals. We hadn't been to Germany since 2009, we hadn't been out of the country since 2010, and we had never been to Prague.

Matthias and his family need to come visit us in Minnesota, and Mario needs to come back (and bring Ana along).

As much as I hate Uber, I have to admit they're a cheap way to get around over there. Five bucks would get us pretty much

Always reserve a seat when you book an ICE trip. Don't risk having to stand for a three-hour trip.

You'll do a lot of walking in Europe; comfortable, well-broken-in shoes are a must.

The Czech language is HARD; I tried and failed to learn some. Fortunately, we could get by pretty well using German and English.