SV. NORBERT WITH A MUG

 When people think of beer, they often think of the Germans and the Belgians. The English also get a lot of recognition for brewing beers. These are all nations with wonderful histories of brewing great beers. Most of the great beer styles originate from these countries.

 

 Of course, numerous other countries also have storied track records when it comes to brewing. What is probably the most famous style of beer in the world comes from the Czech Republic. The Czechs are responsible for the first pilsner beer in history. This is a style that has been imitated throughout the world. The Czechs still seem to do it better than anyone else. 

 The Czechs have not produced a great variety of styles but they love their beer and make it very well. On a recent trip to Prague I decided to explore the various brewpubs in the city. There are six in the city so I had my work cut out for me. I was curious about Klasterni Pivovar Strahov also known as Sv. Norbert. This is a brewpub that is located in a monastery. It is also well outside Stare Mesto and even further uphill than the Palace. 

The day I made my trek was a rainy Tuesday afternoon. I set out across the Charles Bridge and felt the suspicious eyes of saints upon me. The palace looks lovely from there but I had a long walk ahead of me. One can arrive at the monastery largely through a straight walk but it is all uphill. I thought I was in San Francisco, the hill was so steep. The rain wasn't making the walk any more pleasant but this is one determined beer geek. 

 It was a bitter and raw trek. The wind and rain was obnoxious and I wasn't even sure if I was going the right way. It was a little hard to find the brewpub even after arriving at the Monastery. Finally, salvation came in the form of the brewpub. It was hard to find but well worth the effort. 

 Like most brewpubs in the Czech Republic, the selection was very limited. You will generally get a choice of a pale lager and a dark lager. The pale lager is either a pilsner or a style closely related to the pilsner. As also, it will be very exceptional quality. Sv. Norbertwas well worth the trek. With hungry and thirsty troops this seemed like a good place to enjoy lunch as well as a couple beers. I started off with the pale lager. It was maltier than a standard Czech pilsner. It had a really nice crisp flavor. One will not encounter many bad beers in Prague. The beer had a lighter body that would be perfect for a session brew. Beers like this are why the Czechs drink more beer per capita than any other country in the world.

 The pale lager was good and served as a good aperitif. I ordered a goulash made with wild boar. This was a tasty lunch. The dark lager which I ordered second went much better with the food. This beer was fuller in body and had a roasty, malty flavor. This was a very satisfying beer. There was a nice hop finish that made the beer a real treat.

 There is also a Christmas beer made by this brewpub but it was not available on draught. They were selling bottles to go but I was unsure if I wanted to carry a bottle around in my backpack for the rest of the day. The beers at Klasterni Pivovar Strahov were quite good. Both had a good hop signature which is to be expected from Czech beers. They were also beers that could easily be quaffed if one were so inclined.  This brewpub is not the easiest to get to so it will be more of a destination for the true beer geek. It was an arduous hike up the hill in rainy weather but it was all the more satisfying when I finally got there. This is one that I highly recommend to the adventurous beer drinker.

 

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