Saturday 26th June 2010
The title of this brew pub translates as the Strahov Monastic Brewery. The premises were once part of a monastery situated at the top of the Castle hill. It is quite hard to find from the tram stop, see below.
Despite its history this pub did not open until 2000. It is very much on the tourist map, especially in the summer, and it can be difficult to get a seat and you nearly always end up in the courtyard as all the inside spaces are taken up by diners.
For the first time I was there late in the evening and I must admit I did see a different side of the place. The moment we walked in at 22.30 the staff were telling us that they were closing in a half hour. This is typical of their attitude during the day when they prove very adept at advising you what you can't do, yet not telling you what is possible.
However the mood changed when we showed genuine interest in the pub and the brewery and we had time to try all the beers on offer, past closing time.
We were drinking in a room that looked as if it had been there for at least a half century, not 2000. The walls were covered with interesting brewery ephemera.
There were four beers, which were described on the blackboard in English: Amber (also known as Half-Dark) 13% (polotmavý, 5.3% abv), Dark 14% (tmavý, 5.5% abv), Wheat 13% (5.3% abv) and a special, India Pale Ale 16% (abv unknown, but most likely over 6.0% abv). Personally I passed on the wheat, not my favourite style. The other two beers from the standard range were very good and the IPA? Well it was a US-style version as the hops used were Amarilla and Cascade. Very bitter of course, and I have to say I liked it, but it bore no resemblance to an English IPA.
Beer from this brewpub go under the genetic name of Svety (Saint) Norbert. It was the first time I'd been able to drink in the room where the brewery is, and it is very beautiful. Seems like it's been around for ages, have a look at the photos. It was a fitting end of our evening Prague brew pub crawl.
Klášterní Pivovar Strahov, Strahovské nádvoří 301, Praha 1, 11800.
Open: Daily 10.00-22.00
To get here catch trams 22 and 23, both pass through the city centre.
Alight at the Pohořelec stop.
As the tram departs around a right-hand curve follow it on the left-hand side up a cobbled pavement that rises higher than the road, then turn through an archway and you'll soon find the pub on the left.