Czech beer has a long and rich history and while the country is well known for its pubs and beer culture in general, not many visitors take the time or effort to truly experience what there is to offer. Many people who have visited the Czech Republic before will rave about the most common beers such as Pilsner Urquell, Staropramen or Budweiser (not to be confused with the American beer of the same name). In reality, however, these are brands which you can get all over the world and there isn’t much, if anything, that sets them apart from any other mainstream larger. In addition to that, most of the major Czech beers are actually owned by foreign companies anyway!
If you are a lover of great beer and want to experience the amazing things that Czech Republic has to offer in this department, then you will no doubt find the following tips invaluable.
|Beer Pubs||Microbreweries||Beer Gardens||Beer Festival|
Beer Pubs in Prague
Like any other Czech town, Prague also has more than its fair share of great pubs. Unfortunately, however, most tourists do not take the time to explore beyond what is shown on the tourist map. Instead, they end up falling into the tourist traps and paying two to three times more for inferior quality.
Prague has hundreds of great pubs, but a true Czech beer pub always has a large selection of different beers on tap. Here are two of the best.
Zlý Časy, Čestmírova 5
A bit out of the centre, this fantastic pub is undoubtedly Prague’s most popular beer hall. The large cellar bar is open until midnight or later while the upstairs bar is usually open into the small hours.
There’s also a small beer garden, a large smoking room and a good menu serving typical Czech pub food.
They serve around 36 rotating beers on tap from various small breweries in the Czech Republic and beyond. They also have a small shop next door selling many of their popular beers.
Pivovarský Klub, Křižíkova 17
Pivovarský Klub ReviewsA little expensive by Prague standards, Pivovarský Klub is, nonetheless, well worth a visit. It is one of Prague’s most famous beer pubs and it is conveniently located close to the centre, not far from the main bus station, Florenc.
This non-smoking pub always has a large rotating selection of beers on tap as well as a vast selection of dozens of different bottled beers from Czech Republic and around the world.
Microbreweries in Prague and Beyond
Prague has several great microbreweries and you will also be able to find a few in almost all other Czech towns of any size. These microbreweries typically offer a selection of two to four beers including a standard light beer, a semi-dark and a dark beer. They will occasionally have specials on tap as well, particularly during festive seasons. Here are some of the unmissable microbreweries in and near Prague.
U Medvídku, Na Perštýně 7
Conveniently located right in the centre of Prague, U Medvídku (The Bear Cub) is highly popular among both locals and tourists. It offers eight locally brewed beers of its own, including the popular 1466 unfiltered light beer and the semi-dark unfiltered Oldgott.
The place consists of a small, cosy section which is open long past midnight and a sprawling beer hall with seating for up to 270 customers.
There is also a wide selection of food on offer, a beer garden and a small souvenir shop.
Pivovar Bašta, Táborská 49
Quite far out of the centre, but easy to reach by tram nonetheless, Pivovar Bašta is a delightful place with big wooden tables and panelled walls.
It offers two main beers; a light unfiltered beer and a semi-dark unfiltered one. In addition to that, it usually has a special on offer such as the wasabi-flavoured unfiltered light beer.
They also serve traditional Czech meals. There is a main menu, a black board with snacks and daily specials such as roast duck and roast pork neck straight from a traditional nineteenth century oven.
Pivovarský Dvůr, Hlavni 525, Chýně
Located in the small village of Chýně, a few kilometres outside of Prague city limits, Pivovarský Dvůr consists of a fantastic restaurant and an even nicer small pub.
With a small log fire in the winter, a thoroughly cosy atmosphere and cats running about the place, it is the epitome of a Czech country pub. It offers a small selection of extremely good beers and a menu full of hearty Czech food.
The best way to get there is to get a bus from the Anděl metro station at one end of the yellow line in Prague. The microbrewery is just a few metres back from the bus stop in the direction of Prague.
Únětický Pivovar, Rýznerova 19, Únětice
Únětice is a very pleasant village just north of Prague city limits. The venue is located in an old building which was originally designed for brewing beer.
The enormous main beer hall dates back to 1710 and is filled with character with mismatching old furniture and vaulted ceilings. There is also a beer garden.
Beer Gardens in Prague
Prague has a great café culture and is famous also for its huge beer gardens. While most pubs and restaurants in Prague have some kind of a garden, there are a few places which are specifically designed for large numbers of people to drink outside. They tend not to offer a particularly interesting selection of beer; people go to them more for the atmosphere than anything else. Here are three of the best.
Letná Beer Garden, Letná
Letná Beer Garden is perhaps the most famous one in Prague and it is certainly the biggest. It occupies a large section of the huge Letná Park on the north side of the river in the district of Holešovice/Letná.
While its beer offerings are thoroughly unexciting (only overpriced Gambrinus in a plastic cup is available), the place offers the most splendid views of Prague.
With high trees, plenty of shade, some traditional Czech street food options and a lively atmosphere, it is a great place to spend a summer afternoon even if the beer is not good.
Riegrovy Sady, Žižkov
This is one of the most popular beer gardens in Prague. It is located in the middle of the districts of Žižkov and Vinohrady and not far from the centre. It also has some undercover space.
There is a relatively good selection of mainstream Czech beers here, including Gambrinus, Pilsner Urquell and Kozel.You can also get traditional Czech street food here or, if you want something a bit more substantial, you can go to the Park Café just opposite.
Na Květnici, Na Květnici 1a, Nusle
Quite far from the centre, but worth the journey nonetheless, is the cosy beer garden of Na Květnici. It is not so well known among foreigners, particularly tourists. It is located by the top of the park beside Nuselská Radnice tram stop.
The large beer garden is very green with high trees and long wooden tables. There is also some excellent food on offer, since this place is also a proper restaurant.When the beer garden is open, people order everything from a booth and pay as they go. The indoor part is also open during the winter.
The Czech Beer Festival
If you plan to be in Prague during the second half of May, be sure to visit the famous Czech Beer Festival, which is held for seventeen days annually. The biggest beer festival in the country, the Czech Beer Festival boasts a similar atmosphere to the world-famous Munich Beer Festival, although it is smaller and much cheaper.
The Czech Beer Festival offers around 120 different beers every year including about 70 brands from around the Czech Republic. There are seats for around ten-thousand people, many food options on offer, souvenir stalls and live music every evening.
Visitors to the beer festival will need to pay for everything using a special currency called the Tolar. You can buy these with your Czech crowns at various locations in the festival.
The festival is located at the Prague-Holešovice Exhibition Centre near Výstavište tram stop, in the Holešovice district. It is also a short walk from Holešovice train and metro station.