"Winter is coming"...and apparently staying. Forever. At least it feels like it sometimes; and while I'd love to nerd out over Game of Thrones right now, unfortunately, that's not what I'm referring to. (RIP Ned Stark). I'm talking about Prague and the Czech Republic.
In case you haven't heard, the winters in Central and Eastern Europe are long, dark and full of terrors. However, thankfully, this makes the first signs of spring that much more special. After what felt like a lifetime, we got our first taste of better days to come a few weeks ago. Without delay, my beer squad and I, and our newest member, Rocko, headed out of the city center to a popular brewery called Pivovar Hostivar.
Located in Prague 15, Pivovar Hostivar is a bit off the beaten path. The easiest way to get there is to take Metro A (Green Line) to Skalka and then the 125 or 175 bus to Řepčická. From there it is about a 5-minute walk to the brewery.
All of the beer at Hostivar is brewed using a conventional method of water, malt, and hops, and are unfiltered and unpasteurized. Their selection ranges from a refreshening 11 ° Lager to a 14 ° five-malt dark beer. They also offer a regular series of seasonally brewed beers, such as the Annual 15° IPA, notable for its bright copper tones and hoppy, lingering bitterness, and their fruity, floral Easter (Velikonoční) Ale.
My personal favorite is the 13° Light. With a distinctive bite but light drinkability, it's hard to stop at "just one". Obviously, I didn't.
Pivovar Hostivar has an excellent (and reasonably priced) menu offering a broad selection of beer "snacks", soups, salads, and mouth-watering main courses. Because I still eat like a 5-year-old I had a bowl of garlic soup with croutons and a side of fries with tartar sauce. I can also recommend from previous visits the fresh goat cheese, onion marmalade with figs and herbal baguette and beer cheese with onion, mustard, fish, and beer mousse.
As I mentioned, the brewery is a bit off the beaten path, therefore it is not exactly a tourist destination. Frequented mostly by locals, and a slew of bikers and cyclists, Hostivar is extremely family and dog-friendly. Its indoor seating is accompanied by a lush garden complete with an outdoor beer garden for parents to relax while the kids play on a totally awesome wooden playground. If you find yourself with a free, sunny Saturday or Sunday afternoon, Pivovar Hostivar is the perfect place to put your feet up and relax while sipping some exceptional brews.
- Location: Lochotínská 656 109 00 Prague 15
- Style: Brewery, Restaurant
- Specialties: Craft Beer, Traditional Czech Cuisine
- Favorite Beer: 13° Light
- Favorite Food: Garlic Soup
- Price: $$