There’s a new trend in Prague pubs: rotating beer selections. The widest range is probably at Pivovarský klub, whose six taps change constantly to include various brews from around the country and around Europe (mostly from small, regional producers, with Pivovarský dům’s Štěpán and Primátor’s Weizenbier enjoying near-štamgast status at taps 5 and 6, respectively).
Other Prague pubs with rotating taps include the great První pivní tramway and Zlý časy, described by Max Bahnson as a font of great beers and good goulash. Following that post, Jay commented that the same sort of things were taking place on at U Radnice in Prague 3, a Žižkov stronghold for Podkováň beer when I listed it in Good Beer Guide Prague and the Czech Republic, but which switched breweries to Rohozec after Podkováň closed before branching out to include a wider selection.
This week I stopped by to see what they’ve got on tap.
Plenty of good stuff, it turns out. Despite the signs out front and throughout the pub, there was nothing from Krakonoš to seen. When I visited, six beers were listed (a few with dubious spellings):
- 14° Kvasar from Černá Hora.
- Světozor from Pivovar Nová Paka (brewed for Prague’s Světozor cinema).
- 10° světlé výčepní pivo from Rohozec.
- Zázvorové (ginger) pivo from the brewpub Pivovarsky Dvur Zvíkov.
- 13° dark from Pivovarsky Dvur Zvíkov.
- Pardubický Porter (listed as “19° Poter”)
I ordered a Pardubický Porter, which fared well in a recent comparison of beers in the Baltic Porter style, and which I’ve found myself enjoying more and more of late: a strong black beer, treacly and hinting of licorice.
And then I was stuck. The first three were too familiar; Zvíkov’s great 13° dark turned out to be out of stock. And I’ve never been crazy for ginger-flavored lager. But I couldn’t remember trying Zvíkov’s version, so I knew what I had to do.
Fellow beer traveler Rob seems to be flexing his musculature behind the two glasses, and I myself felt I had to get somewhat pumped up before trying it (I hate ginger-flavored beers, I kept saying, I just hate them).
It was the last of the keg, and the beers arrived as cloudy as hell. At first they seemed to be well on their way out, with a surprising amount of horse blanket and barnyard in the nose, suggesting brettanomyces. And then it became clear that this was not one of the ginger-flavored lagers I’d had (and hated) before, but rather what seemed to be a ginger wheat beer, which contributed the slightest spicy notes to the finish, and which probably also added to the tastes of pink grapefruit and Meyer lemons. It might have been on its way out, but it was still a deliciously light beer for a hot afternoon.
We ordered two more half-pints which were even cloudier and which tasted even better, spicy and sour like a Central European take on a great Belgian Wit. Finally convinced, we asked for a third: this time two large beers.
No dice, the bartender said. Those were the last of what we had.
When will you get more of it? I asked.
Maybe never, the bartender said. The beers here rotate — it’s different every week.U Radnice Havlíčkovo nám. 7, Prague 3–Žižkov Phone: 222 782 713
Tram 5, 9 or 26 to Lipanská
Bus 136 to Rokycanova