Skip to comments.Czech Republic: southern Bohemia's beer trail
Posted on 11/20/2012 3:54:14 PM PST by Renfield
It was a quiet night at U Fleku, Pragues premier beer hall. I sat at a long wooden table in the main bar, a Teutonic shrine to dark wood. Waiters scurried about, balancing trays of glasses filled with the rich dark lager thats brewed on site. The evening entertainment started: a scowling, mustachioed accordionist playing Que Sera Sera. As I finished my beer, the accordionist paused and hunted through his pocket, looking miserably at some loose change. A heavy hint?
The majority of travellers to the Czech Republic rarely strike farther than Prague, treading the tourist trail of Charles Bridge, St Wenceslas Square and renowned bars such as U Fleku. I love Prague, but Id been yearning to visit southern Bohemia for years. Finally I was going...
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
Just reading the headline is making me thirsty.
Last I heard, 96% of Czechs outside of Prague lived in poverty. During my last visit to Prague, buildings and river bank walls were completely covered with graffiti.
Good beer does makes poverty a bit more tolerable though.
Czechvar is the original Budweiser, I believe.
Yes, I remember U Fleku “The Stain” when I visited over Easter holiday in 1990 after the Velvet Revolution (the commies lost power).
Over 500 years of brewing tradition, it was a great beer hall. In the 2 days that my buddy Franz Hayek and I stayed in Prague before going to his home town we must have eaten there about 5 times!
It was a crazy time, many East Germans in transit trying to get to the Green Border (with Austria) and of course the Russian troops were in the process of retreating back to the motherland.
“Czechvar is the special name (editors note: for North America) of the world famous beer produced by the renowned brewery in Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic. Benefitting from over 700 years of brewing”
We too have made several trips to Czech Republic and look forward to going again!
I know this is a beer thread but politics were mentioned in the article. The guy that said he was better under communism explains a couple of things. I read recently where communists gained some seats of power in the Czech republic. The Czech Republic has “Free Stuff” democrats just like we do.
I like beer.
My dad, my brother and my nephew went to Slovakia a few years ago to see our family homeland. According to my dad, my nephew was drinking their beer as if it were American beer. He woke up with quite the hangover.
I lived in Slovakia for about eight years, mostly in Bratislava.
I left in 2009 to live in the Philippines.
Slovakia is awash in beer and good wine.
There are numerous outlets where you take 1.5 ltr plastic
bottles to be filled with red or white wine from the barrel.
I became a wino, drinking at least one ltr. per day.
The Late Mr. Redhead's family were from Ceske Budjejovice. Yah, cesky pivo! Prosit!
“The Late Mr. Redhead’s family were from Ceske Budjejovice. Yah, cesky pivo! Prosit!”
Very interesting, but sorry that he is “the LATE Mr. Redhead.”
I spent a great night with my tour group, led by a Professor friend of mine, in Pilsen, Czechoslovakia, right before the revolution (1988). We were at the local beer hall, and an accordianist and trumpet player were in that night playing a bunch of broadway tunes, and songs like New York, New York, just for our tables. The locals were gawking at us, as we were at them. Not that many tourists came through Pilsen at that time, as it was still a Commie country, so we were novel objects.
Pretty soon though, everyone was getting pretty lubed up on beer, and then everyone was singing, dancing with each other, and getting rowdy. It was so much fun, and at the end of the night, everyone, locals and us, were best bud’s, running out of the place, laughing and screeching, and wanting the night not to end. Quite the experience that I fondly remember to this day. I loved Prague, and the countryside around the spa towns of Marienbad and Karlsbad was beautiful. I’d go back there in a heartbeat. Great food and wine bars too.
“I spent a great night with my tour group, led by a Professor friend of mine, in Pilsen, Czechoslovakia, right before the revolution (1988).”
It would have been interesting to visit the east during communism.
I see only a few monuments to it.
One is at Devin Castle ruins near Bratislava. It is a very small point where Austria is on the other side of the Danube.
It was a popular point for Slovaks trying to escape by swimming over to the Austrian side.
Unfortunately, their was a two story concrete building with three ramps for the Commie sharpshooters.
About six years ago, a monument was erected to commemorate
those that were shot, trying to escape. The building is now a bar.
One fun story is that of a man who built a hot air balloon to launch during the middle of the night, carrying him and his family over the river to freedom.
“It would have been interesting to visit the east during communism.”
I have two more tidbits from our tour of Czechoslovakia in 1988 while still a Communist State. The first one was when our tour minibus reached the Czech border on the way in. One of our tour members, an older gentleman (in his 70’s), was of Czech heritage. We were held up for over two hours while the Commie border guards first questioned him, and then were doing, I assume, background research on him to make sure he wasn’t some infiltrator or whatever, before we were allowed to proceed into the country. The whole thing was ludicrous in light of the age of our tour member. What did they think, that he was a 76 year old freedom fighter in the making?
The second incident was with our assigned tour guide. We figured he was a Commie also, although he looked rather a bookish sort. Sure enough, he was a bookish sort. One of our tour members had brought a paperback copy of the book The Incredible Lightness of Being with her, the plot of which was set in Czechoslovakia with the fight against the Soviets as background. The book was banned in Czechoslovakia. We didn’t know that. Our tour guide at one point had us out in a secluded forested area, where he opened up with his story of being kicked out of the Communist Party because he wouldn’t toe the party line, and how he went from a good job to being a tour guide (because he spoke fluent English) in order to make a living. He hated the Commie gov’t. Our tour member with the banned book, gave it as a present to our tour guide, and you would have thought she had given him manna from heaven. He was delighted, and little did he know that one year later his country would be liberated from Commie rule.
I might add, that there were a bunch of Commie guards out front of the main gov’t building in downtown Prague roaming around with machine guns, making their presence known. One year later, pouf, all gone.
If that is the same story I recall, the platform/basket of that hotair balloon was on display at the Checkpoint Charlie Museum in West Berlin when I visited there in 1979. That was also during the time I got to experience Czech beer (the original Budweiser) in a Czech restaurant in Wiesbaden.
I want to visit Cesky Krumlov, I hear Prague has basically turned into a tourist trap.
Every year in the town of West, about 120 miles south of Dallas, or about 25 miles north of Waco, they have WestFest, which is a celebration of Czech culture, as the town was founded by Czechs. Always make a point to stop at the Czech Stop to buy Kolaches when we are in the area.
Geez, I almost forgot the best Commie Czechoslovakia story from our trip there in 1988. We were heading up into the rolling hills where the spa towns were located when our tour bus got a flat tire. While we were waiting for the bus to get fixed, a small group of us took a hike up a hillside to see what was at the top.
Well, were we in for a surprise. We got up there and looked down upon what appeared to be a military installation of some sort out in the middle of nowhere, with barbed wire around it and guard dogs at the perimeter. At which point we skedaddled right back down the hillside as quickly as possible. I’ve always wondered what exactly that was that we happened upon. Will never know, but it really creeped us all out at the time.
I saw a movie about how the Czechs would operate a fake border crossing about a mile from the real border, and that they would trick people into thinking they had crossed the border, and fake American Soldiers would ask them for their contacts, before executing them on the spot.
Yep...great sausages there, too...always go down there when I’m in Fort Worth.
The dark beer was fantastic and the food was good eats for a beer hall...
Welcome to the U Fleku; brewery and restaurant. No need for any long introduction, is there? The U Fleku; brewery and restaurant is one of the most famous and popular national landmarks in the Czech Republic, along with the Prague Castle, the Old Town Square, Vyehrad, the Jewish Quarter (Josefov) in Prague, the National Museum and other landmarks that can be found in the heart of the old Prague.