If I’m not travelling Europe drinking great beer, at least one of my friends is. My bud Calvin is doing exactly that, so I figured that I would help him out and point him in the right direction of some amazing beer. In this part of his trip he will be in one of the world’s ultimate beer havens in the Czech Republic, and the not so beer infamous Switzerland. Although I’m sure he will be occupied with the sites, and friends and other festivities in both locations, the man has got to drink, so why not enjoy the good stuff?
Switzerland: Switzerland is certainly not known for their beer, but like any true civilization they do have several breweries, and some very good ones at that!
Eichhof: This is Switzerland’s largest independent brewery with history dating back to 1834 – and although it sounds like a Coor’s light commercial, they brew all their beers with fresh mountain water from the central Swiss Alps. Look for the Bugel Brau (a crisp, pale, refreshing lager at 4.9% with big flavors of vanilla, and soft hops) and the Barbara (A 5.9% lager that is sweet, and a touch toffee like showing great balance and a red apple finish).
Biervision Monstein: This brewery started in the mountains near Davos, one of the world’s greatest driving roads. Their forte is strangely flavored beers, which is now becoming more and more common in the craft beer scene. I’ll be very jealous when you get to try these, so enjoy the Mungga (a 3.5% organic Kolsch that is dry, with a Violette and floral flavor) and the Royall 11 (A spicy 6.5% beer reminiscent of cherries and sweet liquor).
Brauhaus Sternen: This brewpub has a history that extends beyond its own brands. Calanda, another Swiss brewery was originally established on this site, but now it is all Sternen, and its specialty beers. Please find Wartmann’s Nur Fur Freunde No1 (This is a Blegian style Dubbel at 9.6% and should be the biggest beer you’ve tried yet. It will be chocolaty, lightly sweet, full bodied, with rich prunes and a mildly bitter finish) and the Honey Brown Ale (a 6% Brown Ale that is sweet and fruity and surprisingly quenching).
The Czech Republic: You may as well be walking right into the heart of beer heaven right now, so keep your eyes open, and your palate thirsty, because many people consider beer to have originated in the Czech Republic. Rather than list brands for you though, I’m going to share with you some spots that you should try to check out while in Prague. Enjoy!
Old Town Square: Thousands of tourists and visitors will be streaming by onlooking the beer gardens, you should be in these beer gardens. It has long stood as a staple for beer culture in the Prague, and will often feature fold dancing and music. Get your dancing shoes on Calvin!
U Zlateho Tygra: One of Prague oldest and most atmospheric bars is crowded by small tables and hundreds of locals. Be prepared to stand when you go in, but try the Pilsner Urquell which is served unfiltered there, no nowhere else in the world.
U Pinkasu: This was the first bar in Prague to serve Pilsner Urquell in 1843 and still has history brimming through it. It was renovated in 2000, and is still a stronghold for beer culture and good times.
Novomestsk Pivovar: Bar meets brewery here where an art deco entrance will lead you to a wood paneled brewpub and restaurant. Here you will find unfiltered beers, and unashamedly Czech food – get the Pork Knuckle…
Pivodium: Traditional Czech beer is served here as well as more innovative and interesting beers and fare like a sour cherry beer, coffee beer, and a beer champagne. You can order a beer sampler, or if you order 8 beers at once you only pay for 7, so go get your drink on!
Hope your trip is awesome Calvin. Cheers!