Tuesday 7th May 2013
Am I the only person to think that this place is just a little bit strange? I'm not sure what it is, but it could be the decor, with heavy drape curtains hanging above the windows, or is it the wall decorations? There are painted depictions of hop bines climbing every wall. Maybe it's the rustic wooden furniture that seems oddly out of place amongst the other ostentation. Possibly the brewery at the end of the room, with another brewery painted on the wall behind of it. I suppose it is a bit of all of these things.
In addition to this, there is the waiter who was downright weird. As I sat at a table for four he said I must move to one for two. I said I would move if someone wanted the table I was sitting at, but he wasn't having it, so I moved. I didn't mind really, as a seat is a seat, whatever.
The background to this was that there were only two other couples in the pub, just four people! I was there for about 40 minutes and they left during that time. Just myself and the strange barman until I departed, leaving him on his own!
However there was a sequel to this strange tale, as I was chatting to fellow drinker Andy, after a chance meeting in a pub in Norwich, and he told that he was there about a week later and obviously had dealings with the same guy. Now the experience was different because Andy told him he was meeting up to ten people in the pub but the guy wouldn't do anything in advance to accommodate them. The pub was slowly getting full and as his mates came in they were forced to sit in three different sections of the pub. How odd is that?
This pub has long been a home for the beers from the Pivovarský Dvůr in Chýně, which is just outside Prague in the administrative area of Středočeský Kráj (Central Bohemia) and these continue to be sold. However the hotel opened its own brewery in November 2012 and now brews two beers which are: Svetlý ležák 12° (4.4%), a standard light beer that is a bit under strength and the other is known variously as Tmavý Speciál 14° or Černé 14° or Stout 14°. Whatever it is described as, the abv is always 5.2%. Whilst the light beer is perfectly acceptable, the dark is brilliant and makes the visit worthwhile. It is black and intense and has a really good balance.
For the record, the Pivovarský Dvůr beers are 10 % kvasnicové světlé (Light lager), 12 % kvasnicové polotmavé (Amber medium strength beer) and 14 % kvasnicové černé (Strong Black beer).
There is a full menu and, of course, this is a proper hotel and it is all contained in a rather beautiful building built at the end of the 19th century. Another recent development is that it now has a museum of beer. I'd be interested to see exactly what this contains.
So, please go here for the beer, especially the dark one, but you may feel indifferent about the remainder of the experience.
Hotel Victor, Husitská 72, Praha 3. 13020. Tel: 420 577 477
Open: Daily 11.00-23.00
The pub is about 10 to 15 minutes walk from Florenc metro station and tram / bus interchange. This is nearly all uphill so you may wish to catch bus routes 133 or 175 which start at Florec and both run along Husitská.