Did you know that Žižkov is rumored to have more pubs per square kilometer than any neighborhood in Europe? Some neighborhoods would buckle under the weight of such responsibility, but Žižkov seems to uphold its lofty reputation with one hand while casuallypouring a beer with the other.
On my perpetual quest to find the best craft beer in Prague, I heard through the grapevine about a little place called Pivoteka ŽižkOFF. Steps away from neo-gothic, St. Procopius Church (Lipanská tram stop), the beer pub and bottle shop sits along one of Žižkov's notoriously steep side streets.
My beer squad and I were surprised by the selection of international beers, including some of my personal favorites from Flying Dog Brewery (Maryland, US) and Stone Brewery (California, US). We were also surprised, yet intrigued, to find that there were only 3 beers on tap. Compared to the emerging craft beer restaurants in Prague, Pivoteka ŽižkOFF is traditional and barebones. Quality over quantity.
If you haven't noticed, I love IPAs- although they can be a bit of an acquired taste. I certainly didn't start off enjoying a bitter beer, but like all good things, over time the taste grew on me. That being said, I was dying to try the Falcon Stalker IPA 16° - a collaboration project of various Czech brewers. It is a clear, amber beer with a thick, soapy head and hints of pine, citrus, toffee and herbal hops. Paired with a malty sweetness and distinct bitterness, this IPA easily rivals some of my favorite from the US. Let it be known that I will now be stalking the Falkon Stalker all around Prague.
Pivoteka ŽižkOFF is small and will remind you more of somebodies living room from the 70's rather than a pub. I'm convinced its sofas and retro swivel chairs are from an Austin Power's film set, but it's that same offbeat charm that makes you feel totally comfortable. The service was also exceptional, and my friends and I were able to chat and discuss beer with the very knowledgeable and friendly bartender.